Parkinson's disease: clinical features and diagnosis

By Annett Blochberger, DipClinPharm, MRPharmS, and Shelley Jones, DipClinPharm, MRPharmS

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Tremor, bradykinesia, hypokinesia and rigidity are well known features of Parkinson’s disease, but patients also experience troublesome non-motor symptoms, such as depression, pain and insomnia 

Summary

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that results from the loss of dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra. The cause of this neuronal damage remains largely unknown, but it is believed to be associated with both genetic and environmental factors.


PD is characterised by motor and non-motor symptoms. The main motor features are rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia and hypokinesia. Non-motor symptoms include: neuropsychiatric conditions (eg, dementia, depression and hallucinations); autonomic disturbances (eg, constipation, postural hypotension); sleep disorders; and sensory symptoms (such as pain).

 

Annett Blochberger is lead pharmacist for neurosciences at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and Shelley Jones is clinical pharmacy team leader for neurosciences at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

E: [email protected]

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11090776

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