A new quantitative rating scale for dyskinesia in nonhuman primates

Lisa F. Potts, Subramaniam Uthayathas, Alexander C.M. Greven, Bhagyalaxmi Dyavarshetty, Mary M. Mouradian, Stella M. Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to develop a quantitative scale to assess levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) in nonhuman primates using a video-based scoring system [Quantitative Dyskinesia Scale (QDS)]. Six macaques with stable Parkinsonism and LID were used for tests of the new QDS, in comparison with our current standardized scale (Drug-Related Side effects), which provides a classic subjective measurement of dyskinesia. QDS scoring is based on systematic movement counts in time frames, using videotape recordings. For both scales, body segments scored included each extremity, the trunk, the neck, and the face, and raters were blinded to L-dopa treatments. Comparison of the two scales revealed that their scores are highly correlated with and are parallel to the L-dopa pharmacokinetic profile, although the QDS provided significantly more quantifiable measurements. This remained the case after separating animals into groups of mild and severe dyskinesias. Inter-rater reliability for application of the QDS was confirmed from scores obtained by three examiners. We conclude that the QDS is a quantitative tool for reliably scoring LID in parkinsonian monkeys at all levels of severity of dyskinesia. The application of this new standard for scoring LID in primates will allow for more precise measurements of the effects of experimental treatments and will improve the quality of results obtained in translational studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1 2 3 6-tetrahydropyridine
  • L-dopa
  • dyskinesia
  • nonhuman primate
  • scale

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