Automating levodopa dosing schedules for Parkinson’s disease

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Levodopa is mainly used to manage the motor symptoms of PD. However, disease progression and long-term use of levodopa cause reduced medication efficacy and side effects. When that happens, precise individualized dosing schedules are required.This doctoral thesis in the field of Micro-data analysis introduces an end-to-end solution for the automation of the pharmacological management of PD with levodopa, and offers some insight on levodopa pharmacodynamics. For that purpose, an algorithm that derives objective ratings for the patients’ motor function through wearable sensors is introduced, a method to construct individual patient profiles is developed, and two dosing algorithms for oral and intestinal administration of levodopa are presented. Data from five different sources were used to develop the methods and evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithms.The dose automation algorithms can work both with clinical and objective ratings (through wearable devices), and their application was evaluated against dosing adjustments from movement disorders experts. Both dosing algorithms showed promise and their dosing suggestions were similar to those of the clinicians.The objective ratings algorithm had good test-retest reliability and its application during a clinical study was successful. Furthermore, the method of fitting individual patient models was robust and worked well with the objective ratings algorithm. Finally, a study was carried out that showed that about half the patients on levodopa treatment show reduced response during the afternoon hours, pointing to the need for more precise modelling of levodopa pharmacodynamics.