Impact of Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease:
A PMD Alliance Study

For most of us, it’s an easy decision to run to the supermarket if we’re out of milk. It doesn’t require planning or too much forethought. We grab the keys and go. Or when it comes to making plans with family or friends to grab a bite to eat or see a movie; we text or call to coordinate schedules and then meet up accordingly. However, for the over one million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their care partners, deciding to leave the house for a few minutes or take part in daily life activities can be a tough decision. The challenge does not lie in managing the common motor symptoms of PD, which typically include slowness of movement, rigidity or tremor. These symptoms can often be well controlled with a treatment plan that includes medication, treatments and exercise. Rather, it is the lesser known non-movement symptoms that are harder to manage and create challenges in every day living.


To understand the impact of non-movement symptoms, PMD Alliance surveyed some members of our community, including people with PD and care partners, adult children and other members of the Movement Disorder Support & Care Network Ecosystem™.

We were interested to learn about understand how symptoms that are harder to see — such as sleep problems, anxiety, depression, hallucinations or delusions — impact their lives and quality of life.

The results were published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (2019:15)

90% of the respondents (care partners and PwP) reported having experience with non-motor symptoms.

Non-motor symptoms had some impact on quality of life for 84% of the respondents including people with PD and care partners.

Care partners were more likely than PwP to report that non-motor symptoms were more challenging than motor symptoms.