In a nutshell
This study explored the timing of progression of Parkinson’s disease using the Hoehn and Yahr scale. They concluded that the transition time between disease stages a useful way to measure disease progression.
The progression of Parkinson’s symptoms varies between people. The Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) scale is the most commonly used scale to measure progression of motor symptoms. Each stage of the H&Y scale is associated with different symptoms. Analyzing the time it takes to progress from one stage to the next could allow researchers to identify factors linked to quicker progression.
Methods & findings
This study evaluated the average progression time of symptoms among PD patients in an attempt to better define the disease course, and possibly identify factors associated with the transition from one stage to the next. The study included data from 695 patients. For all patients, H&Y scores were measured during an on-phase of treatment (when the patient is responding well to treatment). Patients who were in Stages 1 or 2 at the start of the study had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease an average of 0.3 years prior. Patients who were in stages 4–5 had been diagnosed an average of 5.8 years prior.
The average transition time from stage 1 to 2 was 20 months. The average transition time was from stage 2 to 2.5 was the longest, at 62 months. Transition time from stage 2.5 to 3 averaged 25 months. Transition time from stage 3 to 4 was 24 months, and 25 months for the transition from stage 4 to 5.
Patients who were above 72 years old were 4.58 times more likely to progress to stage 2.5 compared to patients below 59 years old. Patients who had Parkinson’s longer had quicker transition times from stage 2 to 2.5 and stage 3 to 4. There were no significant differences in transition times based on gender.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that transition times between disease stages could be useful in measuring disease progression and when designing treatment plans for individual patients.
The fine print
This majority of patients in this study were of Chinese ethnicity and therefore this data may not correlate with other ethnicities.
Published By :
Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Apr 30, 2010
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