HealthDay News — Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) have a higher prevalence of ophthalmologic symptoms than controls, according to a study published online March 11 in Neurology.

Carlijn D.J.M. Borm, M.D., from Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted an observational multicenter study involving 848 patients with PD and 250 healthy controls who completed the Visual Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (VIPD-Q). The questionnaire addressed four domains — ocular surface, intraocular, oculomotor, and optic nerve — and also examined the impact of ophthalmologic symptoms on daily activities.

The researchers found that 82 percent of patients reported one or more ophthalmologic symptoms compared with 48 percent of controls. Compared with controls, patients with PD experienced more ophthalmologic symptoms across all domains, as reflected by a higher VIPD-Q total score (median, 10 versus 2). In 68 percent of patients and 35 percent of controls, ophthalmologic symptoms interfered with daily activities.

“People with Parkinson’s who express that they have eye problems should be referred to a specialist for further evaluation,” Borm said in a statement. “For those who do not express such problems, using a questionnaire to screen for problems that may otherwise be missed might allow for recognition, timely treatment, and improving the quality of life.”

One author disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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