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September 1972

Levodopa in Parkinson's Disease: Effect on Pulmonary Function

Author Affiliations


From the pulmonary and neurology divisions, Department of Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Department of Medicine and Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;130(3):346-348. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.03650030028007

Twenty-three patients with Parkinson's disease underwent serial study of total lung capacity and its subdivisions, maximal-effort expiratory and inspiratory flow rates, and steady-state diffusing capacity when on no therapy, on a regimen of procyclidine hydrochloride, and on a regimen of levodopa. Indices of clinical improvement were scored and compared to physiologic respiratory data. Compared to values measured when on no therapy; results on a regimen of levodopa showed a significant increase in peak flow rate, maximal voluntary ventilation, forced expiratory volume,0.75 sec × 40, vital capacity, total lung capacity, and expiratory reserve volume. Indices not requiring maximal coordinated effort did not vary from control values when on either a regimen of procyclidine or levodopa. Serial analysis of maximaleffort flow rates proved a valuable and objective method to assess drug therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease.

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