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Double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of rasagiline as monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease patients



Rasagiline (N-propargyl-1(R)-aminoindan) mesylate is a potent, selective, and irreversible monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor. This study was designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of rasagiline monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease (PD) patients not receiving levodopa. The study was performed as a multicenter, parallel-group, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 10-week study. Fifty-six PD patients were randomly assigned to rasagiline mesylate 1, 2, or 4 mg once daily, or placebo. A 3-week dose-escalation period was followed by a 7-week maintenance phase. At week 10, the mean (±SE) changes from baseline in total Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score were −1.8 (±1.3), −3.6 (±1.7), −3.6 (±1.2), and −0.5 (±0.8) in the rasagiline 1, 2, and 4 mg/day and placebo groups, respectively. Analysis of responders showed that 28% of patients (12 of 43) receiving rasagiline had an improvement in total UPDRS score of greater than 30%, compared with none of the patients receiving placebo (P < 0.05, Fisher's exact test). The frequency and types of adverse events reported by rasagiline-treated and placebo-treated patients were similar. These results suggest that rasagiline monotherapy is well tolerated and efficacious in early PD. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society