New research has indicated that the drug pramipexole can have a beneficial effect on depressive and motivational symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease.
The data confirm preliminary findings from earlier clinical trials for this application of the drug, which is already established as being effective in the treatment and control of motor symptoms.
According to the researchers presenting at the 10th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) in Kyoto, Japan, mood symptoms affect as many as 50 per cent of the population of patients with Parkinson's.
"We frequently hear from people living with Parkinson's disease that it is not necessarily the motor symptoms they find the most challenging," said Mary Baker, patron and former president of the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA).
"Low mood, concern about the future and lack of motivation can have even more impact on their quality of life and the lives of those who care for them."
Depressive and motivational symptoms are caused by the reduced dopaminergic activity in Parkinson's patients and may even be the first sign of the disease.