In a nutshell
This study investigated whether different seasons (summer and winter) affect symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. Researchers suggested that certain symptoms get worse in the winter months when compared to the summer months.
Brain cells are affected in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The abilities controlled by these cells are lost. This is associated with symptoms such as abnormal movements and balance. These patients have a different rate for performing daily activities when compared to healthy people. There is a decreased activity in the morning that extends to the rest of the day. This is associated with the loss of internal systems that regulate our activity during the day. This will cause a change in blood pressure and heart rate.
Moreover, these changes have also been seen in different seasons. Symptoms improve when the climate is warmer in summer months and get worse in winter (when there is less daylight). However, it is still not clear how different seasons might affect the symptoms of patients with PD.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 372 patients. Patients were assigned to different groups according to the time when they were assessed. Group 1 assessed between November and February (107), group 2 between March and June (107), group 3 between June and October (158).
There was a significant difference in symptoms between winter and summer months. The differences were mainly in heart symptoms and perceptual problems (the way a person is able to understand what is around them).
The bottom line
This study concluded that seasons affect the symptoms of patients with PD, suggesting an abnormal function of the body’s master clock.
The fine print
This study did not follow the same patients during the winter and summer months. This might influence the results. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Parkinsonism & related disorders
Feb 28, 2019
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