Finding right drug balance for Parkinson’s patients

Press Release:

Parkinson’s disease is most commonly treated with levodopa, a drug which alleviates the slowing of bodily movements, called bradykinesia, found in Parkinson’s disease patients.

But the benefits of levodopa wear off as the disease progresses. The relationship between its dosage and its effectiveness becomes fuzzy, and high doses can result in dyskinesia, which are involuntary and uncontrollable movements.

To better understand the underlying reasons behind these effects, researchers from the Université de Montréal, University of Bologna, and University of Ottawa created a model of the interactions between levodopa, dopamine, and the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in Parkinson’s disease. They discuss their findings in the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing.

“In Parkinson’s disease, the dopaminergic neurons of the basal ganglia are dying, which results in a lower concentration of dopamine. Levodopa is effective at the beginning of the disease, because it can be transformed into dopamine by the remaining dopaminergic neurons,” said Florence Véronneau-Veilleux, one of the authors. “However, at advanced stages of disease, there are not enough remaining dopaminergic neurons for levodopa to prevent symptoms.”

Once they confirmed the accuracy of their model by using it to predict behavior like modification of dopamine dynamics with neuron degeneration, the group used it to simulate a patient tapping their finger a few hours after taking levodopa, a clinical assessment of bradykinesia. This could also have been done via the foot tapping test.

What they found verified suspicions about the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Eventually, as the brain loses more and more of its neurons, its dopamine concentration falls, and no amount of levodopa can compensate for this. This leads to a competition of effects, in which maintaining low levels of levodopa is not sufficient for treating bradykinesia but continuously increasing the administered levodopa to try to restore dopamine causes dyskinesia.

By providing deeper insight into how Parkinson’s disease evolves, the authors hope their model will be applied to tailor individual treatments. When combined with monitoring devices to measure a patient’s finger tapping frequency at various times after taking levodopa, the model can help estimate individual dosage specifications. An alternative would have been the foot tapping frequency.

“With an optimization algorithm, we can find the optimal regimen — dose and time — according to different criteria for this specific patient,” Véronneau-Veilleux said.

Advertisement:

Bestseller No. 1
Our Parkinson's Disease Instruction Manual: How to have a good life while coexisting with Parkinson's disease
  • Smith Jr., Edmund H. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 111 Pages - 11/20/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Living with Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Caregivers
  • Okun, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 04/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Robert Rose (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
Parkinson's Disease For Dummies
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Tagliati, Michele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 527 Pages - 03/01/2011 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 4
Parkinson's Disease Guide for the Newly Diagnosed: Understanding the Disease, Managing Your Symptoms, and Navigating Treatment
  • LeWitt MD, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 126 Pages - 06/09/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
My Disease Our Revolution
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dany Vesely, Prof Danny Segal (Actors)
  • Nisan Katz (Director) - Nir Kafri (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
Bestseller No. 6
Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Okun M.D., Michael S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 307 Pages - 03/17/2020 (Publication Date) - PublicAffairs (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 7
A Parkinson's Primer: An Indispensible Guide to Parkinson's Disease for Patients and Their Families
  • PAUL DRY
  • Vine, John M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 150 Pages - 04/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Paul Dry Books (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Reverse Parkinson's Disease
  • Pepper, John Douglas (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 07/28/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 9
The New Parkinson's Disease Treatment Book: Partnering with Your Doctor To Get the Most from Your Medications
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ahlskog PhD MD, J. Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 09/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 10
Navigating Life with Parkinson's Disease (Brain and Life Books)
  • Parashos MD, Sotirios A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 08/10/2020 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.