Short-term beneficial effect of deprenyl monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease: A quantitative assessment

I. Ziv, A. Achiron, R. Djaldetti, R. Dressler, E. Melamed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It was recently shown that early treatment with deprenyl in patients with Parkinson's disease can delay the need for initiation of levodopa therapy. It was therefore suggested that deprenyl may slow down disease progression. Alternatively, the observed stabilization of clinical disability may merely reflect drug-induced symptomatic benefit. We therefore examined a possible short-term beneficial effect of deprenyl (10 mg/day) as the first and only drug in 15 consecutive de novo patients. Bradykinesia was quantitatively assessed by computerized analysis of isometric force/time curves of biceps and triceps bilaterally and by calculation of simple reaction time (RT) and maximal muscle contraction rate (MMCR). We also measured maximal muscle force, evaluated clinical status by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score, and recorded patients' subjective reports. All tests were carried out before and at 1 and 2 months of treatment. Only one patient reported a beneficial effect. No significant changes in the UPDRS or score or muscle force were observed. In contrast, MMCR and RT improved at 1 month by an average of 12.1 and 7.2%, respectively (p < 0.01, paired t test). This improvement persisted after 2 months of treatment. Study shows that deprenyl monotherapy exerts a short-term beneficial effect in de novo parkinsonian patients. This effect, however, appears to be small, subclinical, and probably cannot account for the observed delay in the need to start levodopa therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Deprenyl
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Symptomatic effect


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