Doctors use clinical rating scales to characterize the movement and non-movement symptoms of PD, how severe they are, and their impact on a person’s daily activities. Clinical scales also help doctors track the progression of PD and are used in clinical trials. In addition to the Hoehn and Yahr Scale described above, examples of widely used clinical scales for PD include:
A. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)
B. Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS)
*gold standard for objective assessment
- A commonly used and validated tool originally developed in the 1980s by a Parkinson’s Foundation researcher. It contains four parts:
- Mentation, behavior and mood
- Activities of daily living
- Motor examination
- Complications of therapy
- A revision and expansion of the UPDRS, published in 2008. It is a more comprehensive scale developed to evaluate the various aspects of PD. The four components included in this scale are:
- Non-movement aspects of experiences of daily living
- Movement aspects of experiences of daily living
- Movement examination
- Movement complications
- Used to evaluate abnormal involuntary movements (dyskinesia) that occur with advancing PD.
- Uses percentages to assess a person’s level of functional independence to complete daily chores.
- A 39-item self-reported questionnaire assessing PD-specific health related functioning and well-being across eight quality of life dimensions. There is also a short-form version derived from the PDQ-39, the PDQ-8.
- A patient-based screening tool designed to draw attention to the presence of non-movement symptoms in people with PD.
- A 30-item rater-based scale to measure the severity and frequency of a wide range of non-movement symptoms across nine dimensions in people with PD.
- They may provide invaluable insights on motor fluctuations in relation to medication intake. Increasingly, clinicians and researchers are exploring new kinematic sensor technologies to help detect and measure motor symptoms and fluctuations.