Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Treatment For Parkinson's Disease Can Help Confirm Suspected Diagnosis, Neurologist Says

Date:
December 3, 2008
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
Levodopa has long been proven to provide the greatest relief of all available medications in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Now one neurologist argues that levodopa should be used not only for treating both early and advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, but also for confirming a suspected diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Levodopa has long been proven to provide the greatest relief of all available medications in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It also is the most cost-effective drug for managing the full range of problems associated with this chronic neurological disorder, which affects an estimated one million Americans.

In the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital neurologist Peter A. LeWitt, M.D., writes that levodopa should be used not only for treating both early and advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, but also for confirming a suspected diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

"Within a few minutes after taking an oral dose of levodopa, a patient can recover from previous impairments in speech, dexterity and gait," says LeWitt. "Though the start of levodopa can be postponed if the clinical manifestations of Parkinson's disease are mild and tolerable, it may be the only effective option to control discomfort and disability even for mildly affected patients."

Affecting 1 to 2 percent of the population over the age of 60, Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that causes tremors and impairs a person's motor skills, speech, balance and posture. Its cause is unknown, but many clues are guiding clinical trials.

A small region deep within the brain is the source for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. When brain neurons in this part of the brain begin to die, these cells can no longer manufacture the molecule dopamine, a chemical critical for controlling movement. Levodopa replaces the deficient dopamine, reversing most features of Parkinson's disease.

Among patients with Parkinson's disease, the pace and extent of progression in neurologic deficits can greatly vary. The burden on quality of life spans a wide spectrum too, Dr. LeWitt says, from minimal discomfort and disability to marked impairment of capabilities such as independence, safety and communication.

While it is shown to improve motor impairments, levodopa often does not provide relief from the tremors and can cause involuntary movements and other side effects, requiring physicians to carefully re-assess the treatment regimen.

In the first few weeks of use, the dose of levodopa given to the patient may need to be adjusted to achieve maximum benefit. Over time, levodopa dosing often needs to be tailored to a patient's needs, sometimes in combination with other medications to optimize its effects.

"Although available controlled-release preparations are designed for more extended drug delivery, they generally do not achieve the same effects as immediate-release tablets taken closer together," writes Dr. LeWitt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. LeWitt PA. Levodopa for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. N Engl J Med, 2008; 359: 2468-2476

Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Drug Treatment For Parkinson's Disease Can Help Confirm Suspected Diagnosis, Neurologist Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184405.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2008, December 3). Drug Treatment For Parkinson's Disease Can Help Confirm Suspected Diagnosis, Neurologist Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184405.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Drug Treatment For Parkinson's Disease Can Help Confirm Suspected Diagnosis, Neurologist Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184405.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins