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Parkinson’s symptoms vary by gender

A recent study shows that Parkinson’s disease can present one symptom or another depending on the sex of the patient. Genetic, hormonal, neuroendocrine and molecular factors may be responsible for these differences.

Sex is a differentiating criterion in Parkinson’s patients: men and women do not present the same symptoms.

This is one of the main conclusions that one gathers study performed at Spain with a sample of 681 patientsin which it was intended to know how motor and non-motor symptoms, in addition to the patient’s quality of life, can vary depending on this variable.

This research, driven by the Movement Disorders Study Group (GETM) of the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) and published in the magazine “Journal of Clinical Medicine“it is the first study that analyzes the disease from this perspective. Made in Spain, it is one of the most important worldwide.

That’s how he determines it Diego Santos, lead author of the study and GETM member, who explains the rationale behind this premise.

“Different genetic, hormonal, neuroendocrine and molecular factors seem to be involved in the differences in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease between men and women”, says the expert.

That is why it is known that the incidence and prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is between 1.2 and 2 times greater in men that in women and that the onset of the disease in women is slightly later that in men, the question is to know how all this influences the patient.

Sex as a differentiating criterion

In this way, based on the analysis of the differences between 410 men i 210 womenthe study tries to answer the hypothesis raised.

Some of the conclusions of this study are those collected below.

In the case of women

The most common symptoms in women are…

  • depression. It is estimated that women have almost the double the odds of suffering from depression than men. That is why the consumption of is more common in women antidepressants i benzodiazepines (used for anxiety, insomnia and seizures).
  • fatigue. Women are more likely to suffer from one functional disabilitythat is, problems motors that condition the day to day.
  • pain. Intrinsically related to the aforementioned functional disability. It is also more common in the female sex to consume pain relieversalthough a lower doses. Although, yes, if the patient’s weight is taken into account, the dose is proportional.

In the case of men

On the other hand, when talking about men, you can see that the patient’s profile usually presents smoking or more alcohol consumption. Apart from this, the most common symptoms are usually linked to problems not engines how:

  • hypomimia. Hypomimia, that is to say, the decrease in facial expression is one of the most frequent parking symptoms in the male sex.
  • Speech problems. Problems with speech rhythm, form or speech (more monotonous, with different patterns).
  • stiffness. This stiffness can occur anywhere in the body
  • hypersexuality. It is another of the non-motor problems that some individuals with Parkinson’s have.

The importance of studying these differences

EFE/Juan Herrero.

From the SEN the value of study the differences between men and women.

And if it doesn’t present comparable symptoms or live in the same way, the treatment cannot be the same.

The key, says Dr. Santos, is delve into the differences.

“We believe it is important to know all these differences because we will be able to better adapt the treatments, better predict the results and, in general, improve the care of our patients”, says the expert.

Because in addition to knowledge of the differences that exist in the progression of Parkinson’s by sex and individual and social needs, more progress in the matter.

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