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Risk Factors for Peak Dose Dyskinesia in 100 Levodopa-treated Parkinsonian Patients

     Pierre J Blanchet, Pierre Allard, Laurent Grégoire, François Tardif and Paul J Bédard

Abstract:   Background: No clinical parameter other than "sufficient" dopamine denervation and exposure to exogenous levodopa has been unquestionably linked to dyskinesia in levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data on 100 consecutive patients treated with levodopa for 1 to 18 years to identify clinical risk factors for dyskinesia. The cumulative dyskinesia-free survival probability in relation to levodopa therapy was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Overall, 56% of patients developed dyskinesia after a mean of 2.9 years, a figure similar to the average duration of levodopa treatment in the non-dyskinetic group. Dyskinetic patients were significantly younger at disease onset, but their mean latency to dyskinesia induction after levodopa initiation was not different from older dyskinetic individuals and the overall dyskinesia-free survival of younger subjects was not worse either. Dyskinetic patients were on a higher daily levodopa dose than non-dyskinetic subjects when dyskinesia emerged, but the cumulative levodopa dose used prior to dyskinesia did not discriminate dyskinetic from non-dyskinetic patients. A delay in initiating levodopa therapy of more than three years after disease onset and levodopa treatment initiation in Hoehn-Yahr stage II compared to stage I patients did not increase the probability of developing dyskinesia over time. Conclusions: Since withholding levodopa therapy did not increase the risk for dyskinesia in our patients and can delay the emergence of dyskinesia after onset of parkinsonian symptom, a trial with a dopaminomimetic agonist as initial treatment appears logical.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1996; 23: 189-193


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