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Clinical Trial at Evergreen Healthcare Shows Intestinal Gel Reduces Symptoms of Advanced Parkinson's Disease

KIRKLAND, Wash., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent clinical trial conducted at Evergreen Healthcare shows that a new form of a common drug used to treat Parkinson's Disease greatly improves the quality of life for patients and reduces the affects of symptoms such as tremors, slowness, stiffness and difficulty walking.

Evergreen was the only site in the Pacific Northwest to hold the trial, which was led by Dr. C. Warren Olanow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

The trial tested standard oral dosages of a Parkinson's drug against the newer levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) and found that the intestinal treatments gave patients an average of two extra hours per day of reduced symptoms and improved movement.

"We have been involved in the trials since 2008," said Dr. Alida Griffith, principal investigator for the trial at Evergreen's Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center. "Levodopa is the 'gold standard' treatment for Parkinson's disease."

The intestinal gel contains levodopa and carbidopa, two drugs commonly prescribed for Parkinson's, and is infused through a portable pump connected to a tube implanted in the intestine.

In the three-month, double-blind trial, 71 participants were randomized to receive either the continuous infusion of LCIG and dummy pills or a dummy intestinal gel and pills that contained levodopa and carbidopa. At the start of the study, the average person had Parkinson's disease for about 11 years and experienced 6.6 hours of symptomatic behavior per day. A total of 93 percent of participants completed the study.

The results of the study are set to be presented as part of the Emerging Science program (formerly known as Late-Breaking Science) at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans from April 21 to April 28, 2012.

The study was supported by Abbott.

Learn more about Parkinson's disease at

To learn more about the Evergreen Neuroscience Institute, visit or call the Evergreen Healthline 425.899.3000. 

Evergreen Healthcare, a public hospital district and community-based health care organization established in 1972, offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 950 physicians provide clinical excellence within more than 80 specialties, including  cardiac, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, a Neuroscience Institute, Women's and Children's services, hospice care, pulmonary care, a Sleep Disorders Center and Home Health services care.  Evergreen serves more than 400,000 residents in its primary service area of northern King and southern Snohomish counties with Evergreen Medical Group, a network of primary and urgent care practices, and Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, its main hospital campus in Kirkland, Wash. Evergreen also provides emergency care at two sites; its main hospital campus and the Evergreen Redmond Medical Center.  In addition to clinical care, Evergreen offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by Evergreen Healthline, a 24/7 nurse consultation service. For more information, visit

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 stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Ken LeBlond,, (425) 899-1886

Rachel Seroka,, (651) 695-2738

Angela Babb, APR,, (651) 695-2789

AAN Press Room (April 22–27): (504) 670-4511

SOURCE Evergreen Healthcare
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