Mortality Predictors for Parkinson's Disease Identified

Dementia, psychosis, motor severity, and age at onset among independent predictors
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Age at onset (AAO), chronological age, presence of dementia, motor severity, and psychosis are among the independent factors predictive of mortality in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, according to research published in the Oct. 5 issue of Neurology.

Elin Bjelland Forsaa, M.D., of the Stavanger University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues analyzed assessments of motor and non-motor symptoms from 1993 to 2005 in 230 patients with PD to identify risk factors for mortality during a long-term follow-up.

The researchers found AAO, chronological age, male sex, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score, psychotic symptoms, and dementia to be independent predictors of mortality; 211 patients (92 percent) died during the study period, and the median survival time from onset of motor symptoms was 15.8 years, ranging from 2.2 to 36.6 years.

"This population-based long-term study demonstrates that in addition to AAO, chronological age, motor severity, and dementia, psychotic symptoms independently predict increased mortality in PD. In contrast, no significant impact of antipsychotic or antiparkinsonian drugs on survival was observed in our PD cohort. Early prevention of motor progression and development of psychosis and dementia may be the most promising strategies to increase life expectancy in PD," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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