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UCB symposium: early Parkinson's treatment can improve outcomes

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    Beginning treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD) early can have long-term benefits for patients who have mild symptoms and disability, according to a pooled analysis of two clinical studies.

    The research, published online in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at the 1st Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Berlin (20-23 June), suggests that prompt treatment may improve motor function and activity of daily living for 45 months. Patients starting six months later improved motor function by 21 months. As a result, these results suggest there may have been a potential increase of up to 2 years longer sustained efficacy in some patients with early PD when treatment was started 6 months earlier.

    The study was conducted by Professor Lars Timmermann, MD, from the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Cologne. He pooled results from two pivotal studies on patients with early Parkinson's disease.

    Prof. Timmermann says the goal of the investigation was to explore whether time of treatment initiation impacts the outcome of patients living with PD. This question was of interest because treatment is often delayed until symptoms begin to limit the patient's ability to function.

    Prof. Timmermann and his colleagues found that postponing treatment comes at a cost. By waiting longer to start treatment, the scope for improving symptoms can be reduced, leaving patients with a loss of functional ability that cannot be regained.

    By intervening early in patients who have not yet suffered functional disability or impairment, doctors can preserve function, movement and even independence for longer.

    The data were presented during a UCB Neurology Corporate Satellite Symposium at EAN Congress.

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