Nonmotor disturbances (NMDs) affect most patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and often have a profound impact on their quality of life. NMDs such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, REM sleep behavior disorder, constipation, delayed gastric emptying, altered olfaction and pain can precede the onset of motor symptoms. Other NMDs, including hallucinations, dementia, excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, orthostatic hypotension and bladder disturbances, typically appear later in the course of PD. For most NMDs of PD, nondopaminergic and non-nigrostriatal mechanisms (e.g. neurodegeneration of other transmitter systems in the cortex and brainstem, side effects of medications, genetic and psychosocial factors) are considered more relevant than the 'classical' dopaminergic-nigrostriatal dysfunction. The recognition of NMDs requires a high degree of clinical suspicion, the use of specific questionnaires and ancillary tests. Pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches can be effective, but for most forms of treatment of NMDs, the scientific evidence is limited.