Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Original Article
Dopamine was shown to induce mydriasis by excitation of alpha-adrenergic receptors at the dilator pupillae muscle. Pupilla diameter may thus serve as an indirect measure of peripheral pharmacokinetics of l-DOPA and dopamine. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of l-DOPA dosage on pupillometric parameters in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. Sixteen PD patients and 14 healthy control subjects (CS) were studied. The statistical analysis revealed significant differences between CS and PD patients for the mean maximum and minimum pupil diameters (p = 0.017, p = 0.028, respectively), with higher values found in PD. Moreover, a significant dose–response relationship was found between the maximum pupil diameter and both the morning l-DOPA dose (R2 = 0.78) and the total daily l-DOPA dose (R2 = 0.93). A sigmoid-shaped curve best describes the dose–response relationship, with a ceiling effect at about 400 mg l-DOPA daily dose. In conclusion, measuring pupillometric parameters represents a sensitive tool for non-invasive evaluation of the peripheral effect of l-DOPA, especially with daily doses below 400 mg l-DOPA.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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