Excessive buccal saliva in patients with Parkinson's disease of the French COPARK cohort

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2020 Dec;127(12):1607-1617. doi: 10.1007/s00702-020-02249-0. Epub 2020 Sep 2.


We describe excessive buccal saliva (EBS) prevalence in patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and controls of the COPARK study, its changes between "ON" and OFF" conditions and over time, its impact on Health-related Quality of life (HRQoL), and factors associated with this condition. We studied 671 ambulatory PD patients and 177 age/sex-matched controls. We defined "sialorrhea" as UPDRS item #6 (salivation) = 1 or 2; and "drooling" as item #6 = 3 or 4. SCOPA-Aut drooling score (item #2) was also available in a subset (45%) of the cohort. HRQoL was assessed by the PDQ-39 and SF-36 scales. Twenty-four months' follow-up data were available in 401/671 patients. EBS as assessed by UPDRS was present in 38% of PD patients in the "ON" condition ("Sialorrhea": 35%; "drooling": 3%). There were also more PD patients reporting "drooling" than controls according to the SCOPA-Aut (49% vs 19%, p < 0.01). UPDRS salivation score was worse in the "OFF" vs "ON" condition in PD patients with motor fluctuations (0.90 ± 0.94 vs 0.54 ± 0.79, p < 0.01). UPDRS salivation score worsened after ~ 24 months of follow-up (0.47 ± 0.70 vs 0.64 ± 0.81, p < 0.01). Worse PDQ-39 scores were observed in PD patients with EBS in bivariate but not in multivariate analyses. EBS was directly related to PD duration and severity, male gender, dysphagia, hypomimia, and autonomic dysfunction (logistic regression). EBS was more frequent in PD patients than controls, worsened in the "OFF" condition and after ~ 24 months of follow-up, moderately affected HRQoL, and was correlated with indices of bradykinesia, dysphagia, and autonomic dysfunction.

Keywords: Drooling; Excessive buccal saliva; Health-related quality of life; Non-motor symptoms; Parkinson’s disease; Saliva; Sialorrhea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Saliva
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sialorrhea* / epidemiology
  • Sialorrhea* / etiology