We performed a multicenter survey using a semistructured interview in 1,072 consecutive patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) enrolled during 12 months in 55 Italian centers to assess the prevalence of nonmotor symptoms (NMSs), their association with cognitive impairment, and the impact on patients' quality of life (QoL). We found that 98.6% of patients with PD reported the presence of NMSs. The most common were as follows: fatigue (58%), anxiety (56%), leg pain (38%), insomnia (37%), urgency and nocturia (35%), drooling of saliva and difficulties in maintaining concentration (31%). The mean number of NMS per patient was 7.8 (range, 0-32). NMS in the psychiatric domain were the most frequent (67%). Frequency of NMS increased along with the disease duration and severity. Patients with cognitive impairment reported more frequently apathy, attention/memory deficit, and psychiatric symptoms. Apathy was the symptom associated with worse PDQ-39 score but also presence of fatigue, attention/memory, and psychiatric symptoms had a negative impact on QoL. These findings further support a key role for NMS in the clinical frame of PD and the need to address them specifically in clinical trials using dedicated scales.
2009 Movement Disorder Society.