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Keywords:

  • selegiline;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • deprenyl;
  • MAO;
  • dopamine;
  • clinical trial;
  • early treatment

The French selegiline multicenter trial was conducted in 1990 to test the possibility to improve disability of de novo parkinsonian patients (P. P.) during the first three months of treatment with selegiline (S) (10 mg/day) monotherapy. 93 P. P. were included in this double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled, clinical trial, in which 13 centers participated. Both parallel groups were followed up from inclusion (D0) to D30, D60 and D90. Drug efficacy was judged with Hoehn and Yahr (HY), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Schwab and England scores, decision to introduce levodopa and selfassessment. Biological and clinical parameters (cardio- vascular, weight, side-effects reports) were assessed for tolerability. 84 P. P. (38 P, 46 S) were evaluable for efficacy at D90.

When considering the main parameters, S appears superior to placebo: HY scores (p < 0.001), global UPDRS scores (p < 0.001) and UPDRS subscores: mental (p < 0.001), daily living activities (p < 0.01), motor activities (p < 0.01). Depressive scores (HDRS) are significantly improved only at D90 (p=0.005). Levodopa therapy was introduced in 45 % of the cases in S groups versus 18,4 % in P group. Global impression of efficacy was largely in favor of S; failure was noted in half of the cases in P group and only in 1/5th of the cases in S group. Side-effects were rare and minor.

S 10 mg/day monotherapy is statistically superior to placebo in improving de novo P. P. during the first three months treatment. Motor symptoms rapidly improve; mood is only modified after 3 months. S appears to be well tolerated. S may be considered as a good candidate for the initial treatment of P. P.