Preliminary study suggests Parkinson’s drugs safe for the heart - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Preliminary study suggests Parkinson’s drugs safe for the heart

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -  Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease may be safe for the heart, according to preliminary research presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 by Dr Hilal Erken Pamukcu, cardiologist at Ankara Diskapi Education and Research Hospital in Turkey.

EuroEcho-Imaging is the annual meeting of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI), a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and is held 3-6 December in Vienna, Austria.

Dr Erken Pamukcu said: “Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that occurs in nearly 1% of the world's population over 60 years of age and in 4% of people over 80 years of age. Various drug treatments are available. Ergot derived dopamine agonists were often used in the past but today their usage is not preferred by most neurologists worldwide because they caused fibrotic heart valve disease and fibrosis in other tissues.”

 The current study was designed to investigate whether the use of pramipexole and ropinirole, both non-ergot derived dopamine agonists, was associated with heart failure. Heart failure was deemed to occur if patients had asymptomatic myocardial dysfunction and deterioration of myocardial systolic function. These were assessed by examining left ventricular function using two-dimensional strain echocardiography. 

Dr Erken Pamukcu concluded: “We believe this is the first study to assess left ventricular function using two-dimensional strain echocardiography in Parkinson's disease patients taking non-ergot dopamine agonists. This may be a new approach to study the cardiac effects of these drugs. Larger studies are needed to confirm our results.”

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