New research shows major sleep disturbances overlooked in management of patients with Parkinson's disease

Once Daily Cabergoline Successfully Controls Sleep Disturbances

Up to 96 percent of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience serious sleep disturbances caused by many factors,1 however, these symptoms are often overlooked by doctors. As a consequence many patients suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, impaired cognitive ability and an overall diminished quality of life, warned researchers presenting at the International Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (14th-18th October, 2000; Copenhagen).

To improve PD management, researchers presented encouraging findings on new ways of monitoring PD symptoms, including sleep disturbance and motor problems. In two separate presentations, researchers presented data using a newly designed Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), a patient-administered questionnaire which could help clinicians diagnose nocturnal disability quickly and provide a useful tool to monitor response to treatment. Actigrapy, the second test discussed, measures limb motor activity and circadian variations by use of a special device called an Actigraph. Using both testing methods, investigators evaluated the efficacy of the long-acting dopamine agonist cabergoline (CABASER/CABASERIL tablets) on sleep disturbances in PD patients and found cabergoline offers important benefits, possibly due to its long duration of action, in achieving significant improvement of the symptoms underlying PD during the night as well as the day.

Dr K. Ray Chaudhuri, Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Kings College Hospital, London, explained that current methods lack quantitative aspects, thereby making them inadequate for the precise assessment of symptoms and treatment. The most commonly employed sleep questionnaire that is traditionally used in clinical practice is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Although motor disturbances are an important cause of sleep disturbance, the ESS scale o

Contact: Roseann Ward

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