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Supplements Parkinson’s Disease: Quality Assessment and Improvement of Care
Parkinson"s Disease: Quality Assessment and Improvement of Care
Part 3: Neuropsychiatric Symptoms
Daniel Weintraub, MD; Cynthia L. Comella, MD; and Stacy Horn, DO
Part 2: Treatment of Motor Symptoms
Daniel Weintraub, MD; Cynthia L. Comella, MD; and Stacy Horn, DO
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Part 1: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, Burden, Diagnosis, and Assessment
Daniel Weintraub, MD; Cynthia L. Comella, MD; and Stacy Horn, DO

Part 1: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, Burden, Diagnosis, and Assessment

Daniel Weintraub, MD; Cynthia L. Comella, MD; and Stacy Horn, DO
Nonmotor Symptoms and HRQOL. Although the MDS-UPDRS represents an improvement for assessing nonmotor symptoms, a nonmotor scale focusing only on this symptom complex would be a welcome addition to the clinician. Such scales are not yet available, but 2 are currently under development: the PD Nonmotor Symptom Questionnaire (NMSQuest) and a PD nonmotor symptom scale.9 Each offers a more comprehensive assessment of nonmotor symptoms and may appear as appendices to the UPDRS after validation.9 NMSQuest is specifically designed to assist the busy clinician in identifying nonmotor symptoms early.9 The Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson’s Disease (SCOPA) are currently available to assess nonmotor (and motor) symptoms, but only for a specific outcome, such as autonomic symptoms or sleep.

Instruments to measure patient HRQOL provide more specific information on health burden and total disease impact, and can be used to supplement clinical scales.6 One of the most commonly used is the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ- 39), which is an 8-dimension, disease-specific instrument. It has good internal consistency, retest reliability, construct validity, and sensitivity; it is able to discriminate between levels of severity and is sensitive to changes that matter to the patient but are not the main focus of the clinician.6 Although considered the tool of choice,6 some clinicians have found that the HRQOL utility of PDQ-39 is confounded by motor and nonmotor assessments.

Other HRQOL instruments specific to PD and that may be useful are the Parkinson’s Impact Scale and Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life Scale.6

The number of cases of PD will increase dramatically in the future, accompanied by a rise in medical resource utilization and healthcare costs. Studies have shown difficulties in diagnosing PD and poor recognition of its disabling nonmotor symptoms, suggesting the need to enhance awareness of techniques for both diagnosing and monitoring this disease. More and more patients with PD will be seen by the clinician in years to come, and accurate diagnosis increases the chance of effective treatment and reduced disability over time, which reduces direct and indirect healthcare costs. The comorbid neuropsychiatric nonmotor symptoms of PD, such as depression and cognitive impairment, are particularly important, because they may be more disabling to the patient than motor symptoms. Screening for neuropsychiatric symptoms, and their effective treatment and monitoring, will improve the functioning and HRQOL of the patient with PD, which are primary goals of management.

Author Affiliations
: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (DW, SH); Philadelphia Veterans Administration, Philadelphia, PA (DW); Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL (CLC).

Funding Source: This supplement was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Author Disclosures: Grant/research support: Boehringer Ingelheim (DW, CLC); Solvay (CLC); Consultant: Boehringer Ingelheim (DW), Cephalon (CLC), Jazz (CLC), Novartis (DW), UCB (CLC), Valeant (CLC). The author (SH) reports no relationship or financial interest with any entity that would pose a conflict of interest with the subject matter of this article.

Authorship Information: Concept and design (DW, CLC, SH); drafting of the manuscript (DW, CLC, SH); critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (DW, CLC, SH).

Address Correspondence to: Cynthia L. Comella, MD, FAAN, Professor of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, 1725 W Harrison St, Ste 755, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail:

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