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January 1971

Autonomic Deficits in Parkinson's Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Albuquerque, NM
From the departments of neurology (Dr. Appenzeller) and medicine (Drs. Appenzeller and Goss), University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM.

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(1):50-57. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480310078007

THE occurrence of autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson's syndrome is widely quoted, but most studies are restricted to clinical impressions. The abnormalities attributed to autonomic disturbances in this disease include sialorrhea, seborrhea, excessive sweating, constipation, sphincter disturbances, dysphagia, postural hypotension, blue mottled skin, and other vasomotor abnormalities, heat intolerance and impotence, to name a few. With the introduction of levodopa for the treatment of Parkinson's syndrome, large numbers of patients have come forth, eager to allow evaluation of their clinical state before, and at intervals after, the start of levodopa therapy. We have tested some autonomic function before and during treatment in 25 patients suffering from Parkinson's syndrome and record the findings in this report.

Patients and Methods  Patients were tested before the start of levodopa therapy and after maximum neurological improvement had been achieved. Fifteen patients were receiving no medication at the time of the baseline tests, all drugs