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Three year follow up of levodopa plus carbidopa treatment in a prevalent cohort of patients with Parkinson's disease in Hai, Tanzania

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Catherine DotchinORCiD


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It was previously thought that the prevalence of Parkinson's disease (PD) in developing countries, and in particular sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), was lower than the rest of the world. The Hai PD prevalence project [1] diagnosed 32 patients (the majority previously undiagnosed and untreated) with PD from a population of 161,000, giving age standardised prevalence rates of 64 (men) and 20 (women)/100,000, respectively. Subsequently, drug treatment has been commenced for all surviving patients with annual follow up. The aim of the study was to document response to treatment, development of side effects, progression of disease and feasibility and sustainability of supplying medication to patients in rural Tanzania. Eleven patients died before the start of medication, and a further four during follow up. One patient moved away from the study area. At the end of 3 years of treatment, 16 patients were surviving. Only one stopped medication due to side effects (dyskinesia). At 3 years, 9/16 experienced wearing off and a further three had dyskinesias. Non motor symptoms were a problem at initial assessment [2] and continued to be a problem for many of the patients. We have shown that it is possible to find, treat and follow up patients with PD in a rural sub-Saharan African setting. Availability of affordable medication locally is a major issue. Acknowledging that movement disorders and neurological diseases in general are an issue in this setting is important to drive education and training, and for allocation of funding from health care providers in SSA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dotchin C, Jusabani A, Walker R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurology

Year: 2011

Volume: 258

Issue: 9

Pages: 1649-1656

Print publication date: 27/03/2011

ISSN (print): 0340-5354

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1459

Publisher: Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s00415-011-5988-y


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