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How to Improve the Quality of Life of People with Parkinsonism?

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

Parkinsonism is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system characterized pathologically by degeneration of dopamine neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta. Consequently, striatal dopamine levels decrease resulting in classical motor signs (tremor, rigidity, akinesia, postural impairment). Recently, pathological changes have been described also in limbic and prefrontal cortices which may explain non-motor parkinsonian symptoms (dementia, depression). As yet there has been no study in Slovenia on how various factors influence quality of life (QoL) in Parkinsonian patients. 71 patients were asked to assess quality of their life on a visual analogue scale and with EQ-5D instrument. According to the results on the VAS they were divided into two groups. The following parameters were studied in all patients: motor disability, impairment in daily activities, cognitive abilities, depression and self-assessment of their health state. Depression was assessed in carers. Our results show that depression and impairment in daily activities, but not motor or cognitive disability, influence QoL in patients with parkinsonism. We propose that clinical examination of the patients includes not only motor assessment but also assessment of mood in patients and occasionally carers. Improvement in daily activities can be reached with a multidisciplinary team management of the patient.

Authors:
Rečnik Gregor, Avberšek Andreja

Keywords:
Parkinsonian disorders, quality of life, activities of daily living, movement disorders, depression, questionnaires

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2003; 42: 3–16.

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