Current data on the pattern of parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease in Nigerians are sparse.
This database was designed to document the clinical profile of PD in Nigerians, and compare this to prior observations.
A database of patients presenting to the Neurology out-patients clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital was established in October 1996. Demographic and clinical data at presentation (disease stage using Hoehn and Yahr scale; 'off' state severity on the Unified Parkinson's disease Rating Scale) were documented for patients diagnosed with parkinsonism between October 1996 and December 2006. Cases were classified as Parkinson's disease or secondary parkinsonism (in the presence of criteria suggestive of a secondary aetiology).
The hospital frequency of parkinsonism (over a 2-year period, and relative to other neurologic disorders) was 1.47% (i.e. 20/1360). Of the 124 patients with parkinsonism, 98 (79.0%) had PD, while 26 (21.0%) had secondary parkinsonism. Mean age (SD) at onset of PD (61.5 (10.0) years) was slightly higher than for secondary parkinsonism (57.5 (14.0) years) (P = 0.10). There was a male preponderance in PD (3.3 to 1) and secondary parkinsonism (2.7 to 1), while a positive family history of parkinsonism was present in only 1.02% (1/98) of PD. There was a modestly significant difference in age at onset (SD) of PD in men (60.3 (10.4)) compared to women (65.2 (7.9)) (T = 2.08; P = 0.04). The frequency of young onset PD (≤ 50 years) was 16.3% (16/98). The mean time interval from onset of motor symptoms to diagnosis of PD was 24.6 ± 26.1 months with majority presenting at a median 12 months from onset. On the H&Y scale, severity of PD at presentation was a median 2.0 (range 1 to 4). PD disease subtype was tremor-dominant in 31 (31.6%), mixed 54 (55.1%) and akinetic-rigid 14 (14.3%). Hypertension was present as a co-morbidity in 20 (20.4%), and diabetes in 6 (6.12%).
The clinical profile of PD in Nigerians is similar to that in other populations, but is characterized by delayed presentation as has been reported in other developing countries. Young-onset disease occurs but may be less commonly encountered, and frequency of a positive family history is lower than in western populations.