Determinants of gait in the elderly parkinsonian on maintenance levodopa/carbidopa therapy.

1. We have used gait analysis to investigate the efficacy of maintenance therapy with a levodopa/carbidopa combination in patients with idiopathic Parkinsonism, who do not have overt fluctuations in control in relation to administration of medication. 2. Fourteen patients (aged 64 to 88 years) receiving maintenance therapy with levodopa and carbidopa (Sinemet Plus) entered a placebo-controlled, randomised cross-over study of the effect of omission of a morning dose of active treatment on distance/time parameters of gait. Measurements made 2, 4 and 6 h after the morning treatment were standardised by taking the pre-treatment measurement on that day as baseline. 3. The mean increase in stride length (7%) and decrease in double support time (20%) on active treatment were small but statistically significant (P less than 0.0001, in each case), there being no significant placebo effect on either gait parameter (P = 0.69 and 0.08 respectively). Neither active nor placebo treatments had any significant (P greater than 0.45 in each case) effect on the lying, standing or postural fall in mean arterial pressure, measurements being made in the same temporal relation to the treatments as was gait. 4. In a generalised linear model, after allowing for the effect (P less than 0.0001) of intrinsic variability in pre-treatment speed as well as for structure of the study, nature of treatment had an effect on stride length over the whole walk, significant at P = 0.002. 5. Pre-treatment postural fall in mean arterial pressure was nearly as significant (P = 0.003) as the nature of treatment in the context of such a model: the greater the fall, the greater the increment in stride length seen following active or placebo treatment. This was probably explained by an acquired tolerance to the fall as the day progressed. 6. The major determinant (P less than 0.0001) of the change in double support time over the whole walk, after allowing for the structure of the study, appeared to be the post treatment mean arterial standing blood pressure. The lower the pressure, the shorter the double support time, and hence, the greater the tendency to a hurried gait. 7. Nature of treatment, when added into the models described in summary points 5 and 6, had no significant effect (P greater than 0.25, in each case).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
AuthorsS G Bowes, P K Clark, A L Leeman, C J O'Neill, C Weller, P W Nicholson, A A Deshmukh, S M Dobbs, R J Dobbs
JournalBritish journal of clinical pharmacology (Br J Clin Pharmacol) Vol. 30 Issue 1 Pg. 13-24 (Jul 1990) ISSN: 0306-5251 [Print] ENGLAND
PMID2202385 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial)
Chemical References
  • Levodopa
  • Carbidopa
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure (drug effects)
  • Carbidopa (therapeutic use)
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gait (drug effects)
  • Humans
  • Levodopa (therapeutic use)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Parkinson Disease (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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