Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD: Dyskinesias in Atypical Parkinsonism


The associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic spoke about the findings of a population-based cohort study seeking to investigate the incidence of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in atypical parkinsonism.

“Using the same dose and same duration, there is a huge difference. That helps in the diagnosis, helps in the prognosis, and helps us in understanding the condition.”

At the 2019 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD, and colleagues presented data on the incidence of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in patients with atypical parkinsonism compared to that of patients with Parkinson in a similar population-based cohort.

Ultimately, using data from 337 patients with atypical parkinsonism, of which 44.5% (n = 150) were treated with levodopa (median dose, 600 mg; range, 300 mg to 900 mg). The results showed that 11.3% of levodopa-treated patients developed dyskinesia, which Savica, an associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic, told NeurologyLive® that this is compared to a rate of roughly 30% of those with Parkinson disease and that the vast majority of the atypical patients respond well to treatment adjustments.

The data also showed that those with dyskinesia were diagnosed with parkinsonism at a significantly younger age than those without (P = .03) with no other differences between groups. After adjusting for age, sex, and levodopa dose, patients with atypical parkinsonism had lower odds of developing dyskinesia compared to patients with Parkinson (odds ratio, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.57; P <.001).

To find out more about the study and this incidence, NeurologyLive® spoke with Savica at AAN. He shared his insight from participating in the study as well as what clinicians can take away from these findings.

For more coverage of AAN 2019, click here.


Turcano P, Stang C, Bower J, et al. Levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Atypical Parkinsonism: A population-based cohort study. Presented at: 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting. May 4-10, 2019; Philadelphia, PA.

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