APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Orthostatic Hypotension in PD

Relevant Publications - Downloadable

"Effects of Parkinson’s Disease on Blood Pressure"
Published by the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, March 1012
This 4-page information sheet explains the physical operation of blood pressure in the body, symptoms of low blood pressure and when they are most likely to occur, why low blood pressure is dangerous, medical treatments and lifestyle strategies to cope with low blood pressure, and a reminder that low blood pressure can affect the ability to drive safely.

 

"Living with Postural Hypotension"
Published by MSA Trust, April 2015
This 7-page fact sheet was developed for people affected by MSA, but is just as useful to those with Parkinson’s disease, who are experiencing drops in blood pressure and postural hypotension.  It covers symptoms, when they are likely to happen, what to do, exercise and other tips for daily living with OH, including medication options.

 

“Low Blood Pressure and Parkinson’s”
Published by Parkinson’s UK, September 2014
This 9-page information sheet explains that hypotension can be a symptom of Parkinson’s or a side effect of drugs used to treat Parkinson’s. It may also be connected to another health condition.  It provides the facts about low blood pressure in Parkinson’s and how to manage it.

 

“Low Blood Pressure in Parkinson’s Disease," by Linda P. Miller, RN, M.Ed.
Published by Oregon Health Sciences University
This 3-page article describes the causes of low blood pressure, and symptoms.  It recommends monitoring and several lifestyle measures to restore normal blood pressure regulation in addition to re-evaluating medications.

 

nOH Matters.com
This website explains neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) falls under a larger category called orthostatic hypotension (OH), also known as postural hypotension.  nOH affects those with autonomic nervous system disorders.  The site provides a symptom checker, an nOH specialist locator tool, management options, an educational video.  It is sponsored by Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals and provides a link in the management options to Lundbeck’s products.

 

“Science News: New Guidelines for Treating Orthostatic Hypotension in PD"
Published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), June 2, 2015
This 2-page article highlights findings in a study published in Movement Disorders February 12, 2015 updating diagnosis and treatment guidelines for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who experience orthostatic hypotension (OH).

 

"What’s Hot in PD? If you are Dizzy or Passing Out, it could be Your Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease Medications,” by Dr. Michael S. Okun
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), July 2011
This 3-page article, with references, is a personal statement by Dr. Okun describing the mis-diagnoses Parkinson’s patients can be given when visiting the ER for symptoms of dizziness or syncope (passing out); outlining what defines a proper diagnosis of orthostatic hypotension, its frequency in people with Parkinson’s, medication and lifestyle changes that can help.

 


Relevant Online Video

“Blood Pressure and Parkinson’s: What’s the Connection?”
By the Michael J. Fox Foundation Third Thursdays Webinar, October 20, 2016
This 60-minute audio with slides is an interview of two neurologists and a person with Parkinson’s discussing the symptoms, causes, and how to mitigate episodes of low blood pressure, as well as high blood pressure and recent Phase III trial testing of the high blood pressure medication, isradipine, to slow Parkinson’s disease progression without lowering blood pressure too much.

 

“Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension - Medical Animation"
By Treat Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension Now Coalition, July 30, 2013
This 5-minute video uses medical animation to demonstrate how neurogenic orthostatic hypotension occurs in Parkinson’s disease, Multiple System Atrophy, and other neurodegenerative disorders; including symptoms, and diagnostic parameters.

 

“Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple System Atrophy, and Lewy Body Dementia”
By the Stanford Movement Disorder Center and Brain Support Network, September 18, 2017
Movement disorder specialist, Dr. Veronica Santini spoke for a half hour on orthostatic hypotension, a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, Multiple System Atrophy and Lewy Body Dementia.  Following her talk, moderator Candy Welch, Brain Support Network’s MSA caregiver support group leader, presented Dr. Santini with questions from webinar participants for another half hour.

 


Expert-Level Reading

“Assessment and Management of Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Disease"
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, July 14, 2011
This 1-page article, with references, explains the failure of the autonomic nervous system causing orthostatic hypotension, its specific definition, clinical profile, diagnostic method, and management to prevent falls.

 

 “Orthostatic Hypotension in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease and Atypical Parkinsonism,” by Seyed-Mohammad Fereshtehnejad and Johan Lokk
Hindawi Publishing Corporation, February 2, 2014
This article outlines a study which reviewed current evidences on epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of orthostatic hypotension (OH) in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonism.  Conclusions include recommendation for further study of OH and routine screening for timely diagnosis and further assessments beyond the recommended 3 minute postural challenge currently used.

 


This list of resources was updated in October 2017. It was first compiled by Denise Dagan for the Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach Program in December 2016.

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