The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize studies that describe the course of Parkinson's disease (PD) and to identify factors that predict change in motor impairment, disability, and quality of life. A literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science limited to the English, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch language. Reports were selected if the study involved subjects with PD, the outcome measures described impairment, disability, or quality of life and follow-up was at least 6 months. All included studies were scored for methodological quality. Data were extracted and summarized in a best evidence synthesis. We screened 1,535 titles and abstracts, of which 27 fulfilled our inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis to quantitatively aggregate progression scores of motor impairment and disability was not possible because of the wide variety of outcome measures used and the heterogeneous study populations. Limited evidence is found for lower UPDRS-ME at baseline, dementia and SE < 70% as prognostic factors for future motor impairment. There is strong evidence for higher age at onset and higher PIGD-score; and limited evidence for higher bradykinesia-score, non-tremor dominant subtype, symmetrical disease at baseline, and depression as prognostic factors for progression of disability. Prognostic factors were identified for impairment and disability. The literature on prognosis in PD is not fulfilling the high methodological standards applied nowadays. There is a need for prospective cohorts of PD patients assembled at a common early point in the disease with long time follow-up.
2007 Movement Disorder Society