Levodopa effect upon functional balance of Parkinson's disease patients

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Nova, I. C.
Perracini, M. R.
Ferraz, H. B.
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Objective. the aim of this study was to evaluate functional balance in PD patients taking levodopa during their 'on' and 'off' phases.Design. We evaluated 23 PD patients who were manifesting fluctuations of levodopa effect. All patients were assessed by Hoehn-Yahr, UPDRS-III and Schwab-England rating scales and by the Berg functional balance scale during a practically defined 'off' (at least after 12 h the last levodopa intake) and 'on' (the mobile state induced by the drug) phases.Results. Mean scores obtained for all scales showed improvements during the 'on' phase of levodopa and all of the comparisons were statistically significant. Mean scores of Berg scale moved from 31.7 during the 'off' phase to 42.7 during the 'on' phase. Mean UPDRS 'off' and 'on' scores were 50.6 and 32.0, respectively.Conclusion. We conclude that Berg functional balance scale is able to detect changes in balance and that levodopa can modify the postural instability of PD patients. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. Oxford: Elsevier B.V., v. 10, n. 7, p. 411-415, 2004.