Introduction: Abnormal oro-buccal functions including dysarthria, sialorrhea and dysphagia commonly affect patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of such oro-buccal symptoms at baseline in the first 419 patients with PD included in the COPARK cohort and to analyze their correlations with patients’ demographics, clinical characteristics, and drugs consumption.
Methods: Patients were assessed using the Unified PD Rating Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the PDQ-39. Dysarthria, sialorrhea, and dysphagia were defined as UPDRS items 5, 6, or 7 ≥ 1.
Results: Dysarthria, sialorrhea, or dysphagia were present in 51%, 37%, or 18% out of the 419 patients, respectively. At least one of these symptom was present in 267/419 patients (65%), whilst a combination of symptoms was present in 136/419 (33%). Logistic regression showed that the presence of each of the three oro-buccal symptoms was significantly correlated with that of the two others. Other correlations included male gender, hallucinations, disease severity, levodopa use and lack of opiates consumption for dysarthria; disease severity, orthostatic hypotension and absence of antidepressants consumption for sialorrhea; female gender, motor fluctuations, and depressive symptoms for dysphagia. None of the three oro-buccal symptoms were associated with a reduced PDQ-39 score.
Conclusion: Oro-buccal symptoms were present in two of three patients with moderate PD, the presence of each symptoms being significantly correlated with that of the two others.