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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 472830, 5 pages
Research Article

Relation of Subjective Quality of Life to Motor Symptom Profile in Parkinson's Disease

Department of Psychology, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Received 13 September 2010; Revised 31 December 2010; Accepted 8 January 2011

Academic Editor: Francisco Grandas

Copyright © 2011 Erica R. Appleman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parkinson's disease (PD) presents with extensive heterogeneity in symptomatology, inviting examination of disease subtypes. One significant categorization is by whether patients present at onset with tremor as the dominant symptom (TD) or with nontremor symptoms (NTD). We examined differences in quality of life between TD and NTD patients using the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39), correlating performance with aspects of motor function as indexed by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Participants included 35 nondemented individuals (19 TD, 16 NTD) matched on clinical and demographic characteristics. NTD had significantly lower overall PDQ-39 scores, particularly for the mobility subscale. Several UPDRS subscale scores significantly correlated with quality of life, especially for NTD. Further, the correlations were driven by nontremor type symptoms, even in TD patients. Determining reliable subtypes of PD may aid in prognosis and treatment optimization, thereby enhancing quality of life in afflicted individuals.