A drug used to strengthen bone has been found to help reduce the high incidence of hip fractures among people with Parkinson disease, according to a study.
The two-year study involved 242 elderly men with Parkinson disease in Tokyo, Japan. Half of the group received the drug risedronate and vitamin D2. The remaining men received placebo and vitamin D2.
The study found the men taking risedronate were three times less likely to sustain a hip fracture compared to the placebo group.
Researchers also found bone mineral density (BMD) among men taking risedronate increased by 2.2 percent and decreased by nearly three percent in the placebo group. In addition, researchers found a biomarker for bone loss decreased by nearly 47 percent in the risedronate group and 33 percent in the placebo group.
"Prior to the study, these men had been experiencing a rapid rate of bone loss due to inactivity. Our findings show risedronate, along with vitamin D2, effectively controls the progression of osteoporosis, and reduces the risk of hip fractures," said study author Yoshihiro Sato, MD, with Mitate Hospital in Tokyo.
Sato says the findings also show risedronate is stronger than the drug alendronate, which has been found in previous studies to reduce bone loss and prevent hip fractures in elderly women with Parkinson disease.
Side effects of risedronate included inflammation of the esophagus and abdominal pain, which eventually healed with appropriate therapy, according to the study.