Can tremor predict the effect of Parkinson’s disease medication?

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Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 19 November 2020

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Researchers from the Netherlands have found a link between tremor symptoms and how dopaminergic medication impacts learning abilities in Parkinson’s disease.

Many people with Parkinson’s become sensitive to learning through rewards due to a decrease in dopamine in the brain. As part of a new study – published in the scientific journal Brain –researchers assessed 43 tremor-dominant and 20 non-tremor dominant people with Parkinson’s while they were on and off dopaminergic medication.

The results showed that in people with Parkinson’s who do not experience tremor, dopaminergic medication improves the ability to learn from rewards – and in those with tremor, the medication has no impact on reward learning.

Rick Helmich, co-author of the study and a neurologist at Radboud University Medical Centre, the Netherlands, said: “Whether someone experiences tremor or not might therefore potentially have a significant predictive value regarding the effectiveness of medication in the cognitive domain. However, more and larger studies are needed before this can be confirmed.”


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