Abstract

The non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) can be missed in routine clinical practice and have far-reaching implications in patient care. While the proportion of PD patients experiencing hallucinatory phenomena, as well as the severity and impact of these phenomena, change with disease progression, hallucinations occur overall in 30–40% of patients with PD [ [1] Fenelon G. Mahieux F. Huon R. Ziégler M. Hallucinations in Parkinson's disease: prevalence, phenomenology and risk factors. Brain. 2000; 123: 733-745 Crossref PubMed Scopus (803) Google Scholar ]. Due to a lack of awareness, as well as paucity of structured questionnaires/tests that target psychosis with an emphasis on hallucinations, they are often missed during clinical consultations. Intrinsic processes combined with iatrogenic variables can produce psychotic symptoms in this patient population, of which hallucinations form a major manifestation. Psychosis can adversely affect both patients and caregivers and can increase the complexity and costs of associated care. While hyposmia/anosmia is a recognized non-motor feature of PD affecting 65–90% of patients [ [2] Solla P P. Masala C. Pinna I. Ercoli T. Loy F. Orofino G G. Fadda L. Defazio G. Frequency and determinants of olfactory hallucinations in Parkinson's disease patients. Brain Sci. 2021; 11: 841 Crossref PubMed Scopus (15) Google Scholar ], olfactory hallucinations (OH) have been reported in 2.1%–11% of PD patients [ [2] Solla P P. Masala C. Pinna I. Ercoli T. Loy F. Orofino G G. Fadda L. Defazio G. Frequency and determinants of olfactory hallucinations in Parkinson's disease patients. Brain Sci. 2021; 11: 841 Crossref PubMed Scopus (15) Google Scholar , [3] McAuley J.H. Gregory S. Prevalence and clinical course of olfactory hallucinations in idiopathic Parkinson's disease. J. Parkinsons Dis. 2012; 2: 199-205 Crossref PubMed Scopus (14) Google Scholar ]. We attempted to determine the frequency of OH at our practice, their qualitative characteristics, and to compare the frequency of other sensory hallucinations (visual, auditory, tactile) as well as the frequency of anosmia/severe hyposmia between patients with OH and those without. We believe that these results might help expand our knowledge of the true prevalence and underlying pathophysiology of OH in PD.

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