Hyperhomocysteinemia recurrence in levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease patients

V. Belcastro, L. Pierguidi, A. Castrioto, C. Menichetti, G. Gorgone, R. Ientile, F. Pisani, A. Rossi, P. Calabresi, N. Tambasco

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Background: Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and chronically treated with L-DOPA exhibit, in a percentage of 10-30%, supra-physiological levels of plasma total homocysteinemia (tHcy). In this study, we have investigated, in a group of hyper-homocysteinemic PD patients, the time of hyper-tHcy recurrence after discontinuation of 1-month folate supplementation given to normalize plasma tHcy levels. Methods: Plasma tHcy, cobalamin and folate were assayed before and after 1-month folate supplementation (5 mg/day), and after 2 and 4 months after folate discontinuation in 29 PD patients (16M/13F, mean age 69.4 ± 6.9 years) stabilized on a mean L-DOPA dose of 509.4 ± 312.1 mg/day. Results: After folate supplementation, plasma tHcy levels fell within the normal range in all patients. At the 2-month control after folate discontinuation, plasma tHcy remained within physiological values in 25 out of 29 patients. Conversely, 4 months after folate discontinuation, all patients exhibited hyper-tHcy. Conclusions: One-month intake of 5 mg/day folate normalizes plasma tHcy levels in all hyper-homocysteinemic PD patients. Following folate discontinuation, hyper-tHcy recurs in all patients within 4 months. Knowledge of this time interval is useful to optimize pulses of folate therapy in hyper-homocysteinemic patients with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-665
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Folate
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Levodopa
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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    Belcastro, V., Pierguidi, L., Castrioto, A., Menichetti, C., Gorgone, G., Ientile, R., Pisani, F., Rossi, A., Calabresi, P., & Tambasco, N. (2010). Hyperhomocysteinemia recurrence in levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease patients. European Journal of Neurology, 17(5), 661-665. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02894.x