Hypertrophy of IMC of carotid artery in Parkinson's disease is associated with L-DOPA, homocysteine, and MTHFR genotype.J Neurol Sci. 2003 Mar 15; 207(1-2):19-23.JN
In recent years, an intense interest has developed in the association between Parkinson's disease (PD) and hyperhomocysteinemia. Homocysteine (Hcy) is a neuronal excitotoxic amino acid, and is well known as a risk factor for vascular diseases. Some reports suggest that the administration of L-DOPA may promote hyperhomocysteinemia and idiopathic atherosclerosis. In this study, we report that a mild hypertrophy of the intima-media complex (IMC) of the carotid artery, which has been established as a marker for systemic atherosclerosis, is observed in PD patients compared with normal subjects. PD patients that were treated with L-DOPA for long durations showed a hypertrophic IMC, while the patients that were not treated with L-DOPA did not show any hypertrophic changes in the IMC. These hypertrophic changes were observed primarily in patients with a Hoehn-Yahr stage of 3-5. PD patients with hypertrophic IMC of the carotid artery also exhibited elevated plasma levels of Hcy associated with the C677T genotype of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Moreover, a prolonged duration of treatment with L-DOPA in patients with MTHFR T/T genotype enhanced the hypertrophy of IMC, compared with patients with the C/C or C/T genotype. These results suggest that hyperhomocysteinemia promoted by the C677T genotype of MTHFR and prolonged treatment with L-DOPA enhances atherosclerosis in PD patients and affects their general condition.