Dopaminergic therapy for motor symptoms in early Parkinson disease practice Guideline summary

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50 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives To review the current evidence on the options available for initiating dopaminergic treatment of motor symptoms in early-stage Parkinson disease and provide recommendations to clinicians. Methods A multidisciplinary panel developed practice recommendations, integrating findings from a systematic review and following an Institute of Medicine-compliant process to ensure transparency and patient engagement. Recommendations were supported by structured rationales, integrating evidence from the systematic review, related evidence, principles of care, and inferences from evidence. Results Initial treatment with levodopa provides superior motor benefit compared to treatment with dopamine agonists, whereas levodopa is more likely than dopamine agonists to cause dyskinesia. The comparison of different formulations of dopamine agonists yielded little evidence that any one formulation or method of administration is superior. Long-acting forms of levodopa and levodopa with entacapone do not appear to differ in efficacy from immediaterelease levodopa for motor symptoms in early disease. There is a higher risk of impulse control disorders associated with the use of dopamine agonists than levodopa. Recommendations on initial therapy for motor symptoms are provided to assist the clinician and patient in choosing between treatment options and to guide counseling, prescribing, and monitoring of efficacy and safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-957
Number of pages16
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This guideline was developed with financial support from the AAN. Authors who have served as AAN subcommittee members or methodologists (T.P., G.S.D., D.B.S., A.R.-G., N.L., M.J.A., G.G., L.B., K.S.), or who are AAN staff members (M.D.O., H.S.), were reimbursed by the AAN for expenses related to travel to subcommittee meetings where drafts of manuscripts were reviewed.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Neurology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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