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Medication Nonadherence Grows With Nonmotor Symptoms of Parkinson Disease

December 10, 2020

Nonmoter symptoms are associated with medication nonadherence in patients with Parkinson disease, confirmed a study published in Frontiers in Neurology. 

“Nonadherence to medication is a common and serious issue in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease. Among others, distinct nonmotor symptoms were found to be associated with nonadherence in Parkinson's disease,” researchers wrote. “Here, we aimed to confirm the association between nonmotor symptoms and adherence.” 

The observational study included 137 people with Parkinson disease. Researchers collected a slew of information for each patient, including data from the Movement Disorder Society-sponsored Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS III) for motor function, Hoehn and Yahr stage, levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD), Beck Depression Inventory, Nonmotor Symptoms Questionnaire (NMSQ), and the Stendal Adherence To Medication Score. 

“In line with earlier studies in Parkinson disease, our multivariable analyses confirmed that depression, poor motor function (MDS-UPDRS III), lower education level, and higher LEDD are associated with nonadherence to medication,” researchers reported. 

The number of nonmotor symptoms increased with the degree of nonadherence, the study found. 

In line with the primary study this investigation sought to confirm (Straka I, Minar M, Skorvanek M, et al. Adherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with Parkinson's disease taking three and more daily doses of medication. Frontiers in Neurology. 2019;10:799), researchers also found an association between medication adherence and overall burden of nonmotor symptoms as reflected on the NMSQ, but they considered it a weak one. 

“Our study, in principle, confirms the association between nonmotor symptom burden and nonadherence in Parkinson disease. However, in contrast to other clinical factors, the relevance of NMSQ in terms of nonadherence is low,” researchers concluded. “More studies with larger sample sizes are necessary to explore the impact of distinct nonmoter symptoms on adherence.”

Jolynn Tumolo


Mendorf S, Witte OW, Zipprich H, Prell T. Association Between Nonmotor Symptoms and Nonadherence to Medication in Parkinson's Disease. Front Neurol. 2020;11:551696. Published 2020 Oct 19. doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.551696

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