Olfactory impairment in Parkinson’s disease patients with tremor dominant subtype compared to those with akinetic rigid dominant subtype: a pilot study

Paolo Solla;Carla Masala
Tommaso Ercoli;Gianni Orofino;Francesco Loy;Laura Fadda;Giovanni Defazio


Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) may present different motor subtypes depending on the predominant symptoms (tremor or rigidity/bradykinesia). Slower disease progression and cognitive decline were observed in tremor-dominant (TD) patients compared to those with the akinetic-rigid dominant (ARD) subtype. Although olfactory dysfunctions are well-known disturbances in PD patients, correlations among PD different subtypes and olfactory impairment were not clearly studied. Thus, we investigated the possible olfactory impairment in PD patients with TD and ARD subtypes as compared to healthy controls. Methods: A sample of 132 participants were enrolled: 62 PD patients divided into ARD (n = 42) and TD (n = 20) subgroups using tremor/rigidity ratio, and 70 healthy controls. Olfactory function was assessed with the Sniffin’ Sticks Test. Results: Odor threshold was significantly lower in the ARD than in the TD subtype, while odor identification, discrimination scores, and their sum (TDI score) were not significantly different. On multivariate linear regression analysis, the tremor/rigidity ratio was a significant predictor of odor threshold. Conclusions: Our pilot study showed a significant olfactory dysfunction in PD patients with the ARD subtype. This evidence confirms the biological relevance of clinical subgroups in PD patients, suggesting the existence of a different pathophysiological mechanism between the ARD and TD clinical subtypes.
Esperti anonimi
neurodegenerative disorders; neurodegeneration; movement disorders; Parkinson’s disease; olfactory dysfunction
Solla, Paolo; Masala, Carla; Ercoli, Tommaso; Orofino, Gianni; Loy, Francesco; Pinna, Ilenia; Fadda, Laura; Defazio, Giovanni
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