NEW YORK — Researchers said today that a new drug dramatically slows the progression of Parkinson's disease and should be used in all patients with early stages of the debilitating nerve illness.
Based on preliminary results of a large-scale study, the researchers said the drug deprenyl delays the onset of advanced symptoms of Parkinson's by at least one year and is remarkably safe.
Parkinson's is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that mostly strikes people over 40. About 500,000 Americans suffer from it.
"I strongly recommend that all patients with early Parkinson's be considered for this therapy," said Ira Shulson, a neurologist at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., and the study's principal investigator.