An international survey conducted by Parkinson’s Europe, developed in partnership with STADA, has revealed that people taking oral medications for Parkinson’s disease experience varying effects.
The survey, financially supported by STADA’s affiliate Brittania Pharmaceuticals, involved 992 participants with advanced Parkinson’s across 53 countries.
It revealed that more than 96% of respondents said that they took medication for their condition, two-thirds of which were receiving oral levodopa or another single oral therapy.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively damages parts of the brain. Symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s are more complex and have a stronger effect on day-to-day life.
The study revealed that 65% of respondents reported varying effects; 42% reported a partial response without the usual resolution of motor symptoms; 40% reported a delayed onset of effect; and 60% reported that they ‘regularly’ or ‘often’ experienced the effect of a medication wearing off before the next dose.
It also found that over half of the respondents reported not fully experiencing the full effect of their medication and only having control of motor function for two hours of the day, affecting their ability to conduct daily activities.
Parkinson’s Europe board member, Lizzie Graham, said the survey suggests that a large proportion of people with Parkinson’s experience “fluctuations” of both motor and non-motor symptoms.
The most common motor symptoms reported were issues with balance, walking or gait, followed by slowness of movement and rigidity. Non-motor symptoms reported included issues with sleep, memory and cognitive difficulties, as well as bowel problems.
“These findings suggest that some people may need to consider alternative treatment approaches to maintain a good quality of life over the long term,” added Graham.
In addition, the survey found that 46% of respondents had not discussed with a healthcare professional (HCP) the progression of their condition and advanced Parkinson’s.
Graham highlighted the importance of “clear and timely information from HCPs about the progression of Parkinson’s and the treatment [options] available throughout the course of the condition” for those with Parkinson’s.
Bryan Kim, global head of specialty at STADA, said: “We will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure people with Parkinson’s have access to appropriate treatment options that they should discuss with their treating physician.”