Research Insights

Duodenal levodopa infusion monotherapy vs oral polypharmacy in advanced Parkinson’s disease

Nyholm D, Nilsson Remahl AI, Dizdar N, Constantinescu R, Holmberg B, Jansson R, Aquilonius SM, & Askmark H Duodenal levodopa infusion monotherapy vs oral polypharmacy in advanced Parkinson’s disease , 2005 Jan 25;64(2):216-23

Duodenal levodopa infusion monotherapy vs oral polypharmacy in advanced Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2005 Jan 25;64(2):216-23. This study looked at a new method of administering levodopa/carbidopa (gel infused through the nose to the intestine**) versus standard oral tablets for continuous dopaminergic stimulation (continuous stimulation of a chemical in the brain that affects the control of movement)). Each of 24 advanced PD patients tried the new method (3 weeks) and the standard method (3 weeks). The patients judged their motor performance and quality of life during this time as well as prior to and after the study. Neurologists also rated each patient’s motor symptoms during each method of administration. The patients generally preferred the infusion therapy and had decreased motor difficulties and improved quality of life. It is notable that 16 of the 24 patients chose the permanent tube system over conventional treatment after this study. The authors suggest that this method may be a good alternative for PD patients before DBS needs to be considered or for those that are unsuitable for DBS. They suggest that the infusion method is well tolerated, there are fewer complications than DBS, and it is practical in the home. **It should be noted that for long-term use of the gel an abdominal tube must be surgically placed.

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