Lung Function Testing On and Off Dopaminergic Medication in Parkinson's Disease Patients With and Without Dysphagia

Tareq Sawan, Mary Louise Harris, Christopher Kobylecki, Laura Baijens, Michel van Hooren, Emilia Michou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Swallowing function in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) can be negatively affected by dopaminergic medication with associated inhibition of brainstem reflexes. Three different "swallowing-safety" profiles of PD patients were previously observed, classified according to swallowing safety on and off levodopa. Methods: Here, we investigated the effects of L-dopa on pulmonary function tests (PFTs) on 26 individuals with PD from the three different swallowing-safety profiles. PFTs results were compared to predicted values and direct comparisons between the groups with or without dysphagia were performed with nonparametric statistical tests (i.e., Kruskal-Wallis). Results: A short (12-hour) withdrawal from L-dopa did not result in any significant changes in PFTs, and no differences on PFTs results were observed between the different dysphagic groups the on and off L-dopa state. No correlation was observed between the PFTs results with swallowing safety profiles of PD patients. Conclusions: Although deglutition seems to be at least partially affected by dopaminergic repletion, dopaminergic mechanisms do not seem to be responsible for PD patients' performance in PFTs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-150
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • spirometry
  • pulmonary
  • levodopa
  • swallowing
  • videofluoroscopy

Cite this