Dizziness in Patients With Early Stages of Parkinson's Disease: Prevalence, Clinical Characteristics and Implications

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2020 May;20(5):443-447. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13894. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Abstract

Aim: The clinical features and implications of dizziness in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) remain little known. This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics of dizziness, and the association of dizziness with motor and non-motor symptoms in early stages of PD.

Methods: Demographics and clinical characteristics of patients with early PD (disease duration ≤5 years) were retrospectively assessed. The characteristics of dizziness were surveyed in each parkinsonian patient according to existence, frequency, duration and nature. Not only motor symptoms, but also non-motor scales for global cognition, anxiety, depression and fatigue were evaluated to identify risk factors of dizziness.

Results: Of a total of 80 patients with early PD, 37 (46.3%) had dizziness. The characteristics of dizziness included short duration (seconds to minutes) and frequent occurrence (several times in a day or a week). The most common type of dizziness was orthostatic (40.5%), followed by non-specific and disequilibrium type. Among many scales for motor and non-motor symptoms, dizzy patients with early PD showed lower scores of Montreal Cognitive representing global cognition than non-dizzy people. A lower Montreal Cognitive Assessment score was the only factor significantly related to dizziness in patients with early PD.

Conclusions: We found that dizziness frequently occurs in early parkinsonian patients. It is highly linked to low Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores in patients with early PD, inferring that dizziness might be a potential non-motor symptom associated with cognitive decline in PD. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 443-447.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; cognition; dizziness; early stage; risk factor.