Levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) is effective for long-term treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms, a recent study has found.
The study included 145 patients (mean age, 70.4±7.7 years; 50.3 percent male) who started LCIG treatment in routine care between 2007 and 2014. The primary study outcome was change from baseline in item 39 of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Secondary outcomes included scores in the PD Quality of Life Questionnaire (PDQ), PD Sleep Scale (PDSS) and Gait and Falls Questionnaire (GFQ).
Scores in item 39 of the UPDRS dropped by a significant 55 percent (p<0.001) by the second follow-up and by 50 percent (p<0.001), relative to baseline, by the third follow-up. Moreover, during the respective visits, 83 percent and 78 percent of the participants spent <25 percent of their daily time in off periods, when the medication cannot optimally control symptoms.
There were also significant drops relative to baseline dyskinesia duration score (–28 percent; p<0.001), dyskinesia disability (–40 percent; p<0.001) and painful dyskinesia (–50 percent; p<0.001) at the final follow-up.
Quality of life was also significantly affected by LCIG, with significant mean PDQ improvements from baseline (72.3±23.8) at the second (64.7±25.4; p<0.001) and third (67.3±26.4; p<0.05) follow-ups. Such improvements were also reported for the PDSS and GFQ scores across all study visits.
Notably, clinicians also rated 96 percent of the patients as having improved since the first visit; clinical worsening of symptoms was identified in only 4 percent of the cases.