Effects of safinamide on pain in patients with fluctuating Parkinson's disease

Sotirios Grigoriou*, Pablo Martínez-Martín, K. Ray Chaudhuri, Katarina Rukavina, Valentina Leta, Denise Hausbrand, Björn Falkenburger, Per Odin, Heinz Reichmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Non-motor symptoms (NMS) are integral to Parkinson's Disease (PD) and management remains a challenge. Safinamide is a novel molecule in relation to addressing NMS due to its multifocal mechanism of action with both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic properties. Objective: To investigate the efficacy of safinamide on NMS and its burden in PD patients with motor fluctuations after 6 months of treatment. Methods: This observational, multicenter, open-label, pilot study assessed a wide range of NMS using the following rating scales, NMSS (non-motor symptom scale), KPPS (King's PD pain scale), HADS (hospital anxiety and depression scale), PDQ-8 (Parkinson's disease quality of life questionnaire), and PDSS-2 (Parkinson's disease sleep scale), EuroQol-5D 3 level version (EQ-5D-3L), CGI-I (clinical global impression of improvement), and PGI-C (patient global impression of change). Motor examination using UPDRS part III (Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale, motor examination), UPDRS IV (complications of therapy) and Hoehn and Yahr staging were also obtained. Results: 27 patients were included in the analysis and were evaluated at baseline and ≥ 6 months after safinamide treatment. 26 patients had a daily maintenance dose of 100 mg and 1 patient a daily dose of 50 mg. Significant improvements in UPDRS IV, KPPS item 5 (region-specific “off” dystonia), KPPS domain 3 (items 4–6, fluctuation related pain) and KPPS total score were observed after treatment with safinamide, while maintaining stable dopaminergic medication. No statistically significant differences were found in NMSS, HADS, PDSS-2, EQ-5D-3L, and PDQ-8 after treatment. Conclusions: Our results suggest that safinamide may have a beneficial effect on pain, a key unmet need in fluctuating PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2336
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number10
Early online date3 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • glutamate
  • MAO-B inhibitor
  • non-motor symptoms
  • pain
  • Parkinson's disease
  • safinamide


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