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Parkinsons Dis. 2011;2011:967839. doi: 10.4061/2011/967839. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Medication responsiveness of motor symptoms in a population-based study of Parkinson disease.

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Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7334, USA.


We assessed degree of Parkinson disease motor symptom improvement with medication among subjects enrolled in an ongoing, population-based study in Central California. The motor section of the unified Parkinson disease rating scale (UPDRS) was performed on subjects in both OFF and ON medication states, and difference between these scores was used as an indicator of symptomatic benefit. Higher OFF minus ON scores correlated with more severe baseline symptoms. There was equivalent improvement on the motor UPDRS scale for subjects divided according to medication classes used: levodopa alone 7.3 points, levodopa plus other medications 8.5 points, and dopamine agonists but not levodopa 6.1 points. In addition, there was no difference in the magnitude of improvement when subjects were divided according to Parkinson disease subtype, defined as tremor dominant, akinetic-rigid, or mixed. In this community-based sample, these values are within the range of a clinically important difference as defined by previous studies.

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