Akathisia in idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Neurology. 1987 Mar;37(3):477-81. doi: 10.1212/wnl.37.3.477.


Akathisia is a little-studied symptom of Parkinson's disease. Interviews of 100 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease indicated that 68% periodically experienced the need to move and inability to remain still, usually because of well-defined causes such as parkinsonism and sensory complaints. Twenty-six patients could not explain the inability to remain still, a state of true akathisia. This disputes the common belief that akathisia represents simply the need to move for relief of discomfort imposed by rigidity or lack of movement, and emphasizes the need to distinguish between true akathisia and other, more common causes for the need to move experienced by parkinsonian patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Agitation / drug therapy
  • Psychomotor Agitation / physiopathology*
  • Sensation


  • Levodopa