Clinical observations on the rate of progression of idiopathic parkinsonism

C. S. Lee, M. Schulzer, E. K. Mak, B. J. Snow, J. K. Tsui, S. Calne, John Hammerstad, D. B. Calne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Scopus citations


The time course of evolution of clinical deficits has been a traditional guide to the nature of the aetiopathogenesis of neurological disease. We studied the influence of ageing and duration of disease on the natural history of idiopathic parkinsonism (IP). Two hundred and thirty-eight patients with IP were examined while off medication. Bradykinesia scores were analysed against patients' age and duration of disease by multiple regression. There was no significant interaction between the effects of age and of duration (P = 0.923). We conclude that age and duration of symptoms influence the natural history of IP additively and independently. Furthermore, the rate of neuronal death is more rapid in the earlier stages of evolution of the pathology; subsequently, the velocity of progression slows down to approach the rate of attrition produced by normal ageing. This time course has implications for possible models of pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994



  • Ageing
  • Natural history
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Lee, C. S., Schulzer, M., Mak, E. K., Snow, B. J., Tsui, J. K., Calne, S., ... Calne, D. B. (1994). Clinical observations on the rate of progression of idiopathic parkinsonism. Brain, 117(3), 501-507.