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Earlier Parkinson’s Treatment Based on Disability, Education

Last Updated: September 16, 2009.

Patients with early Parkinson's disease are more likely to need treatment earlier with greater impairment, disability, and education level, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Neurology.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early Parkinson's disease are more likely to need treatment earlier with greater impairment, disability, and education level, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Neurology.

Sotirios A. Parashos, M.D., from Struthers Parkinson's Center in Golden Valley, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from 413 patients with untreated Parkinson's disease who had participated in two clinical trials of experimental drugs for the disease.

The researchers found that 48.5 percent of patients started symptomatic treatment within 12 months of baseline. Based on the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale, Modified Rankin Scale scores, and education, greater impairment and disability at baseline and a higher level of education were independently associated with the need for earlier treatment.

"In early Parkinson disease, greater impairment and disability and higher level of education are independently associated with an earlier need for symptomatic treatment," Parashos and colleagues conclude.

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