Autonomic dysfunction according to disease progression in Parkinson's disease

Jung Bin Kim, Byung Jo Kim, Seong Beom Koh, Kun Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although autonomic dysfunction is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), few data are available regarding its pattern and quantitative severity with increasing Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage. We conducted autonomic function tests to quantify autonomic dysfunction in PD patients and to elucidate its possible relationship with disease progression. Methods: We performed autonomic function tests including Valsalva ratio, heart rate response to deep breathing, quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test, and head-up tilt test in 66 patients with PD. We compared clinical characteristics and results of autonomic function tests between stages, and correlated the proportion of abnormal patients in each test with their H&Y stage. In addition, logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the contribution of increasing H&Y stage to impairments of each domain of the autonomic nervous system. Results: We found that PD patients with higher disease stage tended to have impairments in cardiovagal and sudomotor domains of the autonomic nervous system. Cardiovagal function was the domain most influenced by disease progression. Our findings also demonstrated that the pattern of sudomotor impairment in PD was similar to that in patients with peripheral autonomic neuropathy. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that autonomic dysfunction is not only common in early stage PD but it increases in severity with increasing disease stage. Given that the patterns of sudomotor impairments in PD are similar to those in peripheral neuropathy, our data support a previous hypothesis that pathophysiology of PD involves both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic dysfunction
  • Hoehn & Yahr stage
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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