Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Physiology and Pharmacology

Supervisor

Dr. Mandar Jog

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurogenerative movement disorder that often requires surgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) when motor complications arise from long term levodopa therapy. Understanding the level of motor improvement received by patients from levodopa (levodopa response; LR) at each stage of disease duration is integral to optimizing both current treatment and DBS implementation. In this study, the levodopa challenge test was employed to investigate the LR in early to advanced stages of disease in 70 PD participants. The LR only moderately correlated with disease duration, suggesting large interindividual variability in the LR between patients of similar disease durations. The LR correlated most strongly with motor symptom severity in the OFF-medication state. We proposed that this was in part due to whether an individual relies more heavily on a nigral or extra-nigral control of dopamine in the PD brain. These findings offer support for implementing DBS in individuals earlier in disease and with smaller motor responses to levodopa.


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Neurology Commons

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