Dr. Robert A. Hauser of the University of South Florida and his team have identified three new promising treatments for Parkinson's patients. Parkinson's disease, which affects the motor coordination causing shaking and difficulty in movements, has no known cure and only the symptoms can be treated. Dr. Robert Hauser and his team in their studies looked at improving the treatment methodologies by using new drugs.
Levodopa, is the commonly used drug to control motor symptoms. This drug remains ineffective for up to six hours between doses. In the first randomized study involving 420 patients, researchers treated the patients with a new trial drug, tozadenant, along with levodopa. After 12 weeks, it was found that the wear-off time was reduced by more than an hour along with reduced involuntary tremors.
Another common problem is the sudden drop in blood pressure when the patient stands up from sitting position as norepinephrine, a brain signaling chemical is not released. This often caused the patients to fall. In the next randomized trial involving 225 patients, researchers administered drug droxidopa (L-DOPS) and placebo randomly. After 10 weeks, it was noted that patients on droxidopa were less likely to fall and drop in blood pressure was reduced.
In his third study, Hauser examined 321 patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease who did not respond to dopamine agonist drug, generally given to patients with initial stages of the disease. Patients were randomly assigned to the drug rasagiline or a placebo and at after 18 weeks it was found that the severity of the disease decreased in patients who were on rasagiline.
Dr. Robert A. Hauser will present the findings of the three successful studies at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego next week.