The long-term objectives are to develop a neuroprotective strategy that can be applied to patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in order to alter disease progression, and to evaluate in the setting of a multi-center clinical trial the efficacy of any such strategies. In PD, there is a prolonged course of progressive neuronal loss which is not altered by existing treatments. The development of neuroprotective strategies is therefore important to lessen the medical, societal, and economic impact of PD-related disability Patients will be recruited with early Parkinson's disease who have been symptomatic for fewer than five years, and who have received levodopa or dopamine agonists for no more than six months. Patients will be followed clinically over a period of three years to assess the potential neuroprotective benefit associated with a drug or drugs chosen by the Steering Committee. Although the multi-center trial will be based on clinical rather than surrogate endpoints, at this site, magnetic resonance imaging will be used to obtain a quantitative index of regional brain iron concentration which we hypothesize to correlate with disease progression.
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