New Drugs May Improve Quality of Life for People with Parkinson's Disease

  New Drugs May Improve Quality of Life for People with Parkinson's Disease

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO, March 14, 2013

SAN DIEGO, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Three studies released
today present possible positive news for people with Parkinson's disease. The
studies, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th
Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013, report on treatments for
blood pressure problems, the wearing-off that can occur when people have taken
the main drug for Parkinson's for a long time, and for people early in the
disease whose symptoms are not well-controlled by their main drugs.

"All of these treatments are promising news for people with Parkinson's
disease, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after
Alzheimer's disease," said Robert A. Hauser, MD, MBA, of the University of
South Florida in Tampa and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, who
was an author of all three studies.

The first study dealt with the rapid drop in blood pressure that people with
Parkinson's can experience when standing up, which can lead to dizziness,
fainting and falls. The problem, which affects about 18 percent of people with
the disease, occurs because the autonomic nervous system fails to respond to
changes in posture by releasing enough of the chemical norepinephrine.

In the study, 225 people were randomized to receive either eight weeks of
stable dose treatment with a placebo or the drug droxidopa, which converts to
norepinephrine. After one week of stable treatment, those who received the
drug had a clinically meaningful, two-fold decrease in the symptoms of
dizziness and lightheadedness, when compared to placebo. They also had fewer
falls, or 0.38 falls per patient per week, compared to 1.73 for those
receiving a placebo on average over the entire 10-week study duration.

The second study looked at treatment with a new drug for "wearing-off" that
occurs with people who have been taking levodopa for several years. As each
dose wears off, people experience longer periods of time where the motor
symptoms do not respond to levodopa. For the study, 420 people who were
experiencing an average of six hours of "off" time per day received a placebo
or one of four dosages of the drug tozadenant in addition to their levodopa
for 12 weeks. People receiving two of the dosages of the drug had slightly
more than an hour less off time per day at the end of 12 weeks than they had
at the start of the study. They also did not have more troublesome involuntary
movements during their "on" time, called dyskinesia, that can occur.

The third study looked at 321 people with early Parkinson's disease whose
symptoms were not well-controlled by a dopamine agonist drug. For the 18-week
study, the participants took either the drug rasagiline or a placebo in
addition to their dopamine agonist. At the end of the study, those taking
rasagiline had improved by 2.4 points on a Parkinson's disease rating scale.
In addition, rasagiline was well tolerated with adverse events similar to

The blood pressure study was supported by Chelsea Therapeutics. The
"wearing-off" study was supported by Biotie Therapies, Inc., The early
Parkinson's disease study was supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Learn more about Parkinson's disease at

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000
neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the
highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor
with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of
the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine,
multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

SOURCE American Academy of Neurology

Contact: Rachel Seroka,, +1-612-928-6129, Angela Babb, APR,, +1-612-928-6102
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