The impact of dyskinesias and motor fluctuations on quality of life (QOL) at various stages in the course of Parkinson's disease (PD) is not well understood. In 301 subjects with early PD enrolled in a clinical trial (CALM-PD), we quantified the impact of motor complications on QOL and investigated how this changes over time. We also compared QOL related to demographic and treatment characteristics. The presence of dyskinesias was associated with visual analogue scale (VAS) scores 3.0 of 100 points higher (better) than those without dyskinesias in years 1 to 2, even when adjusting for Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor scores. The positive association between dyskinesias and QOL scores was more marked in older patients. In years 3 to 4, dyskinesias no longer had a significant relationship with QOL. Younger subjects had higher VAS scores. Gender, motor fluctuations, and treatment regimen had no significant association with QOL, although a trend was found toward a small negative effect of motor fluctuations on QOL. We conclude that motor complications that occur within the first 4 years of treatment of PD do not have a significant negative effect on quality of life as measured by a visual analogue scale for most patients.
Copyright 2003 Movement Disorder Society