BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hypomimia is a prominent clinical feature in people with Parkinson's disease (PD), but it remains under-investigated. We aimed to examine the clinical correlates of hypomimia in PD and to determine whether this is a levodopa-responsive sign.
METHODS: We included 89 people with PD. Hypomimia was assessed from digital video recordings by movement disorder specialists. Clinical evaluation included use of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS-III), and assessment of motor and non-motor symptoms using standardized clinical scales. The relationships between hypomimia and other clinical data were analysed using Mann-Whitney U-tests and regression analysis.
RESULTS: Hypomimia occurred in up to 70% of patients with PD. Patients with hypomimia had worse UPDRS-III 'off-medication' scores, mainly driven by bradykinesia and rigidity subscores. Patients with hypomimia also had worse apathy than patients without hypomimia. Finally, we found that hypomimia was levodopa-responsive and its improvement mirrored the change by levodopa in axial motor symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Our study provides novel information regarding the clinical correlates of hypomimia in people with PD. A better understanding of hypomimia may be relevant for improving treatment and quality of life in PD.