Vidyya Medical News Service
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Volume 6 Issue 226 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 13-Aug-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Aug-2004
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Monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors in early Parkinsonís disease: meta-analysis of 17 randomized trials involving 3525 patients

An inexpensive but rarely used drug could be one of the most effective treatments for early Parkinson's disease, according to new research available on bmj.com today.

Selegiline is from a group of drugs called monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors (MAOBIs) used to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. But uncertainty about selegiline arose in 1995, when one trial linked it to high death rates. Since then, its use in the United Kingdom has dropped substantially.

Now a team of researchers say that this was probably a chance finding and that selegiline could be one of the most effective and cost effective treatments available for early Parkinson's disease.

They analysed 17 trials comparing MAOBIs with placebo or a drug called levodopa and found that MAOBIs reduced disability, the need for levodopa, and problems with movement, without substantial side effects or increased risk of death.

This study provides the most reliable available summary of the current evidence from clinical trials of MAOBIs, say the authors. However, they suggest that further large, long term trials comparing selegiline with other available drugs, and assessing patient rated quality of life measures, are needed.


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