Parkinson’s Disease and Sexual Dysfunction

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common motor related disorder worldwide.1-3 PD belongs to a group of motor-related conditions known as Parkinsonism4 and is characterized by a loss of dopamine producing nerve cells called dopaminergenic neurons and the development of inclusions known as “Lewy bodies” in the brain.2,4 PD manifests as both a chronic and progressive condition having four primary symptoms. These symptoms are tremors of the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or face; rigidity and stiffness in the limbs and torso; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance.4,5 In addition to the four primary symptoms there are  numerous secondary symptoms which induce motor, non-motor, and psychological complications. Among these secondary complications, sexual dysfunction (SD) is common and underrecognized in patients with Parkinson disease; it plays a major role in the deterioration of quality of life of patients and their partners.6 Both primary and secondary symptoms of PD may progress over a period greater than 20 years and will more significantly impair quality of life in the late stages of the disorder.7

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