Objective: The objectives of the present study were to assess the effects of dopaminergic drugs on the postural balance of Parkinson disease (PD) patients and to ascertain whether their sway is greater along the mediolateral or the anteroposterior axis.
Design: Twenty-two patients awaiting operations for implantation of a deep brain stimulator at the neurology service of Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine (HC-FMUSP), were assessed. All of them were assessed on the AccuSwayPlus portable force platform, through evaluation of the center of pressure. The patients stayed standing upright on both feet with the eyes open and closed for 60-sec periods. Center-of-pressure displacements along the mediolateral and anteroposterior axes and the displacement velocity and the elliptical area covered by 95% of the displacement were measured. Two assessments were made: without medication (at least 12 hrs after the last administration) and with the effects from levodopa.
Results: The elliptical displacement area was greater when the patients were under the effects of the medication (P < 0.05). The center-of-pressure displacements were greater along the anteroposterior axis than along the mediolateral axis.
Conclusions: Levodopa increases the sway area of the Parkinson disease patients evaluated by static posturography.