Objectives: Fatigue is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), causing serious negative effects on quality of life. Despite its clinical importance, the nature of fatigue in PD is poorly understood because its underlying neurobiology is unknown. Fatigue can be more complicated in advanced PD because of its chronicity. In order to find features that are innate to fatigue in PD, it would be useful to conduct a study looking at de novo PD. Assessing fatigue in de novo patients allows excluding at least one confounding factor.
Methods: We prospectively investigated 87 drug-naïve PD patients. Thirty-nine patients (44.8%) were found to have fatigue around the time of diagnosis of PD.
Results: We found that depression and difficulties with activities of daily living were independent risk factors for fatigue; however, motor dysfunction was not related. Clinically meaningful responses to dopaminergic medication were observed.
Discussion: Our study determined that fatigue occurs in the early stages of PD. It can inform clinical decision-making to significantly benefit PD patients with fatigue.
Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.