Weight stability in Parkinson's disease.Nutr Neurosci. 2016; 19(1):11-20.NN
Parkinson's disease (PD) has traditionally been associated with weight loss. However, recent studies have not found any evidence of underweight in PD. Nevertheless, few studies have addressed nutritional status changes over time in relation to other clinical PD features. Here, we explore changes in nutritional status and motor and non-motor PD features (including dopaminergic drug therapy) in PD patients after 1 year.
Motor and non-motor PD features, dopaminergic drug therapy, under-nutrition and malnutrition risk, and anthropometric measures (BMI, handgrip strength, triceps skin-fold, mid-arm circumference, and mid-upper arm muscle circumference) were assessed at baseline and 1 year later among 65 people with PD.
Disability, PD motor symptoms, dysautonomia, and dopaminergic drug therapy increased. Underweight was uncommon both at baseline (n = 3) and follow-up (n = 2); malnutrition risk was common but stable (88 and 92%), whereas triceps skin-fold increased (P = 0.030); mid-upper arm muscle circumference decreased (P = 0.002); and the proportion of people with low handgrip strength (P = 0.012) increased. Correlations between nutritional variables and motor and non-motor PD features were absent to modest. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that baseline pupillomotor functioning was associated with decreased weight and BMI, and sleep with increased weight and BMI. In addition, increases in anxiety were associated with decreased weight, BMI, and triceps skin-fold.
During the PD course, there seems to be redistribution in body composition from muscle to fat. Studies are needed to identify possible explanations for the findings. This implies that malnutrition should be regularly screened to identify those at risk of developing reduced muscle mass and increased morbidity.