In a nutshell
This study investigated the long-term complication of Parkinson's disease and its treatment. Researchers suggested that dyskinesia is related to the severity of Parkinson's disease rather than early levodopa use.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic disease that affects brain cells that control body functions. These cells lose their abilities causing symptoms such as tremors and muscle weakness. Levodopa is the standard treatment for PD. However, the long-term use of this drug is associated with side effects such as dyskinesia (DYS) or motor fluctuations (MF). MFs happen when PD symptoms come back (sometimes worse) before the next dose of levodopa. DYS involves abnormal movements like tics that a person cannot control.
Prior studies described the risk factors for DYS and MF in patients with PD. However, their follow-up time was limited to 5 years. Too little is known about the long-term (10 years or more) complications of PD.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 141 patients with PD. All patients were followed-up for 13 years.
DYS was present in 14.5% of these patients at a 5-year follow-up. It was present in 55.7% at 10-year follow-up. 54.3% of patients had MFs at 5 years and 100% at 10 years. Greater disease severity predicted MFs. The presence of dementia (a decline in memory, language, and other thinking skills) predicted levodopa-induced DYS.
Early levodopa use did not predict motor complications. Both early MFs and levodopa induced-DYS predicted a reduced mortality in patients diagnosed at more than 70 years of age.
The bottom line
This study concluded that motor complications are associated with disease severity in patients with PD.
Published By :
Movement disorders: official journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Jan 22, 2020
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