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Parkinson's drug linked to heart valve problems.

A preliminary study has linked the Parkinson's drug cabergoline to heart-valve damage. Researchers reporting in the October issue of the journal Neurology based their findings on the results of echocardiography and EKG assessments of 210 Parkinson's patients admitted to a hospital in Takamatsu, Japan. Patients who took cabergoline, a dopamine agonist (a drug that mimics the effects of the dopamine in the brain) used to control movement problems caused by Parkinson's, were compared to others who took the dopamine agonists pergolide and pramipexole, and to a control group who did not receive a dopamine agonist. Researchers found that the frequency of heart valve problems among patients with a history of long-term treatment and high cumulative doses of cabergoline was significantly higher than among the control group or those treated with other dopamine agonists. The results suggest that periodic echocardiography of patients taking cabergoline at high doses is essential, especially in light of the fact that none of the patients with valve damage had displayed clinically significant symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath.

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Publication:Mind, Mood & Memory
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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