In a nutshell
This study investigated how dyskinesia (DYS; abnormal, uncontrollable movements) affects the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers suggested that DYS affects the treatment with levodopa and quality of life of patients.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disorder caused by the damage to certain brain cells. These cells are responsible for specific body functions. This results in symptoms such as muscle rigidity, tremors, and impaired balance. Levodopa treatments are the standard treatment for these patients. However, a prolonged treatment is associated with the side effect, dyskinesia (DYS). It is known that nearly 40% of patients experience DYS after 4 to 6 years of treatment, affecting their quality of life.
No other medication is as efficient as levodopa. A dose reduction resolves DYS at the expense of increased Parkinson’s symptoms. It is not clear how are the effects of an adjusted dose.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 309 patients with PD. Of these 279 (90.3%) received levodopa treatment. The average duration of the treatment was 6 years. DYS was seen in 84 (30.1%) of 279 patients. The average time from the start of treatment to DYS was 4 years.
DYS was mild in 67.9% of the patients, moderate in 19.1% and severe in 10.7%. The severity of DYS led to levodopa dose reduction in 60.7% of patients, with improvement in 45.1% of these patients. 13 patients with DYS underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS; a procedure that involves placing of a medical device in the brain to send out electrical impulses). All these 13 patients reported marked improvements of DYS after the surgery.
The bottom line
This study showed that a reduced dose of levodopa and DBS might improve dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
The fine print
This study looked back at the medical records of patients. Information collected in this way might be incomplete, which can affect the results.
Published By :
Nov 07, 2018
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