Perceived exertion and muscle efficiency in Parkinson's disease: L-DOPA effects

P. A. LeWitt, Adil Eddie Bharucha, I. Chitrit, C. Takis, S. Patil, A. Schork, B. Pichurko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Weakness, easy fatiguing, and lack of endurance are commonly perceived by patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the slowed motor repertoire in PD may underlie these experiences, other abnormalities in skeletal muscle utilization also may be involved. We investigated whether an index of metabolic efficiency during a continuous exercise task, the latency until anaerobic threshold (AT), is altered by L-DOPA (LD). While pedalling a bicycle ergometer against a uniform workload, subjects were monitored for expired O2 and CO2. As compared to an unmedicated state, LD treatment delayed AT by a mean (±SE) of 5.67 ± 0.89 to 6.62 ± 1.23 min (p < 0.05, paired t test). Subjects did not differ in their perceived exertion upon reaching AT. With relief of parkinsonism by LD, the efficiency of energy utilization is also increased in exercised skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-459
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • fatigue
  • levodopa
  • Parkinson's disease
  • perceived exertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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