A Real-Life Search for the Optimal Set of Conversion Factors to Levodopa-Equivalent-Dose in Parkinson’s Disease Patients on Polytherapy

Background:A wide variety of conversion factors for a levodopa-equivalent-dose (LED) have been proposed for each Parkinson’s disease (PD) medication. The currently-used set of conversion factors is based on studies that relied on subjective experience or theoretical assumptions. This set was never validated in patients receiving polytherapy. Objectives:To use real-life data to identify an optimal set of conversion factors independent of prior assumptions regarding clinical efficacy of different medications. Methods:Retrospective analysis of data from 206 cognitively-preserved patients with advanced PD receiving polytherapy before deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. A nonlinear automated problem solver was used to find a set of conversion factors that, when applied, minimized the coefficient of variation of LEDs in a relatively homogenous cohort of patients. Results:Independent and model-free evaluation of a wide range of possible sets of conversion factors to LED suggested a set of normalized conversion factors for immediate release levodopa (1.00), controlled release levodopa (0.88), and amantadine (1.23). A minimal clinical benefit of entacapone was observed for patients with motor fluctuations. Our analysis could not detect conversion factors for dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors, possibly because their clinical contribution when added to levodopa is limited. Conclusions:Independent from previous studies and prior assumptions we show that the currently-used LED conversion factors for immediate release levodopa, controlled release levodopa and amantadine are largely correct and that dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors and entacapone, given in addition to levodopa, have little additional clinical value for PD patients with motor fluctuations.

Snineh MA, Hajyahya A, Linetsky E, Eitan R, Bergman H, Israel Z, Arkadir D
Year of publication
Journal of Parkinson's Disease