Response to L-DOPA in multiple system atrophy

Clin Neuropharmacol. 1993 Apr;16(2):139-44. doi: 10.1097/00002826-199304000-00006.


A poor response to L-DOPA in addition to parkinsonian, cerebellar, and autonomic signs is commonly regarded as indicative of clinical multiple system atrophy (MSA). We compared the motor response to a single oral administration of 250 mg L-DOPA/25 mg carbidopa in eight MSA patients and eight Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with the "on-off" phenomenon, evaluating L-DOPA peripheral pharmacokinetics. Motor response was consistently good in all PD patients, but only four MSA patients had a (moderate) response. Pharmacokinetic parameters did not differ between the groups. The varying extent of putaminal damage could be responsible for the differing motor response to L-DOPA in MSA patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbidopa / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / pharmacokinetics
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / drug effects
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology
  • Muscle Rigidity / drug therapy
  • Muscle Rigidity / physiopathology
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Tremor / drug therapy
  • Tremor / physiopathology


  • Levodopa
  • Carbidopa