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Despite the Vioxx saga, there are some people who are involved in clinical trials who create an uproar when the drug trial is stopped due to concern over risk of side effects. Some are willing to face the risks in lieu of the benefits they gain. For example, a man who had suffered a deterioration of his Parkinson's disease was involved in a clinical trial for an experimental drug (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) and found that it led to a huge improvement in his condition. The manufacturer (Amgen) ceased the trials after results proved it was no more effective than a placebo as well as safety issues. Studies found that high doses of the drug caused damage to some monkeys brains. Some patients also were developing antibodies against the drug. Parkinson's is caused by an inadequate supply of dopamine and some studies have shown that even the anticipation of treatment may cause the body to increase supplies of dopamine. This was confirmed in the trial when some patients on placebo showed the greatest improvement.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The New York Times
About: Patients angry over cessation of clinical trials for a Parkinson's drug
Date: 27 November 2004
Source: The New York Times
Author: Andrew Pollack
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