14th International Congress
14th international congress

News Release

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, +1 414-276-2145, elaur@movementdisorders.org
MDS Press Room: Rio de la Plata Room, 2nd Floor, Sheraton Buenos Aires
(Late-Breaking Abstract: LB-01)

Levodopa Effective in Improvement of Rectal Function in Parkinson’s Disease

BUENOS AIRES – A study evaluating levodopa’s effects on anorectal constipation in newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients was presented today at The Movement Disorder Society’s 14th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

For the first time, this study, led by Ryuji Sakakibara and colleagues in Tokyo, Japan, demonstrates levodopa’s effectiveness in improving rectal function in PD patients without any serious adverse effects.

Nineteen randomly selected de novo PD patients were evaluated in the study, which used the quantitative lower-gastrointestinal autonomic test (QL-GAT) to measure the results. These patients were treated with 200 mg/day of levodopa with 20 mg/day of carbidopa for three months. After the treatment, the QL-GAT showed that levodopa increased rectal contraction, lessened paradoxical sphincter contraction (PSD) and therefore improved overall anorectal constipation in PD patients.

Ronald Pfeiffer, MD, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, states “Bowel dysfunction is a frequent and sometimes very troublesome nonmotor feature of Parkinson’s disease that may include both decreased bowel movement frequency due to slowed colonic motility and difficulty with the act of defecation itself due to anorectal dysfunction. While a number of treatment modalities are useful in improving bowel movement frequency, effective treatment of anorectal dysfunction has been much more elusive. The QL-GAT study, reported by Dr. Sakakibara and colleagues, documents for the first time that levodopa is effective in improving rectal function in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This study should prompt further investigation into additional treatment approaches involving dopaminergic mechanisms that might be even more effective in ameliorating this troublesome aspect of Parkinson’s disease.”

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, tremor, gait and dystonia. More than 3,500 physicians and medical professionals from 70 countries will be able to view over 1,000 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals from more than 90 countries, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org.