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Am J Neurodegener Dis 2012;1(2):160-167

Original Article
Non-motor symptoms in a Flanders-Belgian population of 215 Parkinson’s
disease patients as assessed by the Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire

David Crosiers, Barbara Pickut, Jessie Theuns, Peter Paul De Deyn, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Pablo Martinez-
Martin, K Ray Chaudhuri, Patrick Cras

Department of Neurology, Antwerp University Hospital, Antwerpen, Belgium; Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases
Group, Department of Molecular Genetics, VIB, Antwerpen, Belgium; Laboratory of Neurobiology, Institute Born-Bunge,
University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium; Laboratory of Neurogenetics, Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp,
Antwerpen, Belgium; Department of Neurology and Memory Clinic, ZNA Middelheim and Hoge Beuken Hospital,
Antwerpen, Belgium; Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behavior, Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp,
Antwerpen, Belgium; Department of Neurology and Alzheimer Research Center, University Medical Center Groningen,
Groningen, The Netherlands; AD Research Unit and CIBERNED, CIEN-Foundation, Carlos III Institute of Health,
Alzheimer Center Reina Sofia Foundation, Madrid, Spain; 9National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence, King's
College Hospital, Kings College, London, UK.

Received June 25, 2012; accepted July 21, 2012; Epub July 23, 2012; published July 31, 2012

Abstract: Background: Non-motor symptoms (NMS) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are frequent, increase the patients’
disability and have an important negative impact on their quality of life. Methods: We used a Dutch translation of the
Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire (NMSQuest) to identify NMS in a population of 215 Belgian PD patients. Results:
A median number of 8 NMS was reported per patient. Urinary urgency (59.2 %), nocturia (56.9 %), insomnia (45.8 %),
attention problems (45.5 %) and orthostatism (41.2 %) were the most frequently denoted NMS. A higher number of
NMS was present with more severe Hoehn and Yahr stages. Longer disease duration was associated with more NMS.
Furthermore, clinical markers of disease progression were also associated with a higher number of NMS. However,
early-onset patients (< 50 years) reported less NMS than late-onset patients after correction for disease duration.  
Interestingly, in early-onset patients we observed more unexplained pain and more hyperhydrosis. Conclusion: We
confirm the high prevalence of NMS in PD patients. A long disease duration and more severe disease are associated
with a higher number of NMS. Importantly, even if late-onset patients generally report more NMS, unexplained pain and
hyperhydrosis are more frequent in early-onset patients. (AJND1206001).

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, non-motor symptoms, NMSQuest, questionnaire

Address all correspondence to:
David Crosiers, MD
Department of Neurology
Antwerp University Hospital
Wilrijkstraat 10, B-2650 Edegem, Belgium.
Tel: +32 3 821 34 23; Fax: +32 3 821 43 12
E-mail: david.crosiers@molgen.vib-ua.be