Plasma homocysteine levels in patients treated with levodopa: motor and cognitive associations.Neurol Res. 2006 Dec; 28(8):853-8.NR
The aim of this study was to determine whether hyperhomocysteinemia caused by levodopa used in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) is associated with cognitive or physical impairments. The role of folate and vitamin B12 levels in this context was also ascertained.
Thirty-nine patients who had been followed with the diagnosis of IPD in our clinic for > 2 years and 28 healthy control subjects with similar demographic features were included in the study. The homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 levels and the results of the short test of mental status (STMS) and the clock drawing test of IPD patients were compared with those of the controls. Subsequently, the patients with a homocysteine level of >14 micromol/l were compared with those having a homocysteine level of <14 micromol/l by means of detailed neuropsychometric test batteries.
Homocysteine levels were significantly higher in the patient group in comparison with the controls. There was a negative correlation between hyperhomocysteinemia and the levels of vitamin B12 and folate. On the other hand, a positive correlation between hyperhomocysteinemia and the levodopa dose was detected. There was a positive correlation between hyperhomocysteinemia and unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) motor section. The critical dose of levodopa was observed to be 300 mg/d. In terms of cognitive and frontal functions, no significant difference was detected between the patients and control group. The subgroup with a homocysteine level of >14 micromol/l had a significantly poorer performance in frontal and memory tests.
In patients with IPD who are detected to have hyperhomocysteinemia, the assessment of the cognitive performance, folic acid and vitamin B12 levels and the supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B12 to the treatment regimen might be appropriate.