Dextromethorphan improves levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease

L. Verhagen Metman, P. Del Dotto, R. Natté, P. Van Den Munckhof, Thomas N. Chase*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This study assessed the effects of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist dextromethorphan (DM) on levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease (PD). Background: Recent experimental evidence suggests that increased synaptic efficacy of NMDA receptors expressed on basal ganglia neurons may play a role in the pathophysiology of levodopa-induced motor response complications. Methods: DM was given to six PD patients with motor fluctuations in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. At the end of each 3-week study arm, patients received several brief IV levodopa infusions while parkinsonian symptoms and dyskinesias were frequently scored. Levodopa dose-response curves for antiparkinsonian and dyskinetic effects were then compared for each study arm; Results: With DM, average and maximum dyskinesia scores improved by >50%, without compromising the antiparkinsonian response magnitude or duration of levodopa, although in some subjects the levodopa threshold dose was slightly higher with DM than with placebo. Conclusions: These findings support the view that drugs acting to inhibit glutamatergic transmission at the NMDA receptors can ameliorate levodopa- associated dyskinesias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-206
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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