Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by a prodromal phase preceding the onset of classic motor symptoms. The duration and clinical manifestations of prodromal PD vary widely, indicating underlying heterogeneity within this stage. This discrepancy prompts the question of whether specific factors contribute to the divergent rates of progression in prodromal PD. Methods: This study included prodromal PD patients from the Parkinson’s progression marker initiative. They were followed up to assess the disease progression. The data collected during the follow-up period were analyzed to identify potential predictors of rapid disease progression in prodromal PD. Results: In this study, 61 individuals with prodromal PD were enrolled. Among them, 43 patients presented with both RBD and hyposmia, 17 had hyposmia alone, and 1 had RBD alone at baseline. 13 (21.3%) prodromal PD participants exhibited rapid disease progression, with two of these cases advancing to non-neurological diseases. Significant differences were observed between the rapid progression group and no rapid progression group in terms of MDS-UPDRS II score and UPSIT score. Longitudinal analysis showed a significant increase in the MDS-UPDRS III score and MDS-UPDRS total score in the rapid progression group. Regression analyses identified the MDS-UPDRS II score and UPSIT score as predictors of rapid disease progression in prodromal PD. Conclusion: Our study findings suggest that the MDS-UPDRS II score and UPSIT score may serve as clinical markers associated with rapid disease progression. Further research and development of precise biomarkers and advanced assessment methods are needed to enhance our understanding of prodromal PD and its progression patterns.

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