AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Study Offers Answers on Life Expectancy for People with Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia

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Faced with a serious disease, patients want to know the answer to a difficult question: “How long will I live?”  A new Mayo Clinic study has some answers for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The population-based study found that patients with these diseases died about two years earlier than the general population. The highest risk of death was seen among patients with multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism at six years earlier. This high-risk group was followed by patients with Lewy body dementia, four years earlier; Parkinson disease dementia, 3½ years earlier; and Parkinson disease, one year earlier. “As doctors, we want to be able to counsel our patients appropriately when they ask, ‘What will happen to me?’” says Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD, lead author and a neurologist at Mayo Clinic. “Understanding long-term outcomes can help clinicians better inform patients and their caregivers about what to expect.” The study used data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a collaboration of medical facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin involving community members who have agreed to share their medical records for research. The researchers reviewed data from 1991 through 2010. They compared 461 patients with these diseases to 452 patients in the general population ? all in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Sixty percent of each group was men.

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