A recent study of Parkinsons disease patients who use the medication pergolide shows a possible link between pergolide and injured cardiac valves. Study details and conclusions will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., April 24 – May 1, 2004.
Valvular heart disease has been reported by various groups, totaling about 25 patients with Parkinsons disease who take pergolide. "These reports are anecdotal, from uncontrolled case studies," notes study author Richard B. Dewey, Jr., MD, associate professor of neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "We were interested to know if this is a rare, idiosyncratic event or a common problem which has until now escaped notice."
Dewey and fellow researchers sent letters to more than 200 patients known to be taking pergolide for Parkinsons disease, and the responders who wished to continue pergolide were urged to undergo echocardiography. Echocardiograms were performed on 46 patients, and scores for valvular regurgitation (leakage) were compared to an age-matched control group from the Framingham Study (a well-documented heart disease study).
Kathy Stone | EurekAlert!
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