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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • drooling;
  • dysphagia;
  • hypersialorrhea;
  • levodopa

Abstract

Hypersialorrhea is a common phenomenon in Parkinson disease (PD). The objective of this study was to determine whether patients with PD had an abnormally increased production of saliva and whether the production of saliva could be associated to factors related to either the disease characteristics or to its treatment. A total of 83 patients with PD and 55 control subjects participated in this study. Because of the age difference between the two groups, comparisons were made on a ±2-year age-matched sample of 44 PD patients and 44 control subjects. PD patients produced significantly less saliva than control subjects. Correlations were obtained with the 83 PD patients between unstimulated salivary flow and patients characteristics. When controlling for age, sex, and Hoehn and Yahr scale, decreased production of saliva correlated significantly with the dose of levodopa and the symptoms of xerostomia. When controlling for medications, there was no relationship between the production of saliva and the evolution of the disease. This study shows that patients with PD produce less saliva than normal. Factors influencing the production of saliva include the use of levodopa and female gender. Our results may have implications for the treatment of drooling in PD. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society