Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by motor dysfunction (parkinsonism) and several non-motor features. Dysautonomia is a significant non-motor feature as well as a neuropsychiatric symptom. Autonomic dysfunction can occur even in the early stages of PD, often preceding the onset of the classic motor symptoms of PD. The patterns of autonomic features in PD are different from other parkinsonian disorders. Detection of autonomic dysfunction may therefore be helpful in diagnosing PD in the early or pre-motor stages, and/or in differentiating it from other parkinsonian disorders, such as multiple system atrophy and progressive supuranuclear palsy. The aim of this review is to describe aspects of autonomic dysfunction, including symptoms, assessment and pathophysiology, resulting from autonomic impairment in PD and other parkinsonian syndromes.
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