May 9, 2022

Relationship between risk and protective factors and clinical features of Parkinson’s disease

D Belvisi et al, 2022. Relationship between risk and protective factors and clinical features of Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism Related Disorders, published online.


Background: Non-genetic risk factors play a relevant role in Parkinson’s disease (PD) development but the relationship between these factors and PD clinical features is unknown.

Objective: The aim of the present multicenter study was to investigate possible relationship between risk factors and clinical motor and non-motor features in a large sample of PD patients.

Methods: Six hundred ninety-four patients with PD participated. Patients underwent a clinical evaluation assessing motor symptoms and motor complications as well as non-motor symptoms severity. Information regarding pharmacological treatment was also collected. Risk and protective factors were previously identified in the present population and included coffee consumption, cigarette smoking, and physical activity as protective factors and a family history of PD, dyspepsia, exposure to toxic agents and general anesthesia as risk factors. Multiple regression models were used to investigate the relationship between risk factors and clinical variables.

Results: Coffee consumption predicted older age at onset (B: 0.527; CI: 0.195; 0.858) and milder motor symptom severity (B: 1.383; CI: 2.646; -0.121). Non-motor symptom severity was more severe in patients with dyspepsia before PD (B: 13.601; CI 5.019; 22.182) and milder in patients who performed physical activity before PD (B: 11.355; CI: 16.443; -6.266). We found no relationship between risk factors and motor complications, motor subtype and pharmacological treatment.

Conclusions: Risk and protective factors of PD development may influence PD clinical features. This finding may represent the first step in the development of new preventive approaches able to delay disease onset and mitigate the extent of clinical manifestations.

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