Parkinson's disease in the older patient

Clin Med (Lond). 2016 Aug;16(4):376-8. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.16-4-376.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most commonly encountered neurodegenerative condition in clinical practice and probably offers a significantly greater variety of challenges than the management of Alzheimer's disease. As with most neurodegenerative diseases, age represents the leading risk factor for the development of PD. Current estimates would suggest that PD affects 1-2% of people over the age of 65 years and each decade sees an increasing number of cases. In addition, it is well recognised that most industrialised nations have an increasing proportion of individuals living longer. For example, recent data from Australia indicates that the prevalence of PD is anticipated to rise by 80% over the next 20 years and as such, we must all strive towards improving our clinical management of this common condition. In this article, we will attempt to highlight the issues that should be actively sought out and, where possible, addressed. We hope that an improved level of understanding will lead to better outcomes in older patients with PD.

Keywords: Non-motor symptoms of PD; PD dementia; PD psychosis; care-giver burden; holistic care; minimal cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Urologic Diseases