Gender differences in motor and non-motor symptoms in individuals with mild-moderate Parkinson's disease

Amit Abraham, Allison A. Bay, Liang Ni, Nicole Schindler, Eeshani Singh, Ella Leeth, Ariyana Bozorg, Ariel R. Hart, Madeleine E. Hackney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background Parkinson's disease (PD) affects both men and women with documented gender differences across functional domains, with findings varying among reports. Knowledge regarding gender differences in PD for different geographic locations is important for further understanding of the disease and for developing personalized gender-specific PD assessment tools and therapies. Objective This study aimed to examine gender differences in PD-related motor, motor-cognitive, cognitive, and psychosocial function in people with PD from the southern United States (US). Methods 199 (127 men and 72 women; M age: 69.08±8.94) individuals with mild-moderate idiopathic PD (Hoehn &Yahr (H&Y) Median = 2, stages I-III) from a large metro area in the southeastern US were included in this retrospective, cross-sectional study. Motor, motor-cognitive, cognitive, and psychosocial data were obtained using standardized and validated clinical tests. Univariate analyses were performed, adjusting for age and housing type. Results After adjustment for age, housing, PD duration and fall rate, men exhibited statistically significantly greater motor (Movement Disorders Society (MDS)-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-II) and non-motor (MDS-UPDRS-I) impact of PD, and more severe motor signs (MDS-UPDRS-III). Men exhibited worse PD-specific health-related quality of life related to mobility, activities of daily living, emotional well-being, cognitive impairment, communication, and more depressive symptoms. Men performed worse on a subtraction working memory task. Women had slower fast gait speed. Conclusions In the southeastern United States, men may experience worse PD-related quality of life and more depression than women. Many non-motor and motor variables that are not PD specific show no differences between genders in this cohort. These findings can contribute to the development of gender-sensitive assessment and rehabilitation policies and protocols for people with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0272952
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1 January
StatePublished - Jan 2023


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