The results of an international study in 13 countries
A clinical trial was carried out comparing the dopamine agonist pramipexole and placebo in 12 European countries, including Italy, and in South Africa. Allocation to one of the two treatments was random and organized in such a way that neither the patient nor the doctor knew what had been allocated (“double-blind randomization”). The study population included 323 patients with Parkinson’s disease, on stable anti-parkinson medications and depression documented by the score on two scales for the assessment of depressive symptoms: the Geriatric depression scale and the specific item of the UPDRS scale, the international unified scale for the assessment of the severity of the disease. The score related to depression diminished to a significantly greater degree with pramipexole than with placebo (Beck’s depression score on average -5.9 vs -4.0 p=0.01); also the motor score improved more with pramipexole (mean UPDRS -4.4 vs -2.2 p=0.003).
Barone P et al Lancet Neurol online 10 maggio 2010