Purpose: Cardiac autonomic dysfunction in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) manifests as reduced heart rate variability (HRV). In the present study, we explored the deceleration capacity of heart rate (DC) in patients with idiopathic PD, an advanced HRV marker that has proven clinical utility. Methods: Standard and advanced HRV measures derived from 7-min electrocardiograms in 20 idiopathic PD patients and 27 healthy controls were analyzed. HRV measures were compared using regression analysis, controlling for age, sex, and mean heart rate. Results: Significantly reduced HRV was found only in the subcohort of PD patients older than 60 years. Low- frequency power and global HRV measures were lower in patients than in controls, but standard beat-to-beat HRV markers (i.e., rMSSD and high-frequency power) were not significantly different between groups. DC was significantly reduced in the subcohort of PD patients older than 60 years compared to controls. Conclusions: Deceleration-related oscillations of HRV were significantly reduced in the older PD patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting that short-term DC may be a sensitive marker of cardiac autonomic dysfunction in PD. DC may be complementary to traditional markers of short-term HRV for the evaluation of autonomic modulation in PD. Further study to examine the association between DC and cardiac adverse events in PD is needed to clarify the clinical relevance of DC in this population.
- Cardiac autonomic modulation
- Deceleration capacity of heart rate
- Heart rate variability
- Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease