OBJECTIVE: The Bologna motor and non-motor prospective study on parkinsonism at onset (BoProPark) was designed to prospectively characterize motor and non-motor features in patients with a progressive neurodegenerative disease starting with parkinsonism since early disease stage and to investigate their diagnostic and prognostic role in the differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease from atypical parkinsonisms. The aim of this paper is to describe the method and population of the BoProPark study.
METHODS: Patients referred to our Department with parkinsonism within 3 years from motor onset were recruited. Secondary causes of parkinsonism were excluded. Each patient underwent a comprehensive evaluation of motor and non-motor symptoms, assessed by means of quantitative, objective instrumental tests in addition to scales and questionnaires. The evaluations were performed at enrolment (T0), after 16 months (T1) and after 5 years (T2). Diagnoses were made according to consensus criteria.
RESULTS: We recruited 150 patients, with mean age 61.5 ± 9.8 years and mean disease duration 20 ± 9 months. H&Y stage was 1 in 47.3% and 2 in 46.7% of cases. Mean UPDRS-III was 17.7 ± 9.2. Fifty-four patients were on dopaminergic treatment with median levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD) of 200 mg.
CONCLUSIONS: We expect that the prospective nature of the BoProPark study as well as the comprehensive, instrumental evaluation of motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with parkinsonism will provide important new insights for both clinical practice and research. Our data could be used for comparison with other cohorts and shared with national and international collaborators to develop new innovative projects.