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N Engl J Med. 2009 Sep 24;361(13):1268-78. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa0809335.

A double-blind, delayed-start trial of rasagiline in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA. warren.olanow@mssm.edu

Erratum in

  • N Engl J Med. 2011 May 12;364(19):1882.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A therapy that slows disease progression is the major unmet need in Parkinson's disease.

METHODS:

In this double-blind trial, we examined the possibility that rasagiline has disease-modifying effects in Parkinson's disease. A total of 1176 subjects with untreated Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned to receive rasagiline (at a dose of either 1 mg or 2 mg per day) for 72 weeks (the early-start group) or placebo for 36 weeks followed by rasagiline (at a dose of either 1 mg or 2 mg per day) for 36 weeks (the delayed-start group). To determine a positive result with either dose, the early-start treatment group had to meet each of three hierarchical end points of the primary analysis based on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS, a 176-point scale, with higher numbers indicating more severe disease): superiority to placebo in the rate of change in the UPDRS score between weeks 12 and 36, superiority to delayed-start treatment in the change in the score between baseline and week 72, and noninferiority to delayed-start treatment in the rate of change in the score between weeks 48 and 72.

RESULTS:

Early-start treatment with rasagiline at a dose of 1 mg per day met all end points in the primary analysis: a smaller mean (+/-SE) increase (rate of worsening) in the UPDRS score between weeks 12 and 36 (0.09+/-0.02 points per week in the early-start group vs. 0.14+/-0.01 points per week in the placebo group, P=0.01), less worsening in the score between baseline and week 72 (2.82+/-0.53 points in the early-start group vs. 4.52+/-0.56 points in the delayed-start group, P=0.02), and noninferiority between the two groups with respect to the rate of change in the UPDRS score between weeks 48 and 72 (0.085+/-0.02 points per week in the early-start group vs. 0.085+/-0.02 points per week in the delayed-start group, P<0.001). All three end points were not met with rasagiline at a dose of 2 mg per day, since the change in the UPDRS score between baseline and week 72 was not significantly different in the two groups (3.47+/-0.50 points in the early-start group and 3.11+/-0.50 points in the delayed-start group, P=0.60).

CONCLUSIONS:

Early treatment with rasagiline at a dose of 1 mg per day provided benefits that were consistent with a possible disease-modifying effect, but early treatment with rasagiline at a dose of 2 mg per day did not. Because the two doses were associated with different outcomes, the study results must be interpreted with caution. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00256204.)

PMID:
19776408
DOI:
10.1056/NEJMoa0809335
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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