Oro-buccal Symptoms (Dysphagia, Dysarthria, and Sialorrhea) in Patients With Parkinson's Disease: Preliminary Analysis From the French COPARK Cohort

Eur J Neurol. 2012 Jan;19(1):28-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03402.x. Epub 2011 Apr 1.


Introduction: Abnormal oro-buccal functions including dysarthria, sialorrhea and dysphagia commonly affect patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of such oro-buccal symptoms at baseline in the first 419 patients with PD included in the COPARK cohort and to analyze their correlations with patients' demographics, clinical characteristics, and drugs consumption.

Methods: Patients were assessed using the Unified PD Rating Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the PDQ-39. Dysarthria, sialorrhea, and dysphagia were defined as UPDRS items 5, 6, or 7 ≥ 1.

Results: Dysarthria, sialorrhea, or dysphagia were present in 51%, 37%, or 18% out of the 419 patients, respectively. At least one of these symptom was present in 267/419 patients (65%), whilst a combination of symptoms was present in 136/419 (33%). Logistic regression showed that the presence of each of the three oro-buccal symptoms was significantly correlated with that of the two others. Other correlations included male gender, hallucinations, disease severity, levodopa use and lack of opiates consumption for dysarthria; disease severity, orthostatic hypotension and absence of antidepressants consumption for sialorrhea; female gender, motor fluctuations, and depressive symptoms for dysphagia. None of the three oro-buccal symptoms were associated with a reduced PDQ-39 score.

Conclusion: Oro-buccal symptoms were present in two of three patients with moderate PD, the presence of each symptoms being significantly correlated with that of the two others.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aphasia / epidemiology*
  • Aphasia / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dysarthria / epidemiology*
  • Dysarthria / etiology
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Prevalence
  • Sialorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Sialorrhea / etiology