Cardiovascular effects of methamphetamine in Parkinson's disease patients

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Nicola Pavese
  • Ornella Rimoldi, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Alexander Gerhard, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • David J. Brooks
  • Paola Piccini, Imperial College London, London, UK., Hammersmith Hospital

Cardiovascular responses after intravenous methamphetamine were assessed in 11 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), and electrocardiogram (ECG) were monitored for 103 minutes. After methamphetamine administration, SBP and DBP increased significantly in both PD and normal controls whereas placebo had no effect. In PD patients, however, the duration of SBP and DBP responses to methamphetamine and the maximum increase from baseline was attenuated compared with the controls. A significant correlation was found between individual BP responsiveness and the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score. These findings suggest that in PD there is impairment of catecholamine release from peripheral sympathetic presynaptic terminals, which correlates with motor impairment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Pages (from-to)298-303
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Blood pressure, Methamphetamine, Parkinson's disease, Postganglionic sympathetic neurons

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