NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

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

Thursday March 18, 2010

AAN

St. Paul, MN - ST. PAUL, Minn. – 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 Parkinson's disease is movement problems, there are many other symptoms to be aware of, including sleep disorders, constipation, and problems with urination and sexual function," 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."

Sexual problems 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 daytime sleepiness, 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 fatigue.

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.

Recent News

Aug 24 - Study Details Process Involved in Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 20 - Two proteins work together to help cells eliminate trash; Parkinson's may result
Aug 17 - Scientists visualize critical part of basal ganglia pathways
Aug 17 - VA benefits office seeks all vets exposed to Agent Orange
Aug 12 - New, rapid dementia screening tool rivals 'gold standard' clinical evaluations
Aug 11 - Strolling in Seaside, fighting Parkinson's
Aug 11 - Scientists probing molecular origins of Parkinson's disease highlight two proteins
Aug 11 - Could Chocolate Help To Ease Parkinson’s Disease?
Aug 10 - Take 2: Why Seattle should try to replicate Spokane’s 3-on-3 Hoopfest success
Aug 10 - Book Review: A voyage into Parkinson’s disease, led by patient and journalist
Aug 10 - Parkinson's could be slowed with existing drug
Aug 7 - Opinion: Why modern life is making dementia in your 40s more likely
Aug 3 - Software Turns Smartphones into Tools for Medical Research
Jul 31 - Innovative Technology Using Dragonflies Might Offer Insights Into Human Brain Function
Jul 27 - Low-dose lithium reduces side effects from most common treatment for Parkinson's disease
Jul 27 - Opinion: Parkinson's disease creating class of workers who fear for their jobs: PennLive letters
Jul 22 - Parkinson's: Diabetes drug may offer clue to treatment
Jul 19 - Alzheimer's Drugs in the Works Might Treat Other Diseases, Too
Jul 17 - Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalaria drugs
Jul 16 - Virtual research studies feasible