Response to L-DOPA in multiple system atrophy

E. A. Parati, V. Fetoni, G. C. Geminiani, P. Soliveri, P. Giovannini, D. Testa, S. Genitrini, T. Caraceni, F. Girotti

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A poor response to L-DOPA in addition to parkinsonian, cerebellar, and autonomic signs is commonly regarded as indicative of clinical multiple system atrophy (MSA). We compared the motor response to a single oral administration of 250 mg L-DOPA/25 mg carbidopa in eight MSA patients and eight Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with the 'on-off' phenomenon, evaluating L-DOPA peripheral pharmacokinetics. Motor response was consistently good in all PD patients, but only four MSA patients had a (moderate) response. Pharmacokinetic parameters did not differ between the groups. The varying extent of putaminal damage could be responsible for the differing motor response to L-DOPA in MSA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • L-DOPA
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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