Guideline issued for treating sleep, constipation, sexual problems in Parkinson's disease

March 15, 2010

The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline recommending the most effective treatments to help people with Parkinson's disease who experience sleep, constipation, and sexual problems, which are common but often underrecognized symptoms. The guideline is published in the March 16, 2010, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"While the main symptom of is movement problems, there are many other symptoms to be aware of, including , constipation, and problems with urination and ," said lead guideline author Theresa A. Zesiewicz, MD, with the University of South Florida in Tampa and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "Without treatment, these symptoms can cause as much pain and discomfort as movement problems and greatly affect daily routines and quality of life."

often affect people with Parkinson's disease. In men with Parkinson's, erectile dysfunction is common. According to the guideline, the drug sildenafil citrate may improve erectile dysfunction. The guideline also found the drug isosmotic macrogol may improve constipation in people with Parkinson's disease.

For problems with excessive , the guideline recommends that doctors consider the drug modafinil to help people feel more awake. However, it's important to note that one study showed people taking modafinil had a false sense of alertness. This may pose a safety risk for activities such as driving. The guideline also found the drug methylphenidate may help with .

The guideline mentions two tests to help identify nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. One is the NMSQuest rating scale. The other is the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The original UPDRS mainly tests for movement problems. Doctors use the updated version of the UPDRS to test for all Parkinson's symptoms, including those unrelated to movements. People with Parkinson's disease should talk to their doctor about whether these tests may be helpful.

"More research is needed into these symptoms of Parkinson's disease since there are still a lot of unknown answers as to what causes these symptoms and how they can best be treated to improve lives," said Zesiewicz.

Explore further: Worried about family or friends falling? New guideline identifies those most at risk

Related Stories

Family history of melanoma linked to Parkinson's disease

February 16, 2009

People with a family history of melanoma may have a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in ...

AAN guideline evaluates treatments for muscle cramps

February 22, 2010

A new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology recommends that the drug quinine, although effective, should be avoided for treatment of routine muscle cramps due to uncommon but serious side effects. The guideline ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.