The Numerous Needs for Parkinson Disease: Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD


The consultant in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic discussed the mounting number of unmet needs for patients with Parkinson disease.

"The patient with Parkinson disease needs to make their neurologist aware, because the old generation of neurologists would look at you, see your tremor or stiffness, prescribe medications, and say, ‘see you later.’ The new wave is making sure that our patients are completely, holistically, totally listened to, and see what the main symptoms are.”

Parkinson disease (PD) has been characterized by both the motor and non-motor complications patients with the disease face on the daily. All persons with PD do not develop the same symptoms, and any symptoms that do develop may change over time as the disease progresses. The primary symptoms most commonly associated with PD are tremor, rigidity or stiffness, slow movement/loss of movement, and balance/walking problems.

Research has identified a number of non-motor symptoms of PD that might be experienced up to 10 years before the motor symptoms appear. They include constipation, loss of olfaction, sleep disorders, pain, seborrhea, fatigue, and depression. Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD, compares the non-motor symptoms to a surrounding cast of characters in a movie, noting that although they are not the protagonist, they all play a significant role.

Savica, a consultant in the department of neurology at Mayo Clinic, feels as though communication between patients with PD and their neurologist is crucial to try to alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing. He recently sat down with NeurologyLive to provide an overall background on the multitude of quality of life issues this patient group faces and which research efforts are needed to address these symptoms.

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