Research led by a team from UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) has shown that a dopamine agonist called rotigotine could be effective in treating symptoms of Parkinson?s disease (PD). In a study published Jan. 3 in the online edition of Neurology, rotigotine significantly improved symptoms in patients with early-stage PD.
PD is characterized by a shortage of a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. Without suitable amounts of dopamine, PD patients are unable to control their movements reliably. Rotigotine, manufactured by Schwarz Pharma, is a dopamine agonist ? a drug that mimics the action of dopamine in the brain and compensates for the shortage.
The multi-center study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of once-daily rotigotine, delivered continuously through the skin via a patch, versus placebo in patients with early-stage PD.
?This study showed that rotigotine may be safe and effective, and potentially be of major value in the treatment of early-stage PD,? said Ray. L. Watts, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Neurology and principal investigator of the study. ?Parkinson?s disease is a progressive disorder and rotigotine seems to offset the variability we often see in the multiple dose regimens of other drugs used to treat PD.?