One hundred and twenty nine de novo patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease are being followed over a 5 year period in a double-blind multicentre study comparing low-dose bromocriptine (less than 30 mg/day) with low-dose levodopa-carbidopa (less than 600/150 mg/day). Sixty six patients have been randomised to bromocriptine and 63 patients to levodopa-carbidopa. Improvement has been greater in the levodopa-carbidopa group than in the bromocriptine group. Involuntary movements have so far only occurred in patients on levodopa-carbidopa, the incidence being much lower than is usually described with conventional doses. Mild, end-of-dose failure has occurred in both treatment groups; however, no patient has developed the "on-off" phenomenon. Low-dose levodopa-carbidopa appears to be a more effective anti-Parkinsonian treatment than low-dose bromocriptine but more prone to cause dyskinesia.
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