Circadian rhythms of prolactin have been evaluated in thirteen untreated parkinsonian patients before and after 15 days of treatment with L-Dopa + carbidopa. The 24th secretory pattern was not significatively different from that observed in controls. The L-Dopa + carbidopa therapy does not change the basal circadian prolactin (PRL) rhythm. These results suggest that the tubero-infundibular dopaminergic system (TIDA) and the PRL secretion are conserved in untreated parkinsonian patients (PP). During chronic L-Dopa + carbidopa therapy, the basal PRL levels, evaluated in 21 PP, showed a correlation with the severity of clinical features. The effects of single doses of apomorphine, bromocriptine, lisuride and haloperidol, were studied on serum levels of PRL in 21 PP divided in two groups of "responders" and "non-responders". Haloperidol induced an enhancement of serum PRL; the dopaminergic drugs, apomorphine, bromocriptine and lisuride inhibited basal PRL secretion. It seems that the TIDA system, in Parkinson disease is not significatively altered, even though presenting a remarkably slower response in "non-responders" to L-Dopa therapy. We also evaluated the effect of L-Dopa, L-Dopa + carbidopa, bromocriptine, lisuride, nomifensine and deprenyl on growth hormone secretion in six PP. The endocrine effects of dopaminergic drugs show a mild rise in comparison with controls suggesting an important alteration in the dopamine (DA) control of growth hormone (GH).
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