Early Parkinson’s Disease patients benefit significantly from levodopa, to replace dopamine to restore normal motor function. As PD progresses, the brain loses more dopamine-producing cells, which causes motor complications and unpredictable responses to levodopa. Doses must be increased over time, and given at shorter intervals. Regimens are different for each person and may vary from day-to-day.
Currently, clinicians assess levodopa’s benefit by patient testimony and clinical exam, making it difficult to determine optimal treatment. Novel levodopa delivery strategies and wearable sensors that track symptoms and disease progression have been created, but levodopa levels in the body have not been monitored in real time.
Joe Wang and colleagues have developed a closed loop levodopa delivery system. A network of physical and chemical sensors monitor levodopa levels and inform a delivery device, guided by algorithms, creating a personalized regimen. This can finally optimize the therapeutic management of Parkinson’s Disease.