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Dopamine agonist pramipexole improves motor skills and alleviates depression in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a study has found.
The investigation, published in the Lancet Neurology, used a randomised trial to measure the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients with mild-to-moderate PD.
Lead researcher Paolo Barone, from the University of Naples, Italy, found that the treatment significantly improved depressive symptoms when compared with a placebo.
The authors said: “These results suggest that specific stimulation of dopaminergic pathways as provided by pramipexole should be considered in the management of patients with PD and clinically-significant depressive symptoms.”
Depression is a common symptom of Parkinson’s, hitting around 35% of sufferers.
The study is the first to show the direct benefits of a dopamine agonist for people with PD.
Copyright Press Association 2010