Parkinson's disease in Taiwan: an analysis of 215 patients

L G Chia, L H Liu


215 Chinese Parkinson's disease (PD) patients on levodopa therapy were followed up between 1982 and 1991. The ratio of males to females was 2.4 to 1. The mean durations from onset of the illness to stages I and II of Hoehn and Yahr (mild disability) were 4.0 and 6.5 years, to stage III (moderate) 7.9 years, and to stages IV and V (severe) 9.8 and 11.8 years. The mean duration of illness for living patients was 8.6 years. The mean duration of illness before death for the 46 patients who died was 8.9 years. The mean age at death was 68 years (4.4 years less than the normal life expectancy in Taiwan). The fate of this disease showed that patients with unilateral symptoms initially had a better prognosis than those with bilateral symptoms. The symptoms at onset were unilateral in 70% of the patients, of whom 91% had a spread of symptoms to the opposite side after a mean of 3.4 years. Familial PD occurred in 2.8% of our patients. The occurrence of blood ABO groups was not significantly different between the PD patients and the general population of Taiwan. Our findings differed from those in Western series by having a predominance of males, and a relatively shorter duration of unilateral symptoms before spread to the opposite side. ...Continue Reading


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