J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84:14-17 doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-303419
  • Movement disorders
  • Research paper

Non-motor symptoms in early Parkinson's disease: a 2-year follow-up study on previously untreated patients

  1. Paolo Barone4
  1. 1Department of Neurological Science, University Federico II, Naples, Italy
  2. 2IDC Hermitage—Capodimonte, Naples, Italy
  3. 3University Parthenope, Naples, Italy
  4. 4Center for neurodegenerative diseases—CEMAND, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Paolo Barone, University of Salerno, Center for neurodegenerative disease—CEMAND, Via S. Allende. 84081 Baronissi (SA), Italy; pbarone{at}
  1. Contributors RE, MP, CV, MA, MTP, PB conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and final approval of the version to be published. MM, KL, AC, ADR, GDM analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content.

  • Received 9 June 2012
  • Revised 8 August 2012
  • Accepted 14 August 2012
  • Published Online First 19 September 2012


Background Non-motor symptoms are very common among patients with Parkinson's disease since the earliest stage, but little is known about their progression and their relationship with dopaminergic replacement therapy.

Methods We studied non-motor symptoms before and after 2 years from dopaminergic therapy introduction in ninety-one newly diagnosed previously untreated PD patients.

Results At baseline, nearly all patients (97.8%) referred at least one non-motor symptom. At follow-up, only few non-motor symptoms significantly changed. Particularly, depression and concentration became less frequent, while weight change significantly increased after introduction of dopamine agonists.

Conclusions We reported for the first time a 2-year prospective study on non-motor symptoms before and after starting therapy in newly diagnosed PD patients. Even if non-motor symptoms are very frequent in early stage, they tend to remain stable during the early phase of disease, being only few non-motor symptoms affected from dopaminergic therapy and, specifically, by the use of dopamine agonists.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by local (AOU policlinico Federico II) ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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