Does fatigue in Parkinson’s disease correlate with autonomic nervous system dysfunction?
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Despite its negative impact on quality of life, fatigue in Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains an under-recognized issue and the underlying pathology is undetermined.
To contribute at understanding the pathogenesis of fatigue in a naturalistic cohort of cognitively intact PD patients.
In a Caucasian population of PD patients (n = 27), we evaluated to what extent fatigue (quantified as PFS-16 score) is associated with PD duration and with autonomic dysfunction, studied by both MIBG scintigraphy and autonomic nervous system testing. The latter included the head-up tilt test, Valsalva maneuver, deep breathing, and handgrip tests.
PFS-16 score correlated with disease duration (R = 0.57, p = 0.002). Fatigue showed a clear correlation with deep breathing test (R = − 0.53, p = 0.004) but not with the MIBG H/M ratios.
Our data are consistent with a multifactorial pathogenesis of fatigue and with effects of dopamine depletion in PD-related fatigue; on the other hand, our findings do not support a role for sympathetic denervation in PD-related fatigue.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Fatigue Autonomic nervous system Myocardial scintigraphy
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by local ethics committee and informed consent was provided by all subjects.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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