, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 10-13
Date: 30 Aug 2012

A number of levodopa-based strategies may improve the management of motor complications in Parkinson’s disease

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Levodopa is the most effective treatment for the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, after a few years of levodopa treatment, the majority of patients will experience motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. A variety of levodopa-based strategies are available that aim to stabilize and improve motor function.

Relatively common condition

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving loss of dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal system[1] that affects ≊1% of people aged >60 years.[2] It is characterized by the common motor symptoms bradykinesia, tremor and rigidity.[1] Motor symptoms are predominant features of PD, although non-motor symptoms, such as neuropsychiatric problems, autonomic dysfunction and sleep disorders, are increasingly recognized. Progressive deficiency of endogenous dopamine leads to postural instability, with disruptions to gait and balance seen in advanced PD. The resulting fluctuating motor performance is an important cau...