Researchers have found a potential new drug which is not only effective at treating patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease but it may even slow the progression of the disease.
The new drug rasagiline is found to cause fewer side effects than many Parkinson's drugs, including less sleepiness, nausea and fewer hallucinations. Treatment of Parkinson's symptoms allow patients to better carry out everyday tasks like cutting food, writing, and dressing themselves.
Results of the study show people who received two milligrams a day of rasagiline for only the last six months of the study improved compared to their condition in the first six months of the study. However, those patients never reached the level of improvement attained by participants who received the same daily amount of rasagiline for an entire year. Patients who received 1 milligram per day also showed more improvement than those who received delayed treatment.
Researchers say the result could be a sign that the medication actually helps protect the brain cells targeted by the disease and studies have shown rasagiline appears to protect nerve cells affected by Parkinson's from apoptosis, or programmed cell death.