The pathophysiology of levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease is incompletely understood. This study was designed to investigate in Parkinson’s patients, whether time-related changes in striatal dopamine transporter availability are associated to the appearance of dyskinesias. 15 Parkinson’s patients had dopamine transporter-specific SPECT imaging with 123I-FP-CIT twice: at baseline (when they were drug naïve) and at follow-up (6.31 ± 2.29 years from baseline), and were followed up clinically every six months. At the end of the study, patients were divided in two groups according to whether they had developed dyskinesias or not. Semiquantification of 123I-FP-CIT data was performed using the occipital cortex as the reference region. Specific binding ratios were calculated for the putamen and the caudate. During the clinical follow-up, all Parkinson’s patients were treated pharmaceutically. 8 patients developed dyskinesias, while 7 remained nondyskinetic. At baseline, the two groups had similar 123I-FP-CIT specific binding ratio values for the putamen and the caudate (p > 0.05). Also, between-group differences in age, disease duration, and Hoehn & Yahr scores were not statistically significant. Overtime, the putaminal 123I-FP-CIT specific binding ratio values in the dyskinetic group decreased significantly (p < 0.01). The nondyskinetic patients had smaller reductions (p < 0.05) during the same period of time. At follow-up, the dyskinetic patients had significantly higher Hoehn & Yahr scores (p < 0.01) and were taking higher levodopa equivalent doses (p < 0.001), as compared to the nondyskinetic patients. The development of Parkinson’s dyskinesias is related to a faster progression rate, as reflected by marked putaminal dopamine transporter decreases.
Citation: Roussakis AA, Towey D, Gennaro M, Lao–Kaim NP, Piccini P. 2019. Parkinson’s Disease Dyskinesias Possibly Relate to Greater Dopamine Transporter Losses in the Putamen Over Time. J Neurol Exp Neurosci 5(S1): S6-S11.