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Cognitive improvement drug for Parkinson's

12th June 2007

Cognitive performance of patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease may be improved by a new agent, safinamide.

The treatment, which acts as an add-on to dopamine agonist therapy, can help improve motor symptoms and sufferers' ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Memory performance was also found to be improved through doses of 50 to 100 mg over 24 weeks, compared with the effects of dopamine agonist monotherapy.

Larger doses of the medication were not found to deliver any incremental improvement in symptoms.

The cognitive effects were witnessed as little as 12 weeks into the treatment.

Professor Anthony Schapira, of the University College London Medical School, said: "These study results suggest that safinamide may have an effect on cognitive performance in patients with early Parkinson's disease and has the potential to address a critical unmet medical need."

Trials to test the full cognitive effect of the medication are still being carried out.