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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), zonisamide as an adjunct to levodopa therapy improves parkinsonism, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in Neurology.

Miho Murata, M.D., Ph.D., from Yokohama City University in Japan, and colleagues conducted a phase 2 trial consisting of run-in (placebo, four weeks) and treatment (placebo or zonisamide 25 or 50 mg once daily for 12 weeks) periods. Outpatients diagnosed with probable DLB were eligible; 158 received the study drug and 137 completed treatment.

The researchers found that the zonisamide 50 mg group had significantly greater improvement in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part 3 total score at week 12 versus placebo (between-group difference, −4.1). No worsening in cognitive function, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, or caregiver burden were reported with zonisamide. The overall incidence of adverse events was higher in the zonisamide 50 mg group (65.3 percent, versus 43.1 percent in the 25 mg group and 50.0 percent in the placebo group); all groups had similar rates of serious adverse events.

"Zonisamide (adjunctive to levodopa) improved parkinsonism accompanying DLB without worsening cognitive function or psychiatric symptoms," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, which manufactures zonisamide and funded the study.

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Updated on May 28, 2022

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