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July 1992

Local Cerebral Blood Flow and Its Response to Intravenous Levodopa in Progressive Supranuclear PalsyComparison With Parkinson's Disease

Arch Neurol. 1992;49(7):725-730. doi:10.1001/archneur.1992.00530310071014

• The local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) at steady state and after the intravenous administration of levodopa (1 mg/kg) was measured by the xenon-enhanced computed tomographic method in six patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and in nine patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. The baseline LCBF values in most brain regions in patients with PSP were lower than those in patients with Parkinson's disease, and hyperfrontality of the LCBF was lost. In patients with Parkinson's disease, the injection of levodopa markedly increased LCBF, especially in the striatum, thalamus, and internal capsule (approximately 40%). In patients with PSP, however, levodopa did not increase the LCBF in all brain regions examined. The LCBF increases after the administration of levodopa in patients with Parkinson's disease may be secondary to metabolic activation of the dopaminergic system. The different LCBF responses to levodopa between patients with PSP and those with Parkinson's disease may reflect differences in pathologic features, such as in the degree of preservation of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and the distribution and density of dopamine receptors, and are also related to the clinical effectiveness of levodopa therapy.