Background: The studies of the natural progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Chinese populations have been lacking. To address this issue and obtain a preliminary data, we conducted a PD progression assessment in 15 adults with de novo PD from a nutritional intervention trial (NIT) cohort in Lin County China. Methods: Using the Copiah County screening questionnaire and United Kingdom Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank diagnostic criteria, we surveyed the available NIT cohort members in 2000 and diagnosed 86 patients as PD. In 2010, we resurveyed all PD patients and confirmed definite PD diagnosis in 15 cases with the rest of them being dead (54); having probable (10) PD or vascular Parkinsonism (3); refusing to participate (2); or being away (2). In both surveys, we used Hoehn and Yahr (HY) scale and assessed the disease progression. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) was added to the second survey. Results: In 2010, the average disease duration for 15 definite PD patients was 13.6 ± 7.3 years. Over a 10‑year time span, 9 out of 15 patients remained at the same HY stage while the remaining 6 progressed. Rigidity (47% vs. 100%; P = 0.002) and postural instability (7% vs. 47%; P = 0.005) worsened significantly. The mean UPDRS motor scores in 2010 were 39.4 ± 23.7. Conclusions: Overall worsening of motor function in PD seems to be the rule in this untreated cohort, and their rate of progression seemed to be slower than those reported in the western populations.
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