Rajesh Pahwa, MD: Understanding Levodopa-Carbidopa Treatment Impact

October 4, 2020

The director of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center for Excellence at the University of Kansas Medical Center provided insight on the lapses in levodopa-carbidopa treatment and what potential changes could come in the future.

The challenges and problems patients with Parkinson disease face in later stages, we cannot help with levodopa.

Parkinson disease (PD) is characterized by a multitude of individualized issues including cognitive impairments, motor fluctuations, increased number of comorbidities, and more. Carbidopa-levodopa remains 1 of the few FDA-approved treatments to help with patients’ OFF time but does not fully mitigate a lot of the remaining issues.

As PD continues to progress into its later stages, the problems patients face can sometimes be untreatable, especially with levodopa-carbidopa. Rajesh Pahwa, MD, noted his belief that the patient community is unaware of these limitations of the treatment. Pahwa, who is director of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center for Excellence at the University of Kansas Medical Center, sees the potential of levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel as an option that will be not only be incorporated more commonly in future trials, but across clinical care as a whole.

He sat down with NeurologyLive to detail the limitations of the available options in treating patients with PD and the future outlook for those who are more willing to undergo treatment with carbidopa-levodopa intestinal gel.