Background: Apomorphine infusion therapy remains under-used and there are no comparative studies of motor and non-motor effects of apomorphine infusion.
Methods: In this paper we report preliminary results from an ongoing clinical observational "real life" surveillance-based study focused on effects of this therapy on non-motor symptoms and health-related quality of life in a group of patients on apomorphine.
Results: Apomorphine infusion led to highly significant improvements in UPDRS 3 (p = 0.0003), UPDRS 4 (p = 0.0003), PDQ-8 (Parkinson's disease questionnaire, p = 0.001) and NMSS total (non motor symptoms scale, p = 0.0003). Furthermore, apomorphine was tolerated in patients with visual hallucinations, illusions and paranoid ideations while significant improvement in specific non-motor symptoms such as hyperhidrosis, nocturia, urgency of micturition, and fatigue was recorded. Levodopa equivalent dose decreased significantly (1077.81 ± 446.26 to 458.75 ± 282.29, p < 0.0001) and a large effect size of intervention was noted. In an untreated group no such improvement was noted. The number needed to treat (NNT) for improvement >1 SEM in the Apo group was calculated and was lower than 2 for >1 SEM improvement of UPDRS 3, NMSS, and PDQ-8 total scores.
Conclusions: This pilot observational study suggests that non-motor effects are evident with apomorphine therapy and patients suitable for apomorphine deteriorate in the absence of therapy.