There are no treatments available to slow or prevent the progression of Parkinson disease, despite its global prevalence and significant health care burden. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Exploratory Trials in Parkinson Disease program was established to promote discovery of potential therapies. In a randomized clinical trial, among patients with early and treated Parkinson disease, treatment with creatine monohydrate for at least 5 years, compared with placebo did not improve clinical outcomes. These findings do not support the use of creatine monohydrate in patients with Parkinson disease.

Treatment with an intestinal levodopa-carbidopa gel administered through a gastrostomy tube improved patients' Parkinson's symptoms and health-related quality of life, researchers reported.

At the end of a 54-week open-label trial, the intestinal gel was associated with significant improvements in patient mobility (P<0.001), activities of daily living (P<0.001), emotional well-being (P<0.001), sense of stigma (P<0.001), cognition (P<0.001), communication (P<0.001), and bodily discomfort (P<0.001), according toAlberto Espay, MD, of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Ohio, and colleagues.

People with Parkinson's disease may live longer if treated by a neurologist, a new study suggests. The study also found that Parkinson's patients who see a neurologist are less likely to be placed in a nursing home and less likely to break a hip. The study still reinstates the belief that neurologists may provide the best care for Parkinson's disease patients.

This week, results from a clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is effective in treating those with Parkinson's disease (PD) who are experiencing early motor complications of the disease. This is interesting because, to date, most research has pointed to DBS as an option for those with later stage PD. "This is the first study to show that surgical treatment might be proposed in an earlier than anticipated phase of PD," says Maurizio Facheris, MD, MSc, associate director of research programs at MJFF. "The study not only confirms the safety and tolerability of DBS, but also shows higher efficacy than drug therapy alone over the course of two years."

Patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease did not have more symptoms of impulse control disorders or related behavioral issues than those in a control group, results of a case-control study showed. Cumulative rates of impulse control or related problems were 18.5% among 168 patients with Parkinson's disease and 20.3% in a matched group of healthy controls. Neither the overall rate nor rates of individual types of behavior differed significantly between groups, including gambling impulse buying, sexual behavior, and eating, as reported in the Jan. 8 issue of Neurology. "Parkinson's disease itself does not seem to confer an increased risk for development of impulse control or related behavior symptoms, which further reinforces the reported association between Parkinson's disease medications and impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease," Daniel Weintraub, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and co-authors wrote in conclusion.