Objective: Weight loss is reported frequently in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The objective of this study was to find the underlying factors of this phenomenon.
Participants and methods: Twenty-six L-dopa-treated patients with PD and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were assessed twice within a 1-year interval. Body weight, body fat mass, resting energy expenditure, physical activity, energy intake, thyroid hormones and cognitive function were investigated.
Results: Nineteen (73%) of the PD patients lost body weight, although energy intake and the time for rest increased. Weight loss was most marked in patients with more severe PD symptoms and in whom cognitive function had decreased. Multiple regression analyses showed that determinants for weight loss were female gender, age and low physical activity.
Conclusion: Weight loss was common in PD patients, in spite of the increased energy intake and was most obvious in patients with increased PD symptoms and decreased cognitive function.