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Dr. Okun is the co-founder of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation, as well as the author of several books including Ask the Expert about Parkinson's Disease, Lessons from the Bedside, 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier life due out in 2013.  His secrets book was translated into 20 languages so that it can be made available to Parkinson's disease sufferers around the world.  Dr. Okun has been recently been honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Okun has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and people travel from around the world to seek his opinion on best treatment approaches for this disease.

Treating Non-Motor Parkinson's Disease Symptoms More Impact on QOL Than Treating Motor Symptoms

This is another study showing that in early Parkinson's disease, non-motor symptoms affect quality of life more than motor symptoms.  It is important to be sure your Parkinson's disease doctor addresses aggressively all non-motor symptoms (anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, fatigue).

Below is the abstract from the Norway group:

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Aug 2. pii: S1353-8020(13)00264-2. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.07.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Importance of motor vs. non-motor symptoms for health-related quality of life in early Parkinson's disease.

Müller B, Assmus J, Herlofson K, Larsen JP, Tysnes OB. Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway; Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

BACKGROUND: The relative impact of motor- and non-motor symptoms on health-related quality of life in early Parkinson's disease is poorly documented. METHODS: 188 patients with incident Parkinson's disease from a population-based study were examined at the time of diagnosis, before initiation of dopaminergic treatment, with follow-up of 166 patients three years later. Health-related quality of life was assessed by the 36-item Short-form Health Survey (SF-36). Motor and non-motor variables were derived from the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale and other established scales. RESULTS: Multiple regression analyses showed that the non-motor symptoms strongest associated with reduced SF-36 scores at diagnosis and three years later were depression, fatigue and sensory complaints. The motor symptoms most related to impaired SF-36 scores were problems with gait and activities of daily living that cover personal needs. The variance of SF-36 mental summary scores was much better explained by non-motor vs. motor symptoms, both at baseline (R(2) = 0.384 vs. 0.095) and 3 years later (R(2) = 0.441 vs. 0.195). Also SF-36 physical summary scores were better explained by non-motor vs. motor symptoms with R(2) = 0.372 vs. 0.322 at baseline and R(2) = 0.468 vs. 0.315 after 3 years. CONCLUSION: In early PD, including the phase before dopaminergic treatment is initiated, non-motor symptoms are more important for reduced health-related quality of life than motor symptoms. Fatigue, depression, sensory complaints and gait disturbances emerge as the most relevant symptoms and should be given corresponding attention in the management of patients with early PD. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd. PMID: 23916654  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]