, Volume 257, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 247-248
Date: 16 Nov 2010

Levodopa: back to the future

This is an excerpt from the content

After 50 years of clinical use, oral levodopa (LD) therapy remains the gold standard of symptomatic efficacy in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) [13] Compared with other dopaminergic therapies, dopamine replacement with levodopa is associated with the greatest improvement in motor function as assessed by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) [4, 5]. In addition, responsiveness to oral levodopa has become a key diagnostic criterion for PD.

However, long-term treatment with LD is often complicated by the development of various types of motor response oscillations over a day as well as drug-induced dyskinesia, a complication characterized by erratic involuntary movements. Such treatment-related motor complications eventually develop in the majority of patients and are found in about one-third of patients after only 8 months of exposure [6]. Once established, motor complications are difficult to treat and can develop into a significant source of disability. In extre