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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2014, Article ID 684973, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/684973
Clinical Study

Parkinson’s Disease: Low-Dose Haloperidol Increases Dopamine Receptor Sensitivity and Clinical Response

1Department of Psychiatry, Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, 120 Napier Street, Goderich, ON, Canada N7A 1W5
2Clera Inc., 260 Heath Street West, Unit 605, Toronto, ON, Canada M5P 3L6

Received 23 July 2014; Accepted 9 November 2014; Published 20 November 2014

Academic Editor: Jose Rabey

Copyright © 2014 Craig J. Hudson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. It is known that ultra-low doses of haloperidol can cause dopamine supersensitivity of dopamine D2 receptors and related behaviour in animals. Objective. The objective was to determine whether a daily ultra-low dose of 40 micrograms of haloperidol could enhance the clinical action of levodopa in Parkinson’s disease patients. Method. While continuing their daily treatment with levodopa, 16 patients with Parkinson’s disease were followed weekly for six weeks. They received an add-on daily dose of 40 micrograms of haloperidol for the first two weeks only. The SPES/SCOPA scale (short scale for assessment of motor impairments and disabilities in Parkinson’s disease) was administered before treatment and weekly throughout the trial. Results. The results showed a mean decrease in SPES/SCOPA scores after one week of the add-on treatment. Conclusion. SCOPA scores decreased after the addition of low-dose haloperidol to the standard daily levodopa dose. This finding is consistent with an increase in sensitivity of dopamine D2 receptors induced by haloperidol. Such treatment for Parkinson’s disease may possibly permit the levodopa dose to be reduced and, thus, delay the onset of levodopa side effects.