Motor symptoms may be present years before Parkinson disease diagnosis

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Individuals with prodromal or unrecognized Parkinson disease may experience motor symptoms up to 3 years before being diagnosed, according to a study in JAMA Neurology.

In this case-control study, a random subsample of 6674 Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age answered survey questions pertaining to dexterity, eating, mobility, mood, pain, sleep, speech, strength, and vision. The median age groups were 75 to 79 years and 80 to 84 years.

In the 3 years before a diagnosis, participants with prodromal Parkinson disease were more likely to report that they could not do the following:
-Walk 6 blocks
-Stand independently from a kneeling position
-Lift a heavy object above one’s head

Participants with prodromal Parkinson disease were also more likely to report imbalance 3 years prior to diagnosis.

Miller-Patterson C, Hsu JY, Willis AW, et al. Functional Impairment in Individuals With Prodromal or Unrecognized Parkinson Disease. JAMA Neurol. 2022;doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.4621