APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Fatigue in PD

Relevant Publications - Downloadable

“Fatigue and Parkinson's," by Cathi A. Thomas, RN, MS
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation)
This 3-page fact sheet identifies several causes of fatigue in Parkinson’s disease with helpful tips to compensate for each, how to keep a diary of symptoms so your doctor can best help, and some steps to help avoid fatigue.


“Fatigue and Parkinson’s”
Published by Parkinson’s UK, January 2014
This 5-page fact sheet identifies the symptoms of fatigue, its frequency among those with Parkinson’s disease, the possible causes of fatigue in Parkinson’s disease, treatments, coping strategies that include addressing sleep issues, depression and apathy.


“Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease,” by Joseph H. Friedman, MD
Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, 2015
This educational supplement describes how fatigue manifests itself in Parkinson’s disease and its detrimental effect on quality of life.  Some aspects may be treatable by improving sleep, altering Parkinson’s medications, treating depression, or through exercise.
En Espanol: “La fatiga en la enfermedad de Parkinson”


Relevant Online Information

“7 Ways to Help Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease”
Published by Shake it Up Australia Foundation, August 24, 2015
“In addition to talking with your doctor, making changes to your routine, physical activities or medication may help you feel more energized.”  These seven tips are expert advice from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.


“Coping with Fatigue in PD,” by Dr. De Leon
Published by defeatparkinsons.com, May 28, 2013
Fatigue can make motor symptoms, like tremors, seem like they are worst when they are not.  Dr. De Leon has a list of eight things you can do to prevent or improve fatigue,  If you still have severe fatigue discuss it with your physician because there are some medications which can help.  The key is well adjusted medications, exercise, good nutrition, and rest at least 5 minutes every day.


Published by the Parkinson's Foundation
This information sheet describes the importance of finding ways to cope with fatique in Parkinson's disease, thereby avoiding reduced work hours, or social activities, and maintaining a good quality of life. Symptoms, therapies, and tips for coping with fatigue are briefly outlined.


“How to Cope with Disabling Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease,” by Patrick McNamara, PhD
Published by verywell.com, November 13, 2016
This short webpage emphasizes fatigue is a major symptom of Parkinson’s disease.  Failing to treat it undermines your overall health and can be socially isolating.  It recommends exercise,  possibly an anti-depressant and/or stimulants, and specific life-style adjustments to better cope.


Relevant Online Lectures and Webinars

“Fatigue, Sleep Disorders and Parkinson's Disease"
By the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), June 1, 2010
In this 65-minute audio with slides, Dr. Joseph H. Friedman discusses fatigue as an intrinsic symptom of Parkinson’s disease (due to the disease process, itself) in the first 26 minutes, then sleep difficulties, especially related to Parkinson’s disease.


“Pain and Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease”
By the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, July 2016
This 63-minute audio with slides is conducted as a panel interview of two doctors and a Parkinson’s patient about pain and fatigue in Parkinson’s disease.  Discussion about pain is first, discussion about fatigue begins at 26:43 minutes.


“Parkinson’s Disease - Fatigue”
By Michigan Medicine , December 8, 2015
This 29-minute video lecture by Dr. Praveen Dayalu at the University of Michigan’s Parkinson’s Disease and You Symposium, specifies treatable contributors to fatigue like, sleep issues, mood changes, OFF states, motor de-conditioning, or another medical issue.  When no identifiable cause, try activity (physical, social, and mental), and caffeine (green tea).  Good Q&A.


“Thomas L. David, Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease”
By Vanderbilt Health, November 22, 2016
This 23-minute video lecture recommends being extremely specific in describing what you experience as fatigue to your doctor to best determine how to treat it.  Treatment options should address sleep issues, exercise, re-evaluate all medications, treat low blood pressure, treat depression or anxiety, eliminate other illness than Parkinson’s disease.  Fatigue is common with aging.


Expert Level Resources

“Fatigue in Parkinson’s disease: report from a multidisciplinary symposium,” by Joesph H Friedman, et. al.
Nature Partner Journals, Parkinson’s Disease, January 14, 2016
A summary of a symposium in October, 2014, reviewing what is known about the diagnosis and treatment of fatigue, its physiology, and what we might learn from other disorders in which fatigue figures prominently, and concluding with focused recommendations to enhance understanding and treatment of fatigue in Parkinson’s disease.


“Fatigue in Parkinson’s disease and potential interventions,” by Jau-Shin Lou
NeuroRehavilitation, 2015; 37(1):25-34
This abstract of a literature review discusses the measurement and pathophysiology of fatigue and fatigability.  There rare no evidence-based treatments available.  Several pilot studies are reviewed on the effects of pharmacological agents and exercise.  These provide some insights on the design of future larger clinical trials.  Fee for full article at IOS Press.


“Interventions for Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease,” by R. Elbers, et. al.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015
A review of medical literature up to April, 2015, found nine studies investigating effects of medication on fatigue, two studies on the effects of exercise, and none on the effect of cognitive behavior therapy.  Not clear what treatment is most effective to treat fatigue.


This list updated by Denise Dagan, December 2017. Compiled by Denise Dagan for Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach Program, January 2017

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