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Research paper
Non-motor symptoms in early Parkinson's disease: a 2-year follow-up study on previously untreated patients
  1. Roberto Erro1,
  2. Marina Picillo1,
  3. Carmine Vitale2,3,
  4. Marianna Amboni2,3,
  5. Marcello Moccia1,
  6. Katia Longo2,
  7. Autilia Cozzolino4,
  8. Flavio Giordano4,
  9. Anna De Rosa1,
  10. Giuseppe De Michele1,
  11. Maria Teresa Pellecchia4,
  12. 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}


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.

  • Non-motor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • dopaminergic treatment
  • de novo PD
  • dementia
  • GAIT
  • movement disorders
  • neuropharmacology
  • neuropsychology
  • cognition
  • behavioural disorder

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  • 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.