The purpose of this study was to examine repeated measures of fine motor function in relation to self-assessed motor conditions in Parkinson's disease (PD).
One-hundred PD patients, 65 with advanced PD and 35 patients with different disease stages have utilized a test battery in a telemedicine setting. On each test occasion, they initially self-assessed their motor condition (from 'very off' to 'very dyskinetic') and then performed a set of fine motor tests (tapping and spiral drawings).
The motor tests scores were found to be the best during self-rated On. Self-rated dyskinesias caused more impaired spiral drawing performance (mean = 9.8% worse, P
Levodopa is the cornerstone treatment for Parkinson's disease, but the short half-life of levodopa limits its usefulness in late stages of the disease. Duodenal levodopa infusion (DLI) allows more stable plasma levels and better motor symptom control. To explore the costs and health benefits of replacing conventional oral polypharmacy with DLI in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, from a Swedish healthcare payer perspective. Based on a clinical, randomized, crossover study with 24 patients (DIREQT), a decision analytic model predicted 2-year drug costs and QALYs for conventional oral therapy and for DLI. Health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) was recorded using a 15-dimensional (15D) utility instrument at baseline and during the two 3-week trial periods, and then at eight follow-up visits during the subsequent 6 months. Use of medication was based on data from DIREQT and previous studies. Unit costs were based on market prices (drugs) and customary charges in Sweden. All costs were expressed in Swedish kronor (SEK), year 2004 values euro 1.00 approximately SEK9.17, $US1.00 = SEK7.47). Future costs and outcomes were discounted at 3%. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. The mean utility scores were 0.77 for DLI and 0.72 for conventional therapy (p = 0.02). A considerable variation in the scores was observed during the study. The expected per-patient 2-year cost of DLI was SEK562 000 while it was SEK172 000 for conventional therapy. The mean number of QALYs was 1.48 and 1.42, respectively, representing an incremental cost of SEK6.1 million per QALY for DLI (all values discounted at 3%). Using other assumptions in sensitivity analyses, the cost per QALY could be as low as SEK456 000. This analysis can be considered exploratory only; it is based on very limited data. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that DLI results in a significant improvement in HR-QOL. However, the cost per QALY is likely to be higher than customary cost-effectiveness thresholds. Whether these benefits justify the additional costs depends on how the health benefits are measured and how these benefits are valued by society.
This paper describes a web-based system for enabling remote monitoring of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and supporting clinicians in treating their patients. The system consists of a patient node for subjective and objective data collection based on a handheld computer, a service node for data storage and processing, and a web application for data presentation. Using statistical and machine learning methods, time series of raw data are summarized into scores for conceptual symptom dimensions and an "overall test score" providing a comprehensive profile of patient's health during a test period of about one week. The handheld unit was used quarterly or biannually by 65 patients with advanced PD for up to four years at nine clinics in Sweden. The IBM Computer System Usability Questionnaire was administered to assess nurses' satisfaction with the web application. Results showed that a majority of the nurses were quite satisfied with the usability although a sizeable minority were not. Our findings support that this system can become an efficient tool to easily access relevant symptom information from the home environment of PD patients.
Motor complications of Parkinson's disease (PD) are a consequence of pulsatile dopaminergic stimulation from standard oral levodopa therapy. Levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) is infused continuously via an intrajejunal percutaneous gastrostomy tube. This was the first study designed to characterize the full pharmacokinetic profiles of levodopa, carbidopa, and levodopa metabolite, 3-O-methyldopa (3-OMD) with 16-h LCIG infusion. Nineteen advanced PD patients (mean age, 65 years) who were on LCIG therapy for =30 days were enrolled. Patients received their individualized LCIG infusion doses, and serial pharmacokinetic samples were collected. Eighteen patients completed the study; 19 were assessed for safety. Mean (SD) total levodopa and carbidopa doses were 1,580 (403) and 395 (101) mg, respectively. Mean (SD) C(avg) (µg/mL) were 2.9 (0.84) for levodopa, 17.1 (4.99) for 3-OMD, and 0.22 (0.08) for carbidopa. The degree of fluctuation [defined as (C(max)-C(min))/C(avg)] in levodopa, 3-OMD, and carbidopa plasma concentrations was very low (0.52, 0.21, and 0.96, respectively) during hours 2-16 of infusion. Accordingly, the within-subject coefficients of variation in levodopa, 3-OMD, and carbidopa concentrations were low (13%, 6%, and 19%, respectively). Three patients (16%) reported =1 treatment-emergent adverse event; none were considered severe. Continuous intrajejunal LCIG infusion maintained stable plasma levodopa levels over 16 h. Consistent exposure has been shown to reduce motor and nonmotor complications associated with oral medications. LCIG was well tolerated, consistent with previous reports.