Non-motor extranigral signs and symptoms in Parkinson's disease.

Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 15 Suppl 3:S6 (2009) PMID 20083010

Clinical symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) comprise both motor and non-motor symptoms. In this disease, synucleinopathic-induced, nigral dopamine deficiency-related dysfunction of the basal ganglia is held responsible for the characteristic levodopa-responsive motor signs and symptoms (bradykinesia, hypokinesia, rigidity), known as parkinsonism and essential for clinical diagnosis in PD, as well as subtle motivational and cognitive dysfunctions. Some motor symptoms, such as tremor and postural instability, and most non-motor symptoms, however, are not fully levodopa-responsive, and suggested to manifest extranigral pathology. These symptoms include autonomic, sleep, sensory and neuropsychiatric symptoms, which in some cases may precede the first signs of motor parkinsonism, closely correlating with the progression of Lewy body pathology in PD. The recognition and treatment of these mostly under-recognized and under-treated symptoms is important, as these symptoms might have more impact on the quality of life in PD patients as compared to motor parkinsonism. On top of this, recognition of these manifestations in the prodromal phase of motor PD is critical to early diagnosis and treatment, as disease-modifying drugs, once identified, should be initiated as soon as possible, preferably in this premotor phase of the disease. On top of this, (non)motor extranigral symptoms in PD might also be of iatrogenic origin, whether directly as indirectly. During conventional, oral, dopaminomimetic treatment, the progressive loss of striatal dopaminergic nerve endings with the loss of cerebral dopamine storage capacity, renders the cerebral dopamine level fully dependent of the plasma levodopa levels, thus changing dopaminergic receptor stimulation from continuous to a more pulsatile pattern. Supposedly due to this process, neuroplastic changes in (sub)cortical dopaminergic pathways might cause therapeutic response fluctuations: motor and nonmotor fluctuations with anxiety- and panic-attacks and/or mood swings, dyskinesias and punding. Finally, dopaminomimetic pharmacotherapy may also induce extranigral non-motor drug-related direct adverse effects, such as impulse control disorders. In this article, non-motor signs and symptoms of extranigral PD-related pathology will be discussed, as well as the (suggested) criteria for diagnosis and treatment. Of course, also the recognition of the signs and symptoms of the prodromal (premotor) phase, suggestive for the presence of the PD, will be discussed. Iatrogenic non-motor symptoms, though, will not be further discussed.

DOI: 10.1016/S1353-8020(09)70770-9