Clinical features and varieties of non-motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease: a Japanese multicenter study

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Jan;19(1):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2012.08.004. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


Objective: This multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the clinical features and varieties of non-motor fluctuation in Parkinson's disease (PD).

Methods: To identify motor and non-motor fluctuation, we employed the wearing-off questionnaire of 19 symptoms (WOQ-19) in 464 PD patients. We compared the frequency of levodopa-related fluctuation as identified by the WOQ-19 with recognition by neurologists. We compared patients with both motor and non-motor fluctuations with those who only had motor fluctuations. Non-motor fluctuations were separated into psychiatric, autonomic, and sensory categories for further analysis.

Results: The patients' average age was 70.8 ± 8.4 years (mean ± SD) and disease duration was 6.6 ± 5.0 years. The frequency of motor fluctuations was 69% and for non-motor fluctuation 40%. Fifty-three percent of patients with motor fluctuations also had non-motor fluctuations, whereas 93% of patients with non-motor fluctuations also had motor fluctuations. The WOQ-19 showed a sensitivity of 82% but a specificity of only 40%. The patients with both non-motor and motor fluctuations exhibited more severe motor symptoms, more non-motor symptoms and higher levodopa daily doses (p < 0.05). Patients had significantly higher fluctuation rates if they had psychiatric (49%) and sensory (45%) symptoms than patients with autonomic symptoms (32%, p < 0.01). Forty-eight percent of patients with non-motor fluctuations exhibited more than one type of non-motor fluctuation.

Conclusion: Forty percent of PD patients presented with non-motor fluctuations, and almost half of these exhibited more than one type. Appropriate recognition of levodopa-related fluctuations, both motor and non-motor, can lead to treatment modifications in PD patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asians
  • Cross-Sectional Studies / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards


  • Levodopa