Some 15,000 people in Switzerland suffer from Parkinson's disease. Two out of every three people affected report having bladder problems or urinary incontinence during the course of the disease. In many cases, the complaints increase as the disease progresses. A neurourological examination is recommended at an early stage, but by the time dysfunction occurs at the latest.
Parkinson's disease is accompanied by a shortage of the hormone dopamine in certain areas of the brain. These disruptions to the dopamine metabolism in the central nervous system also have an impact on the control of the vegetative nervous system, which can express itself in functional disorders of the bladder and intestine, as well as the classical movement disorders.
Two out of three people affected experience bladder problems during the course of the disease. Frequently mentioned are a stronger urge to urinate, frequent urination during the day and at night, and in many cases also an involuntary leakage of urine. Two mutually reinforcing factors take effect in this context: many patients have a Parkinson's-related overactive bladder while at the same time, the slower pace of walking caused by the disease makes it hard, and sometimes even impossible, to reach a toilet in time. Thus, urinary incontinence leads most patients to seek neurourological advice. Since most of the people affected are older, typical symptoms for ageing women and men and changes in the urinary tract compound the problem, often making assessment and treatment harder. Women with Parkinson's disease suffer stress incontinence as do many women of a similar age not affected by the disease, whereas plenty of men suffer from the typical conditions of an enlarged prostate. Both factors can reinforce the typical Parkinson's-related bladder disorders and possibly also restrict certain treatment options.
Some 15,000 people in Switzerland suffer from Parkinson's disease. In many cases, the bladder disorders increase as the disease progresses. A neurourological examination is recommended at an early stage, but by the time dysfunction occurs at the latest.