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Central Pain in Parkinson’s Disease: Behavioral and Cognitive Characteristics
Introduction. Pain is a major nonmotor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD), and central parkinsonian pain is the core feature of the putative Park pain subtype of PD. This study aimed to explore the cognitive and behavioral profile of PD patients with central parkinsonian pain. Material and Methods. A structured interview was used to identify and characterize pain in a cohort of 260 consecutive PD patients. The Ford classification of pain was applied. The Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS-2) and the Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease Short Form (QUIP-S) were administered, and patients’ smoking habits were recorded. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) was used to assess motor and nonmotor symptoms in off and on conditions. Results. One hundred and eighty-eight patients (68%) reported pain; and in 41 (22%) of them, the pain was classified as central parkinsonian pain. PD patients with central parkinsonian pain had better cognitive performance in DRS-2 Initiation/Perseveration and Conceptualization subscales but reported more other compulsive behaviors (e.g., hobbyism, punding, and walkabout) and had more current smoking habits than those without pain or with non-central parkinsonian pain. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the DRS-2 Conceptualization subscale, other compulsive behaviors, and smoking habits remained statistically associated with central parkinsonian pain even when other significant covariates were considered. Only patients with pain, regardless of type, had a gambling disorder. Discussion. The study results provide further evidence that pain revealed that patients with central parkinsonian pain are more likely to present compulsive or addictive behaviors, despite having more preserved cognitive performance. Patients with central parkinsonian pain appear to have a distinct phenotype of PD.
An Investigation into the Use and Meaning of Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Scale Scores
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common, neurodegenerative disorder. It is a chronic, disabling, and progressive disease, and no treatment stops its progression. Rating scales are utilized to quantify PD progression and severity. The most conventional scale is the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and its modified version, Movement Disorder Society- (MDS-) UPDRS. An analytical investigation into the use and meaning of these clinical scale scores was conducted to determine if gaps exist in quantifying disease progression and severity. A series of discrepancies were identified including confusion among patients regarding the score meaning and misuse of the scores among clinicians and researchers to define disease progression. The scales are of an ordinal type and hence the resulting scores are ordinal, not providing a quantifiable progression nor severity level, but a categorical value and survey total. The knowledge that the scores are ordinal and the scales are subjective is mentioned in very limited publications, not the focus of these papers, but a brief introduction and a thoroughly researched, analytical investigation into the scales and scores have not been found. Therefore, the continuous misunderstanding and misuse of these scales and resulting scores warrant a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of these scales and scores to identify the gaps.
Staging Parkinson’s Disease Combining Motor and Nonmotor Symptoms Correlates with Disability and Quality of Life
Introduction. In a degenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), it is important to establish clinical stages that allow to know the course of the disease. Our aim was to analyze whether a scale combining Hoehn and Yahr’s motor stage (H&Y) and the nonmotor symptoms burden (NMSB) (assessed by the nonmotor symptoms scale (NMSS)) provides information about the disability and the patient’s quality of life (QoL) with regard to a defined clinical stage. Materials and Methods. Cross-sectional study in which 603 PD patients from the COPPADIS cohort were classified according to H&Y (1, stage I; 2, stage II; 3, stage III; 4, stage IV/V) and NMSB (A: NMSS = 0–20; B: NMSS = 21–40; C: NMSS = 41–70; D: NMSS ≥ 71) in 16 stages (HY.NMSB, from 1A to 4D). QoL was assessed with the PDQ-39SI, PQ-10, and EUROHIS-QOL8 and disability with the Schwab&England ADL (Activities of Daily Living) scale. Results. A worse QoL and greater disability were observed at a higher stage of H&Y and NMSB (). Combining both (HY.NMSB), patients in stages 1C and 1D and 2C and 2D had significantly worse QoL and/or less autonomy for ADL than those in stages 2A and 2B and 3A and 3B, respectively (; e.g., PDQ-39SI in 1D [n = 15] vs 2A [n = 101]: 28.6 ± 17.1 vs 7.9 ± 5.8; ). Conclusion. The HY.NMSB scale is simple and reflects the degree of patient involvement more accurately than the H&Y. Patients with a lower H&Y stage may be more affected if they have a greater NMS burden.
