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Patients starting Parkinson's drug rasagiline earlier do better
Date:1/26/2009

Tampa, FL (Jan. 26, 2009) There is hope that the drug rasagiline can do what no other medication for Parkinson's disease now does -- slow the progression of a devastating degenerative brain disease that eventually robs people of their ability to move and function.

Now a new study looking at the long-term effects of rasagiline (Azilect) on newly diagnosed patients indicates that people who began the drug earlier continued to do better than those for whom treatment was delayed six months. The study "Long-term Outcome of Early Versus Delayed Rasagiline Treatment in Early Parkinson's Disease" was recently published in the early online version of the journal Movement Disorders.

"Patients who received rasagiline right from the beginning rather than after a six-month delay experienced less progression of the clinical signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease that interfere with activities of daily living such as eating, walking and dressing," said the study's lead author Robert A. Hauser, MD, director of the University of South Florida Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. "This is potentially consistent with a slowing of underlying disease progression, although other possible mechanisms also need to be considered."

The study, sponsored by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Israel), Teva Neuroscience, Inc. (USA) and H. Lundbeck A/S (Denmark), was a long-term open label extension of the multisite trial "TVP-1012 (rasagiline) in Early Monotherapy for Parkinson's Disease Outpatients" study, known as TEMPO. In TEMPO, more than 400 untreated patients with early Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned to rasagiline for a year (1 mg daily or 2 mg daily) or to placebo for six months followed by rasagiline for six months (2 mg daily). At the end of a year, patients receiving rasagiline from the start fared better as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. They experienced less worsening of motor symptoms,
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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida Health
Source:Eurekalert

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