Patients with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease have a higher prevalence of comorbidities, according to new clinical research from Cala Health, presented at ISPOR 2022.

The study, titled “Co-Morbidities and Mechanistic Similarities of Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease and Resulting Diagnostic Challenges,” analyzed comorbidities among patients diagnosed with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease using claims data from Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental databases (2013-2019).

The results show that patients 65 years or older in the essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease cohorts had a higher prevalence of the following disorders compared to those without ET or Parkinson’s disease: accidental falls (14.1% vs. 24.5% vs. 2.0%); bradykinesia (14.9% vs. 10.0% vs. 0.3%); depression (22.4% vs. 25.1% vs. 14.4%); fatigue (28.1% vs. 35.7% vs. 17.4%); and sleep disorders (30.3% vs. 30.5% vs. 14.3%). These findings are consistent with Cala’s earlier research, presented at The American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in April 2022, which shows that patients with ET (compared to those without ET) have a higher prevalence of depression (25.6% vs. 15.3%), anxiety (27.7% vs. 15.5%) and total psychiatric disorders (45.9% vs. 31.1%).

Additionally, of those patients who had pharmacy and medical records ≥12-months prior to and ≥24-months following the index date, only 10.7% of ET patients did not have a diagnosis claim at any point for Parkinson’s disease in their history, and 20.4% of Parkinson’s disease patients did not have a diagnosis claim at any point for ET in their history. These shared characteristics may explain why many patients often have a diagnosis of both ET and Parkinson’s disease within two years of their index date and suggest that the similarities between these patients may contribute to misdiagnosis.

“These findings suggest that ET and Parkinson’s disease action tremor may have similar central origins,” said Dhira Khosla, DO, co-author of the abstract and medical director at Cala Health. “This builds upon our earlier research presented at ISPOR last year, which found that the average patient with ET has 5.3 comorbidities, further demonstrating the need for better therapeutic offerings for this population.”

On average, people living with ET have multiple comorbidities, traditionally requiring several medications that care teams need to consider when making clinical decisions. Prior to Cala TAPS therapy, 94% of patients in the study tried medication and 77% tried more than one. Available pharmacological treatments are often inadequate as they frequently do not effectively reduce tremor severity and can cause adverse events leading to discontinuation. Based on clinical evidence and peer-recommended treatment guidelines, Cala TAPS therapy is a valid treatment option as an add-on or follow-up to first-line pharmacologic therapy prior to invasive surgical approaches.

Disclaimer: Cala TAPS therapy is not currently indicated for treating hand tremor in Parkinson’s Disease patients. Cala was granted breakthrough device designation for TAPS therapy in Parkinson’s disease patients, and these data will be submitted for U.S. FDA review.

[Source(s): Cala Health, Business Wire]

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