Meige disease: Striatal dopaminergic preponderance

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Article abstract

A dopamine agonist (apomorphine) and a cholinomimetic drug (physostigmine) were administered to five patients with blepharospasm and oromandibular dystonia (Meige disease). The effects of haloperidol and levodopa were also assessed. Apomorphine lessened and physostigmine aggravated the facial dyskinesias in all patients, while placebo injections had no consistent effect. Levodopa did not modify the symptoms, but haloperidol attentuated the facial dystonia. Dysfunction of the basal ganglia, characterized by a state of striatal dopamine preponderance, probably underlies the dystonic spasms in Meige disease. The prominent cholinergic enhancement of facial dyskinesias may distinguish this disorder pharmacologically from tardive dyskinesia, a differentiation which has practical therapeutic implications.

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