APD  Vol.2 No.2 , May 2013
Comparison of continuous versus pulsatile dopaminergic therapy in the erderly with Parkinson’s Disease
Abstract: Objective: Levodopa is the gold-standard of therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but it is associated with motor complications that affect 50% of patients after five years of treatment. Development of delirium and psychosis is the main limitation of dopaminergic treatment in older persons. These adverse effects may result from pulsatile stimulation of the dopamine receptors. Dopamine agonists with transdermal delivery that continuously stimulate the dopamine receptors may reduce these complications. The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequencies of acute delirium and psychosis in elderly patients treated with rotigotine vs. levodopa in a newly diagnosed drugnaive Parkinson’s disease (PD). Methods: Patients admitted to the Geriatric-Rehabilitation Department of the University-Hospital of Parma were screened for the presence of Parkinsonism. All subjects admitted with diagnosis of PD according to the UK Brain Bank Criteria were randomly treated with Rotigotine or levodopa. All subjects were assessed by Movement Disorder Society (MDS)-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III. Acute delirium was asessed by CAM Diagnostic Algorithm during the first week after admission. After six months, diagnosis of psychosis was performed according to pro posed diagnostic criteria by NINDS and NIMH. Patients with cognitive impairment (MMSE < 21) and affected by any diseases potentially leading to psychosis, in cluding dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), were excluded. Results: 60 consecutive newly diagnosed drugnaive PD patients were evaluated. No statistical significant difference between the two groups were observed in term of age, gender, MMSE score, severity of disease expressed by H&Y staging. 30 patients were treated with rotigotine (6 mg/daily) and 30 patients were treated with L-Dopa (250 mg/daily). All participants completed the study. UPDRS Part III was statistical significant lower in both groups after treatment from 26.4 to 18.3 (rotigotine group) and from 26.3 to 17.3 (levodopa group), but comparable within groups (p = 0.83). After 6-month follow-up, acute delirium and/ or psychosis were observed in two cases (6.6%) of patients treated with rotigotine and in three cases (10%) of those treated with levodopa (p = 0.54). Conclusions: Transdermal rotigotine seems comparable to levodopa in regard to motor skill efficacy and neuropsychiatric safety, because provides a more continuous delivery of drug. Dopamine agonists may represent a valid therapeutic option in newly diagnosed older PD patients.
Cite this paper: Lauretani, F. , Ceda, G. , Scaglioni, A. and Nardelli, A. (2013) Comparison of continuous versus pulsatile dopaminergic therapy in the erderly with Parkinson’s Disease. Advances in Parkinson's Disease, 2, 43-46. doi: 10.4236/apd.2013.22008.

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