RICHARD D. SWEET, M.D.; FLETCHER H. McDOWELL, M.D.
One hundred patients with Parkinson's disease, who started taking levodopa before the end of 1968, have been assessed after 5 years. Forty-seven patients are still being followed on levodopa, and half of them are at least 25% better than at their pretreatment evaluation. However, the average functional rating is returning toward baseline from its remarkable improvement at ½ to 2 years. Abnormal involuntary movements, rapid oscillations in motor performance, postural instability, and dementia have become the major adverse effects. Thirty-two of the 100 patients have died. Life-table analysis shows an excess mortality of 1.9 compared with the U. S. population, a figure that is lower than the 2.9 reported before levodopa's use. Despite its inability to cure Parkinson's disease, levodopa provides symptomatic relief for a prolonged time and it remains the single most effective medication for the illness.
SWEET RD, McDOWELL FH. Five Years' Treatment of Parkinson's Disease with Levodopa: Therapeutic Results and Survival of 100 Patients. Ann Intern Med. ;83:456–463. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-83-4-456
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(4):456-463.
Neurology, Parkinson's Disease.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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