Despite the latest medical advances, there is not today’s cure for Parkinson’s disease. But the support allows to correct the symptoms. The point with the Parkinson association.

Currently there is not a cure of Parkinson’s disease but since 1960, new treatments or discoveries occur. Drugs allow a resumption of activities in 80% of cases. For Pr Pierre Cesaro, neurologist, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Association France Parkinson, “new treatments allow to improve the quality of life of patients and extend their life expectancy of ten years from the 1970s. Among them, the brain stimulation reproduced stably the best effect of medical treatment“.

Parkinson's Disease Programme

Drug treatments
Fifty years after the discoveries of Arvid Carlsson (Nobel Prize 2000) on dopamine, which gave birth to the treatment for Parkinson’s disease, researchers are still working to better treat the symptoms failing to cure the disease. It is indeed known still not stop to date, or even slow down the process of destruction of neurons that produce dopamine.

Since 1970, the levo – dopa which turns into dopamine in the brain became the benchmark treatment for correcting the deficit dopaminergic neurons. Very effective in the early years, it generally well controls symptoms. Eventually, it is however suspected to be the cause of motor complications such as uncontrolled and involuntary movements (dyskinesias).


These substances do not dopamine but him resemble and mimic its action. What are stabilizers drugs with more prolonged effects. They represent an alternative to be used alone or in combination with other drugs.

Other less specific approaches rely on MAOIS (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), COMT, anticholinergics to active inhibitors on earthquakes or benzodiazepines to calm anxiety.

Treat earlier for more efficiency?
For the first time, large-scale clinical study shows that a change in the evolution of the support is possible. The results reinforce the idea that must be addressed early patients, for maximum therapeutic benefit.

The results of the ADAGIO study (large-scale clinical study with nearly 1,200 patients) were presented on August 26, 2008. They emphasize the double benefit of the Azilect ® (rasagiline) anti-parkinsonien: effects of modification of the progression of the disease by slowdown of the development of Parkinson’s disease and symptomatic benefits.

“Rasagiline is convenient to take, at the rate of one dose per day (1 mg) and overall, the tolerance is excellent” Announces Pr Olivier Rascol, Professor of clinical pharmacology at the Toulouse CHU. A hope for the sick, including 1 in 20 less than 40 years.

In addition, “Adagio is a major clinical trial which calls into question the way one apprehends currently support for Parkinson’s disease. Early treatment with rasagiline alone presents a profit compared with a beginning of delayed treatment. Furthermore, these results reinforce the idea that patients with Parkinson’s disease should be treated as soon as the diagnosis is made to increase the chances of successful treatment”said it. So far, the treatment was implemented only when symptoms became troublesome.

Source: Press Conference “Parkinson’s disease: a new therapeutic weapon”-October 9, 2008
Surgical methods
Since fifteen years, it is possible to improve motor signs by stimulating chronically a deep core of the cerebral cortex, much as would a pacemaker in heart failure patients.

This surgery, which involves some risks, is proposed for patients unresponsive to conventional drug treatment subject that they have no psychiatric disorder.

If it is less than 5% of patients, the results are good. “This progress has upset our practice, giving us a second breath for some Parkinson’s disease patients, so we’ll be able to change therapy, from medication to surgery or possibly combining the two” said Pr Marie Vidailhet.

However, the side effects can be very important, both cognitive and psychiatric: mood disorders, changes in behaviour, apathy…

For global support
The improvement of the quality of life of the parkinsonian patient passes firstly by the acceptance of his disease and secondly by the practice of physical activities compatible with its status: swimming, cycling, singing…

The physiotherapist involved in the functional rehabilitation shall usefully advise in this regard. The objective is to prevent the withdrawal or isolation which are factors of depression.

Care adapted to each specific problem if (Urological, speech…) are indispensable, health professionals also emphasized the importance of psychological support.

Source: The France Parkinson association press kit in collaboration with the Chairman of the Scientific Committee Pierre Cesaro, Professor Marie Vidailhet, neurologist and Dr. Nuss, psychiatrist.

Founded in 1984, France Parkinson is an association non-profit and recognized of public utility. It includes 8 500 members and manages more than €600 000 revenue (grants and contributions) of which 2/3 are assigned to the research and 1/3 to help patients and their families. France Parkinson supports patients and their families with 4 major axes: Fund and promote research, aid to the nearest to improve the lives of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, inform on the disease, treatment and AIDS and sensitize opinion and public authorities.

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Despite the latest medical advances, there is not today's cure for Parkinson's disease. But the support allows to correct the symptoms. The point with the Parkinson association. Currently there is not a cure of Parkinson's disease but since 1960, new treatments or discoveries occur. Drugs allow a resumption of activities...