Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease may be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia

28.07.2005


New study finds improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms with few side effects



The mechanism of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness characterized by muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, is unknown and medications used to treat it (such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, muscle relaxants, antiinflammatories, sedative hypnotics, pain relievers and nutriceuticals) have had limited success. New research findings indicate that the pain associated with this disease may be due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system.

Recently, researchers from Pacific Rheumatology Associates in Renton, Washington set out to investigate whether the dopamine receptor agonist pramipexole was safe and effective in treating fibromyalgia. Normally used to treat Parkinson’s disease, this drug stimulates dopamine (a neurotransmitter) production by binding to dopamine receptor sites and is thought to inhibit sensory nerve-mediated responses. This is the first trial of pramipexole and only the second trial for this type of dopamine receptor agonist for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The findings are published in the August 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.


The study was a single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 60 patients with fibromyalgia who were randomly selected in a 2:1 ratio to receive either pramipexole or a placebo every evening for 14 weeks. The dosage for those receiving the drug was increased weekly, starting at 0.25 mg the first week and ending at 4.5 mg for the last three weeks; it was then tapered to 0 mg during week 15. Because fibromyalgia patients often take a variety of medications, participants were allowed to continue these as long as the dosage had been stable for at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the study. A total of 49 patients completed the study due to a variety of reasons, the most common of which was violating protocol by starting a new medication during the study period. None withdrew because of side effects.

The pramipexole group noted significantly decreased pain compared to the placebo group at the end of the study: at least a 50% decrease in pain was achieved by 42% of this group compared with 14% of the placebo group, as measured by the pain score on the visual analog scale (VAS). Overall, 82% of the patients taking pramipexole noted some improvement in pain, compared with 57% of the placebo group. In addition, other scales measuring fibromyalgia symptoms and mental status showed an improvement in the group taking the drug. Pramipexole was well tolerated, with the most common side effect being weight loss and nausea. Patients did not suffer the hallucinations and sleep attacks commonly described by those taking pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease. The nausea was experienced by both groups and may have been partially due to language on the consent form that emphasized the potential for this symptom. The gradual increase in pramipexole dosage over a number of weeks appeared to be an important factor in the drug’s effectiveness, but this effect warrants further study since this was the only dosage schedule used.

Although the study had some limitations, such as the allowance of other medications and the relatively short treatment period, the results are nonetheless promising. "In summary, a new treatment approach using a D3 receptor agonist offers hope to patients with fibromyalgia," state study authors Andrew J. Holman and Robin R. Myers, adding that the study demonstrated improvement in measures of pain, fatigue, function and global status, with few side effects. They conclude: "Further investigation of this pramipexole treatment paradigm is warranted to determine its mechanism of action in patients with fibromyalgia, its long-term risks and benefits, and to confirm these findings in patients not taking concomitant medications."

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>