Levodopa May Benefit Heart Health in Parkinson's Disease

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Levodopa decreased both PAP and CAP, leading to a lower CAP than PAP, which is crucial for heart health.
Levodopa decreased both PAP and CAP, leading to a lower CAP than PAP, which is crucial for heart health.
The following article is part of live conference coverage from the 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from MDS 2017.

VANCOUVER – Treatment with levodopa in Parkinson's disease may help to decrease central aortic pressure (CAP), which is essential for heart health. The findings were reported at the 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

To examine the effect of levodopa on CAP, Mehmet Balal, MD, and Professor Meltem Demirkiran, MD, of Çukurova University in Adana, Turkey, evaluated 44 patients with Parkinson's disease (23 men, 21 women; mean age, 61.57 [±14.39] years) and 40 healthy controls (25 men, 15 women; mean age, 59.18 [±11.06] years), excluding those with hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

The researchers measured CAP and peripheral arterial blood pressure (PAP) after resting periods of ≥10 minutes each. For patients with Parkinson's disease, measurements were recorded 1 hour before and 1 hour after levodopa intake.

Before levodopa intake, CAP and PAP levels were higher in patients with Parkinson's disease compared with the control group but were not statistically significant:

  • Mean CAP before levodopa: 150 mm Hg in patients with Parkinson's vs 137 mm Hg in the control group
  • Mean PAP before levodopa:  153/89 mm Hg in patients with Parkinson's vs 141/83 mm Hg in the control group

After levodopa intake, CAP and PAP levels were significantly decreased in patients with Parkinson's disease:

  • Mean CAP after levodopa: 130 mm Hg (P <.05)
  • Mean PAP after levodopa: 138/78 mm Hg (P <.04)

“Levodopa decreased both PAP and CAP, leading to a lower CAP than PAP, which is crucial for the heart health,” the researchers wrote. “This suggests that levodopa might have a positive effect on the heart in PD patients,” they concluded.


Visit Neurology Advisor's conference section for continuous coverage live from MDS 2017.

Reference

Balal M, Demirkiran M. Central aortic pressure in Parkinson's disease and levodopa effect. Presented at: 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders. June 4-8, 2017; Vancouver, BC, Canada. Abstract 100.

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