Validation of the Parkinson’s Disease Caregiver Burden Questionnaire in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an atypical Parkinson syndrome with axial akinetic-rigid symptoms, early postural instability, and ocular motor impairments. Patients experience a rapid loss of autonomy and care dependency; thus, caregivers must assist in the activities of daily living early in the course of the disease. Caregiver burden is an extremely important factor in disease management. However, there are no specific questionnaires for assessment of caregiver burden in PSP. This study aims to validate the Parkinson’s disease caregiver burden questionnaire (PDCB) as a specific measure of caregiver burden in PSP. PSP patients were assessed by the PSP rating scale, PSP quality-of-life questionnaire (PSP-QoL), Montreal cognitive assessment test (MoCA), and geriatric depression scale (GDS-15). Caregivers filled out the short form 36-health survey, GDS-15, PDCB, and the caregiver burden inventory (CBI). 22 patient caregiver pairs completed the study. PDCB showed a highly significant correlation with the CBI (r 0.911; ). Internal reliability of the PDCB measured by Cronbach’s alpha was favourable at 0.803. These data support the specificity of the PDCB in PSP caregivers. Future studies with larger sample sizes of PSP patients and caregivers and a multicentric longitudinal design should be performed to gain further insight of caregiver burden in PSP.
Transcranial Sonography of the Substantia Nigra for the Differential Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders: A Meta-Analysis
This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the accuracy of hyperechogenicity of the substantia nigra (SN) for the differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders. We systematically searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases for relevant studies published between January 2015 and May 2020. Eligible articles comparing the echogenicity of the SN between patients with PD and those with other movement disorders were screened, and two independent reviewers extracted data according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Statistical analyses were conducted using STATA (version 15.0) (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA), Review Manager 5.3 (Cochrane Collaboration), and Meta-DiSc1.4 to assess the pooled diagnostic value of transcranial sonography (TCS) for PD. Nine studies with a total of 1046 participants, including 669 patients with PD, were included in the final meta-analysis. Our meta-analysis demonstrated that hyperechogenicity of the SN had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 0.85 (0.82, 0.87) and 0.71 (0.66, 0.75), respectively, for distinguishing idiopathic Parkinson’s disease from other movement disorders. Furthermore, the area under the curve of the summary receiver operating characteristic was 0.94. Transcranial sonography of the SN is a valuable tool for the differential diagnosis of PD and other movement disorders.
Impact of Progression of Parkinson’s Disease on Swallowing Ability and Oral Environment
This study investigated the impact of the severity and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) on the swallowing ability and oral environment of patients. Swallowing dysfunction increases the aspiration risk and may lead to poor oral health among patients with PD. We investigated the influences of PD progression and drug treatment on the swallowing ability and oral environment using simple noninvasive screening measurements. We recruited 87 patients with PD (mean age, 71.9 ± 8.0 years; mean Hoehn and Yahr score, 2.9 ± 0.9). The PD condition was assessed in each patient using the unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale (UPDRS) part III, diet type and oropharyngeal function using the swallowing disturbances questionnaire (SDQ), maximum bite force (MBF), tongue pressure (TP), and oral bacterial count (OBC). Levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD) was also calculated for 56 participants. Based on an SDQ score of ≥11, 29.5% of patients were dysphagic, but almost all were still on a regular diet. The SDQ score was positively correlated with disease duration (rho = 0.228, ) and UPDRS part III score (rho = 0.307, ) but was negatively correlated with OBC (rho = −0.289, ). OBC was significantly higher among patients with an SDQ score of <11 (nondysphagic) (), and the SDQ score was lower in patients with higher OBC requiring professional oral care (). However, OBC was also negatively correlated with LEDD (rho = −0.411, ). These results indicated low self-awareness of dysphagia among the participants and an association between dysphagia and PD progression. Moreover, the oral environment could have deteriorated with swallowing dysfunction. Patients and clinicians should be aware that higher LEDD can increase xerostomia and associated deficits in oral health.