Gender differences in Parkinson's disease symptom profile

Acta Neurol Scand. 2000 Jul;102(1):37-43. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2000.102001037.x.


Gender symptom differences were studied in 948 subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) using a questionnaire covering the most common symptoms associated with PD at debut (SP-1) and at present (SP-2). The symptoms most frequently reported by both genders were: tremor, fumblingness, writing problems, rigidity and fatigue. At SP-1 females reported neck-pain and low back pain more frequently than males. At SP-2 subjects reported an increased number of symptoms. The following symptoms were more frequent among males than females: writing difficulties, fumblingness, gait problems, speech problems, increased flow of saliva, lack of initiative. Sleep problems were common in both sexes with inability to turn in bed and calf muscle cramps in a high percentage. A majority of female subjects find their symptoms (e.g. depression) constantly distressing. Although depression is not one of primary reported symptoms (36%) attention is called for, due to the problem with compliance to treatment regimes. About 30% do not report having tremor and rigidity. This study indicates the usefulness of a symptom profile instrument capable of capturing the many symptoms involved in PD. Such an instrument could be used to detect apparent mistakes in medication and thereby increase the function and quality of life for the individual.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Cramp / etiology
  • Muscle Cramp / psychology
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology
  • Stress, Physiological / psychology
  • Tremor / etiology
  • Tremor / psychology