drugs may improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease
SAN DIEGO – Three studies ... report on treatments for blood pressure problems, the wearing-off ... and for people early in the disease whose symptoms are not well-controlled by their main drugs...
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...
The second study looked at treatment with a new drug for "wearing-off" ... For the study, 420 people who were experiencing an average of six hours of "off" time per day received a placebo or one of four dosages of the drug tozadenant in addition to their levodopa for 12 weeks. People receiving two of the dosages of the drug had slightly more than an hour less off time per day...also did not have more ... dyskinesia, that can occur.
The third study looked at 321 people with early Parkinson's disease whose symptoms were not well-controlled by a dopamine agonist drug. For the 18-week study, the participants took either the drug rasagiline or a placebo in addition to their dopamine agonist. At the end of the study, those taking rasagiline had improved by 2.4 points on a Parkinson's disease rating scale. In addition, rasagiline was well tolerated with adverse events similar to placebo.