Constipation Predicts Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease: Results from the COPPADIS Cohort at 2-Year Follow-up and Comparison with a Control Group

J Parkinsons Dis. 2022;12(1):315-331. doi: 10.3233/JPD-212868.


Background: Constipation has been linked to cognitive impairment development in Parkinson's disease (PD).

Objective: Our aim was to analyze cognitive changes observed in PD patients and controls from a Spanish cohort with regards to the presence or not of constipation.

Methods: PD patients and controls recruited from 35 centers of Spain from the COPPADIS cohort from January 2016 to November 2017 were followed-up during 2 years. The change in cognitive status from baseline (V0) to 2-year follow-up was assessed with the PD-CRS (Parkinson's Disease Cognitive Rating Scale). Subjects with a score ≥1 on item 21 of the NMSS (Non-Motor Symptoms Scale) at baseline (V0) were considered as "with constipation". Regression analyses were applied for determining the contribution of constipation in cognitive changes.

Results: At V0, 39.7% (198/499) of PD patients presented constipation compared to 11.4% of controls (14/123) (p < 0.0001). No change was observed in cognitive status (PD-CRS total score) neither in controls without constipation (from 100.24±13.72 to 100.27±13.68; p = 0.971) and with constipation (from 94.71±10.96 to 93.93±13.03; p = 0.615). The PD-CRS total score decreased significantly in PD patients with constipation (from 89.14±15.36 to 85.97±18.09; p < 0.0001; Coehn's effect = -0.35) compared to patients without constipation (from 93.92±15.58 to 93.14±17.52; p = 0.250) (p = 0.018). In PD patients, to suffer from constipation at V0 was associated with a decrease in the PD-CRS total score from V0 to V2 (β= -0.1; 95% CI, -4.36 - -0.27; p = 0.026) and having cognitive impairment at V2 (OR = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.01 - 3.17; p = 0.045).

Conclusion: Constipation is associated with cognitive decline in PD patients but not in controls.

Keywords: Cognition; Parkinson’s disease; constipation; impairment; non-motor symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / complications
  • Constipation / complications
  • Control Groups
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / psychology