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Promising study results with Mirapex®/ Mirapexin®/ Sifrol® (pramipexole) on depressive symptoms in Parkinson`s Disease Patients

Pressmeddelande   •   Okt 15, 2004 15:45 CEST

Cannes/France, 15 October 2004 - New results from a comparative randomised study suggest that the dopamine agonist pramipexole (marketed under the brand names Mirapex®/ Mirapexin®/ Sifrol®) provides a similar degree of depressive symptomatic improvement in patients with Parkinson’s Disease as sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. While both treatments were generally well tolerated, premature discontinuations due to adverse events were observed more frequently in the sertraline-treated patient group.

The results - presented at the 3rd International Scientific Symposium on Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome1 - were welcomed by international experts and physicians who are frequently facing challenges in treating accompanying non-motor aspects such as depression in patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common chronic neurological disorder in older adults after Alzheimer’s. Depression is a common aspect of Parkinson’s Disease, affecting about 40 - 50 percent of patients, and with profound consequences on patients’ quality of life.2 In one recent survey, depression accounted for approximately 40 percent of the quality of life score variability in PD patients with depression.3 Depression has also been found to have the greatest impact on caregivers’ quality of life.4 However, awareness for the non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s Disease is still low and treatment options are not well known.

Studies suggest that pramipexole - a dopamine agonist approved for symptomatic treatment of all stages of Parkinson`s Disease and recommended by treatment guidelines for the initial treatment of early stages 6 - has an antidepressant effect in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.5,7

The results of the clinical trial presented today showed that both pramipexole and sertraline improved depressive symptoms as measured by the Hamilton depression rating scale total core (HAMD 17 items). In addition, in a secondary analysis of the intent-to-treat population, the percentage of patients recovering (as defined by a HAMD total score