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New Drugs May Improve Quality of Life for People with Parkinson's Disease
Date:3/14/2013

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 "we
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SOURCE American Academy of Neurology
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