Comparison of eight clinical rating scales used for the assessment of MPTP-induced parkinsonism in the Macaque monkey

J Neurosci Methods. 2000 Mar 1;96(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(99)00184-3.


The most valuable model of Parkinson's disease available at present is the primate model treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), frequently used to study response to new drugs or surgical treatments. The evaluation of such therapies requires clinical rating scales which measure precisely motor behaviour in both normal and parkinsonian monkeys. It is obvious that such evaluation can only be valid if parallel studies are carried out under similar experimental conditions with well-defined objective criteria. Hence the need to compare and assess the different rating scales in use if we want to be able to compare the results of clinical studies. In order to give rise to some fresh thinking on the necessity of a certain uniformity of assessment, this study compares eight clinical rating scales and considers their capacity to express in quantitative terms both the severity of MPTP intoxication in five cynomolgus monkeys and the alleviation afforded by levodopa. None of the eight scales reaches all the criteria despite the Kurlan scale would appear as an interesting working basis for a further consensual definition of a worldwide used parkinsonian monkey clinical rating scale

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • Animals
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Female
  • Levodopa / pharmacology
  • MPTP Poisoning / diagnosis*
  • MPTP Poisoning / drug therapy
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Neurologic Examination / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Levodopa
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine