"Good News, Bad News On Levodopa For Parkinson's Disease" - Dennis Thompson
A new study has concluded that the most potent drug available for Parkinson's disease, Levodopa, treats symptoms of the disease but does nothing to either ease or increase its still-mysterious underlying causes. “There's disappointment here as well. While levodopa isn't toxic, it also doesn't appear to provide any protection against progression of Parkinson's in the brain,” said Susan Bressman, MD, Co-Director of the Mount Sinai Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center. "The bottom line is they couldn't show neuroprotection. Using this very normal dose we normally use, they couldn't show it slows the progression of the disease." Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder. One of its hallmarks is the loss of neurons that produce a brain chemical called dopamine. "Most people don't start Levodopa at first diagnosis, when they have hardly any symptoms, because they don't need it. We don't think the drug is protecting the brain, so we don't start it right away, because it's not going to change what they're going to look like 10 years down the pike," said Dr. Bressman.
— Susan Bressman, MD, Co-Director of the Mount Sinai Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center, Site Chair, Professor, Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai