Drug Shields Parkinson's Patients Against Fracture

Risedronate counters inactivity-linked weakening of bone, study finds

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MONDAY, March 19, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Risedronate, a drug used to strengthen bone, helps lower the risk of hip fractures in people with Parkinson's disease, Japanese researchers report.

"Prior to the study, these men had been experiencing a rapid rate of bone loss due to inactivity. Our findings show risedronate, along with vitamin D2, effectively controls the progression of osteoporosis, and reduces the risk of hip fractures," study author Dr. Yoshihiro Sato, of Mitate Hospital in Tokyo, said in a prepared statement.

The two-year study included 242 elderly men with Parkinson's disease. Half of them were given risedronate and vitamin D2, while the other half received a placebo and vitamin D2.

The men taking risedronate were three times less likely to suffer a hip fracture than those taking the placebo, the researchers report in the March 20 issue of the journal Neurology.

Bone mineral density among the men taking the drug increased by 2.2 percent, while it decreased by nearly three percent among men taking the placebo. Researchers also found that a biomarker for bone loss decreased by nearly 47 percent among men taking risedronate and by 33 percent among men taking the placebo.

Side effects caused by the drug included abdominal pain and inflammation of the esophagus.

The study was supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which helped develop risedronate.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about Parkinson's disease.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, March 19, 2007

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