About 1 percent of people over age 60 are affected by Parkinson's disease. The condition is characterized by slowed motion, muscle rigidity, and tremors. Patients also suffer from loss of facial rigidity and a shuffling walk.
A drug already being used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease may also be able to stop its progression say researchers . The drug, pramipexole (Mirapex), is found to completely halt the neurotoxic effects of a chemical that causes symptoms similar to Parkinson's in mice.
Studies in the past have shown that pramipexole holds promise in protecting the brain against further progression of the disease however these results have been seen only in animal studies involving the administration of huge doses that would not be safe to use in people. This study used a much lower dose -- 0.1 milligram per kilogram administered once a day. Neuron loss was completely averted in mice that received the drug. Thus researchers say that their results suggest that protection occurs at clinically suitable doses of pramipexole.