Sympathetic skin response and heart rate variability in predicting autonomic disorders in patients with Parkinson disease

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate sympathetic skin response (SSR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in determining autonomic nervous system (ANS) involvement in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Forty-eight idiopathic PD patients and 30 healthy controls participated in this study. SSR, HRV, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III, the Scales for outcomes in Parkinson's Disease-Autonomic (SCOPA-AUT), Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) scale were evaluated. Absent lower limb SSR was determined unilaterally in 2, bilaterally in 1 of 3 advanced PD patients; there was significant difference between PD and control groups in terms of the SSR (P < 0.01), significant prolonged SSR latencies and decreased SSR amplitudes from bilateral hands and feet. Significant difference was noted in HRV between PD and control groups except for root mean square of successive differences (rMSSD) and high-frequency (HF) power (P < 0.05). There was a significant different correlation between the parameters of SSR and the SCOPA-AUT, and between the parameters (except HF power) of HRV and the SCOPA-AUT. Some parameters of SSR were relevantly associated with HRV. The right hand SSR amplitude correlated positively with the (SD) of all R-R interval, total spectral power, very low frequency. The right foot amplitude correlated positively with total spectral power. Both SSR and HRV parameters are sensitive in determining ANS dysfunction not only in late but also in the early stage of PD, which can be used for early detection of autonomic dysfunction in patients with PD and have the potential to serve as electrophysiological markers of dysautonomia of PD.

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