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Rhinorrhea: A common nondopaminergic feature of Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Kelvin L. Chou MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    • University of Michigan Medical School, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, SPC 5316, 1914 Taubman Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5316
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  • Robert A. Koeppe PhD,

    1. Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Nicolaas I. Bohnen MD, PhD

    1. Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    3. Neurology Service and GRECC, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report. Full financial disclosures and author roles can be found in the online version of this article.

Abstract

We compared the frequency of rhinorrhea between 34 Parkinson's disease (PD) subjects and 15 normal controls (NC) and explored relationships between rhinorrhea and clinical functions, and degree of nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation using [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ) brain positron emission tomography imaging. Sixty-eight percent (23 of 34) of PD subjects reported rhinorrhea of any cause compared with 27% (4 of 15) of NC (χ2 = 7.07, P = 0.008). Rhinorrhea frequency remained higher in the PD group after excluding possible rhinitic etiologies: 35% (12 of 34) of PD versus 7% (1 of 15) of NC (χ2 = 4.38, P = 0.04). There were no differences in demographics, nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation, and clinical motor or nonmotor variables between PD subjects with and without rhinorrhea, except that more PD subjects with rhinorrhea complained of lightheadedness (52% vs. 9%, χ2 = 5.85, P = 0.02). Rhinorrhea is a common nondopaminergic feature of PD, unrelated to olfactory or motor deficits. Further investigations are needed to determine if rhinorrhea correlates with sympathetic denervation or other autonomic symptoms in PD. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society

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