Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease: diagnosis and management

Daniel G. Healy, Anthony H V Schapira, Kallol Ray Chaudhuri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2093 Citations (Scopus)


The clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease rests on the identification of the characteristics related to dopamine deficiency that are a consequence of degeneration of the substantia nigra pars compacta. However, non-dopaminergic and non-motor symptoms are sometimes present before diagnosis and almost inevitably emerge with disease progression. Indeed, non-motor symptoms dominate the clinical picture of advanced Parkinson's disease and contribute to severe disability, impaired quality of life, and shortened life expectancy. By contrast with the dopaminergic symptoms of the disease, for which treatment is available, non-motor symptoms are often poorly recognised and inadequately treated. However, attention is now being focused on the recognition and quantitation of non-motor symptoms, which will form the basis of improved treatments. Some non-motor symptoms, including depression, constipation, pain, genitourinary problems, and sleep disorders, can be improved with available treatments. Other non-motor symptoms can be more refractory and need the introduction of novel non-dopaminergic drugs. Inevitably, the development of treatments that can slow or prevent the progression of Parkinson's disease and its multicentric neurodegeneration provides the best hope of curing non-motor symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalLancet Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Pain Management
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders


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