Progression and prognostic factors of motor impairment, disability and quality of life in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease


  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report. Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.



To determine progression and prognostic factors of progression rate of motor impairment, disability, and quality of life (QoL) in patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease.


A group of 126 patients with newly diagnosed PD recruited from outpatient clinics participated in this 3-year prospective cohort study. Motor impairment was rated with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Motor-Examination. Disability was rated using the Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale, the AMC Linear Disability Score. QoL was assessed with the Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life questionnaire. Linear mixed model analyses were conducted to identify determinants of progression rate of motor impairment, disability, and poor QoL.


Motor impairment progressed with 3 points per year. There was a slight progression of disability and QoL during 3 years of follow-up. Female sex was a prognostic factor for slower progression of motor impairment and QoL. Older age at onset showed to prognosticate faster progression of disability and impaired QoL. Furthermore, independent of follow-up time, older age at onset was associated with worse motor impairment; nondopaminergic reactive symptoms (Axial impairment) were associated with more disability and poorer QoL; comorbidity showed relation with disability and QoL but to a lesser extent; self-reported mood symptoms were associated with poorer QoL; and disease duration correlated with motor impairment.


Motor impairment, disability, and QoL of newly diagnosed Parkinson patients show progression in the first 3 years. Older age at onset predicts worse progression rate of disability and impaired QoL over time. Female sex predicts slower progression of motor impairment and less decline of QoL. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society