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What Is Fatigue?


Updated August 28, 2009

What Is Fatigue?
Roger Weber/ Getty Images
Do you feel tired all the time? Do you feel that you just can’t find a way to re-charge your batteries? If so, do you suspect that this general sense of fatigue is yet another ‘gift’ from your Parkinson's disease? If you answered 'yes,' then you may be correct. Between a half and two-thirds of all people with Parkinson's battle some amount of fatigue on a daily basis. Many of them say that this general sense of exhaustion is one of the most disabling symptoms of their disease. Despite this, many doctors may not ask patients with PD about fatigue.

What's the connection between Parkinson's and fatigue? Scientists don't have any clear answers. Some believe fatigue is due to depression, while others claim it is due to specific nerve cells that are damaged in some people with PD. It is not even clear whether fatigue gets worse over time. Common sense would suggest so, but if fatigue of PD is due to depression, then treating the depression should help the fatigue no matter how long how long you have had your PD.


Friedman, J.H. (2008). Making the connection between brain and behavior: Coping with Parkinson's Disease. New York: Demos medical Publishing

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