Redefining Parkinson’s Disease: More Than Just a Movement Disorder

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Diana Kim


Parkinson's disease, psychiatric symptoms


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of nigrostriatal dopamine cells. Cardinal motor symptoms, such as rigidity, bradykinesia, tremor and postural instability, are well treated by levodopa medication. Neuropsychiatric symptoms in PD are also equally disabling and significantly affect quality of life for both patients and caregivers. With recent advances, our knowledge of the neuropsychiatric features of PD are gaining more attention; however, psychiatric disturbances still remain relatively under-recognized and under-treated. Psychiatric disturbances in PD are numerous and include depression, sleep disorders, psychosis, dementia and impulse control disorders. Greater recognition of these symptoms is needed for full disease assessment and management.