Weight loss is a common problem in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the causative mechanisms behind this weight loss are unclear. We compared 26 PD patients with sex and age matched healthy controls. Examinations were repeated at baseline, after one and after two years. Body fat mass was measured by Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Seventy three per cent of the PD patients lost body weight. Loss of body fat mass constituted a considerable part of the loss of body weight. In the patients who lost weight, serum leptin levels were lower than in those who did not lose weight. The relationship between low body fat mass and low leptin levels seems to be relevant, at least for female PD patients. It is reasonable to believe that low leptin levels in these patients could be secondary to the decreased body fat mass.
(c) 2009 Movement Disorder Society.