Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-term effects of early Parkinson's treatments similar

10.03.2009
A study published online today in the Archives of Neurology involving two common drugs used to treat early-stage Parkinson's disease shows that, while the drugs each have advantages and disadvantages, the overall impact tends to even out over a long period of treatment.

"Clinicians and patients often struggle with what is the right initial approach to treating Parkinson's disease," said University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist Kevin Biglan, M.D., M.P.H., the lead author of the paper and a member of the Parkinson's Study Group, an international network of researchers that oversaw the clinical trial.

"This study tells us that, over the long haul, patients on the different drugs end up at roughly the same place in terms of their level of disability and quality of life."

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that erodes a person's control over their movements and speech. Over time, Parkinson's patients may experience stiffness or rigidity of the arms and legs, slowness or lack of movement, and walking difficulties, in addition to tremors in their hands, arms, legs, jaw or face.

The study compared two drugs – levodopa and pramipexole – that are generally employed as the first line of treatment for Parkinson's disease. The two drugs use different mechanisms to counteract the decline in the production of dopamine in the brain that is a result of a progressive loss of cells that secrete the neurochemical. Levodopa is an amino acid that the body metabolizes into dopamine. Pramipexole is a dopamine agonist that binds with dopamine receptors on cells in the brain and mimics the chemical's molecular function.

While levodopa is considered to be better at addressing the motor control symptoms of the disease such as mobility issues and tremors, it is also associated with side effects such as dyskinesia (involuntary movements) and the effectiveness of the drug can diminish, or wear off, over time. Pramipexole is less effective with respect to motor control symptoms and more often causes sleepiness, but is less commonly associated with dyskinesias and wearing off. Pramipexole is often prescribed because clinicians believe it essentially extends the window in which the patient can benefit from levodopa by delaying the initial use of the drug – and its eventually wearing off. Most Parkinson's patients end up taking levodopa at some point regardless of their initial treatment because it is more effective at improving the symptoms of the disease.

The initial study followed 301 Parkinson's patients in 22 sites in the U.S. and Canada over a 2 year period. A sub-set (222) of the group was followed for an additional 4 years. Half the patients were randomly assigned to be initially treated with levodopa and the other half with pramipexole. After 6 years of follow-up, essentially all of the participants (90%) were taking levodopa. The researchers evaluated study participants using tools that measure disability (ability to perform daily activities), side effects, disease severity, and the patient's sleepiness.

The study confirmed that patients who are initially treated with levodopa are more likely to develop motor complications such as dyskinesias and wearing off even 6 years after treatment. However, it also shows that these complications did not have a significant impact on the quality of life or disability of the patients.

"Clinicians and patients still need to establish their treatment priorities to understand unique circumstances that argue in favor of one drug vs. the other," said Biglan. "However, this study should assuage any concerns that the treatment decisions that are made early in the disease will have long-term implications, which does not appear to be the case."

Mark Michaud | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://urmc.rochester.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>