Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Nigerian patients with Parkinson's disease


O. Baiyewu, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

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Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in Parkinson's disease and may precede onset of motor symptoms. They are also known to increase caregiver's burden.


The aim of this study was to assess neuropsychiatric symptoms in a cohort of Nigerian patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and compare with systemic hypertension.


Fifty patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were compared with fifty demographically matched controls with systemic hypertension. Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease was based on the United Kingdom Parkinson Disease Society (UKPDS) Brain Bank Clinical diagnostic Criteria. Diagnosis of hypertension was based on recorded blood pressure of ≥140/90 mmHg on two different occasions. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) was applied to caregivers of both patients and controls.


There were significant differences in frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients and controls (< 0.05). Significant differences were found in mean distress scores for some neuropsychiatric symptoms and the total mean distress score. In all cases, patients with Parkinson's disease had higher scores when compared with controls. Severity of motor symptoms, as measured by the UKPDS, correlated with total NPI severity scores (= 0.000).


Neuropsychiatric symptoms occur more frequently in Parkinson's disease than matched controls, and the presence of these symptoms is associated with caregivers' distress. There is a need for early and adequate treatment for motor and behavioural symptoms of Parkinson's disease.