Speech Dysfluency Exacerbated by Levodopa in Parkinson's Disease

Authors

  • Elan D. Louis MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
    • Unit 198, Neurological Institute, 710 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032

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  • Linda Winfield RN, MPH,

    1. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • Stanley Fahn MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • Blair Ford MD

    1. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • A videotape accompanies this article

Abstract

The role of dopamine in the modulation of speech fluency is complex. In this report we describe two patients with Parkinson's disease whose speech dysfluency was exacerbated by the administration of levodopa. In doing so, we extend the observation that dopaminergic mechanisms may be involved in the regulation of speech fluency. It is important for clinicians to recognize that, in some instances, dopaminergic replacement therapy may exacerbate an underlying dysfluency syndrome in PD.

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