Get a Bone Scan if you have Parkinson’s Disease Even if You are a Man

UF undergraduate student Sara Daniel published this paper on bone health in men with Parkinson’s disease. It is becoming clear than men with PD are at risk for brittle bones and should be getting bone scans and having regular discussions about their bone health. Below is the abstract from Sara’s paper. Sara has recently started medical school.

Int J Neurosci. 2012 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Bone mineral density (BMD) in male patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Daniel SK, Lansang MC, Okun MS.
University of Florida, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Gainesville, FL.


Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are at risk for osteoporosis. We aimed to compare male PD subjects with short disease duration (less than 5 years) to those with longer disease duration (5 to 10 years) in bone health characteristics, and in bone mineral density (BMD). This current case series included male idiopathic PD patients ages 18-90 at an outpatient academic center. Outcome measures were bone mineral density and the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Motor Section (UPDRS III). Thirty-six PD patients received DEXA scans. Seventy-two percent had osteopenia or osteoporosis in at least one bone site. Reduced BMD was observed in 58.8% of the 0-5 years PD group, and in 84.2% of the 5-10 years PD group. There was no difference in the spine BMD between the 0 to 5 years and the 5 to 10 years PD groups, and no difference in femoral neck BMD between PD disease duration groups. There were no differences in UPDRS Part III scores between 0 to 5 years and the 5 to 10 years groups. Prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia was high in male PD subjects regardless of disease duration. Bone-health promoting/ screening behaviors were found to be low. As PD patients are prone to falls, fractures, and associated co-morbidities, more research should be performed to determine if a screening regimen is appropriate.

PMID: 22510054 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

About the Author


Michael Okun

Professor of Neurology, expert on Parkinson's disease and other basal ganglia disorders, deep brain stimulation, author of over 300 research papers and the bestselling book…

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