Plasma Homocysteine Level and its Relationship to Clinical Profile in Parkinson’s Disease Patients at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital

  • OO Ojo
  • OO Oladipo
  • FI Ojini
  • EO Sanya
  • MA Danesi
  • NU Okubadejo
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, homocysteine, Nigeria, severity, disability


Background: Hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy) is as a longterm sequelum of levodopa therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Information on its frequency and effects in Africans with PD is sparse.
Objective: To determine the frequency of HHcy and its relationship to clinical features of PD in African patients.
Methods: Using a case-control design, 40 consecutively attending PD patients and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteering controls were studied. Parkinson’s disease cases were evaluated for disease and treatment characteristics, using the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor and activities of daily living scores and disease stage (Hoehn and Yahr scale). Fasting total plasma homocysteine (Hcy) was determined in all subjects. Hyperhomocysteinaemia was defined as a Hcy level above the 90th percentile for the controls.
Results: Mean Hcy was 13.8 ± 5.4μmol/L in PD and 12.4 ± 3μmol/L in controls (P>0.05). Hyperhomocysteinaemia (Hcy > 16.26umol/L) occurred in nine (22.5%) PD patients (all on levodopa) and 6 (15%) controls (P>0.05). Mean duration of levodopa use was 92 ± 105.3 months in PD with HHcy compared to PD patients with normal Hcy 33.9 ± 33.2 (p < 0.05). Disease severity and disability were similar regardless of Hcy levels. None of current age, disease duration, Hoehn and Yahr stage, UPDRS scores, total levodopa dose and duration was independent predictor of homocysteine level.
Conclusion: There is increased occurrence of hyperhomocysteinaemia in Nigerian subjects with Parkinson’s disease, receiving Levodopa. This hyperhomocysteinaemia is more common with prolonged use but appears to have no relationship with disease severity or disability.

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