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Neurology. 2001 Nov 13;57(9):1687-94.

Ten-year follow-up of three different initial treatments in de-novo PD: a randomized trial.

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National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK.



The long-term effectiveness of three different initial drug regimes in patients with early, mild PD was evaluated by the PD Research Group of the United Kingdom (PDRGUK). In 1995, the selegiline arm of the trial was terminated following an interim analysis.


This was an open, randomized trial. Between 1985 and 1990, 782 patients with de-novo PD were recruited and randomized to one of three treatment arms: levodopa plus dopa decarboxylase inhibitor; levodopa plus decarboxylase inhibitor and selegiline; or bromocriptine. The main endpoints were mortality, disability, and adverse events. Intention-to-treat analysis was used.


There was no significant difference in mortality between the bromocriptine and the levodopa arms (hazard ratio 1.15 [95% CI 0.90, 1.47]). Patients initially randomized to bromocriptine had slightly worse disability scores throughout follow-up. This difference was significant during the first years. Patients in the bromocriptine arm returned to pretreatment disability levels one year earlier than those in the levodopa arm. Patients randomized to bromocriptine had a significantly lower incidence of dyskinesias than those randomized to levodopa (rate ratio 0.73 [95% CI 0.57, 0.93]). However, this difference was not significant when only moderate to severe dyskinesias were considered. Patients in the bromocriptine arm had slightly lower rates of dystonias and on-off fluctuations, but moderate and severe forms were equally frequent in both arms.


Starting treatment with the dopamine agonist bromocriptine does not reduce mortality in PD. A slightly lower incidence of motor complications is achieved at the expense of significantly worse disability scores throughout the first years of therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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