The Utility of Ketamine for the Preoperative Management of a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease

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Loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra characterizes the classical pathology of Parkinson’s disease, but persistent activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors is also a major component. During difficult airway management in a patient with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the use of low-dose (20 mg) IV ketamine resulted in complete abolition of severe tremor and dysarthria. This led to the current case report in which low-dose ketamine was used for preoperative sedation and dyskinesia attenuation. Prior research and our experience would suggest that low-dose ketamine, titrated to effect, may provide optimal patient comfort and perioperative control of Parkinsonian tremor.

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