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

such as rigidity and tremor, and had fewer problems with activities of daily living than patients who began rasagiline six months later.

The open-label extension study followed more than 300 patients from the TEMPO study for up to 6.5 years. In this extension study, all patients continued on rasagiline (1 mg. daily) and could take other Parkinson's disease medications as needed. The researchers found those who started rasagiline right from the beginning of the TEMPO study continued to fare better than patients in the delayed-start group. Over the course of the entire study, the early-start group had 16 percent less progression of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and this greater clinical benefit was observed even as patients received conventional Parkinson's disease medications in addition to rasagiline. Rasagiline appeared to be well tolerated in this long-term study.

If the clinical outcomes from the TEMPO and extension study hold up under further scrutiny, it may indicate that early initiation of rasagiline confers a protective effect against disease progression, Dr. Hauser said. "If this is the case, it reinforces the importance of individuals being diagnosed and treated as soon as possible."

The study authors point out that early initiation of any drug to relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease may lead to a better clinical outcome compared to delayed administration -- something that will be elucidated as more delayed-start studies are performed with other Parkinson's medications.


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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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