Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 12, pp 2169–2174 | Cite as

Does fatigue in Parkinson’s disease correlate with autonomic nervous system dysfunction?

  • Enrica Olivola
  • Livia Brusa
  • Camilla Rocchi
  • Orazio Schillaci
  • Claudio Liguori
  • Rocco Cerroni
  • Mariangela Pierantozzi
  • Agostino Chiaravalloti
  • Alessandro StefaniEmail author
  • Fabrizio Stocchi
Original Article



Despite its negative impact on quality of life, fatigue in Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains an under-recognized issue and the underlying pathology is undetermined.


To contribute at understanding the pathogenesis of fatigue in a naturalistic cohort of cognitively intact PD patients.


In a Caucasian population of PD patients (n = 27), we evaluated to what extent fatigue (quantified as PFS-16 score) is associated with PD duration and with autonomic dysfunction, studied by both MIBG scintigraphy and autonomic nervous system testing. The latter included the head-up tilt test, Valsalva maneuver, deep breathing, and handgrip tests.


PFS-16 score correlated with disease duration (R = 0.57, p = 0.002). Fatigue showed a clear correlation with deep breathing test (R = − 0.53, p = 0.004) but not with the MIBG H/M ratios.


Our data are consistent with a multifactorial pathogenesis of fatigue and with effects of dopamine depletion in PD-related fatigue; on the other hand, our findings do not support a role for sympathetic denervation in PD-related fatigue.


Parkinson’s disease Fatigue Autonomic nervous system Myocardial scintigraphy 


Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by local ethics committee and informed consent was provided by all subjects.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10072_2018_3569_MOESM1_ESM.doc (60 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 60 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrica Olivola
    • 1
    • 2
  • Livia Brusa
    • 3
  • Camilla Rocchi
    • 1
  • Orazio Schillaci
    • 2
    • 4
  • Claudio Liguori
    • 1
  • Rocco Cerroni
    • 1
  • Mariangela Pierantozzi
    • 1
  • Agostino Chiaravalloti
    • 2
    • 4
  • Alessandro Stefani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabrizio Stocchi
    • 5
  1. 1.UOSD Parkinson’s Center, Department of Systems MedicineUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo (INM) NeuromedPozzilliItaly
  3. 3.Ospedale S. Eugenio, ASL RMCRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Biomedicine and PreventionUniversity Tor VergataRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of NeurologyInstitute for Research and Medical CareRomeItaly

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