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Michael J. Fox Foundation-Funded Study Identifies Best Dyskinesia Clinical Rating Scale
Date:5/1/2012

NEW YORK, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) have identified the best measure for testing patient response to therapies to treat dyskinesia, the debilitating, uncontrollable movements that are often a side effect of Parkinson's disease (PD) drugs. MJFF has made dyskinesia a top research priority due to its significant negative impact on patients' quality of life.

The findings, from a team of researchers at eight sites across the United States, Canada and Europe, show that the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS) is superior to other tested scales for most sensitively tracking treatment effect. The study also quantified the therapeutic effect of amantadine, a drug commonly used off-label to alleviate dyskinesia, as a baseline by which to measure future potential treatments.  Christopher Goetz, M.D., director of the Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center and Glenn Stebbins, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center, were co- principal investigators on the study.  

"Historically, significant problems in measuring dyskinesia and assessing the efficacy of potential new therapies have created roadblocks to clear-cut trial results and, therefore, industry investment leading to new and better treatments," said Alison Urkowitz, vice president of research operations at MJFF, a co-author on the study. "The establishment of the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale as a validated tool for use in dyskinesia clinical trials could have important implications for such investment moving forward. Now, researchers can better design accurate clinical trials to verify that a dyskinesia drug is or isn't working."

"Dyskinesia can be a significant problem for people with Parkinson's disease and there is currently no therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat it," said Stebbins.  "But there has been a big push over
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