UK researchers at the UCL Institute of Neurology have identified a possible new treatment for Parkinson’s.
The research, published in The Lancet, shows that from a small safety trial of 62 people with Parkinson’s, the 32 participants injected with exenatide (a drug normally used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes) all showed improvement, with the improvement being maintained for 12 weeks after the trial ceased.
Those receiving injections of exenatide showed observable improvement in their movement, while those on the placebo got worse. The participants were given daily injections for 48 weeks.
— Cure Parkinson’s (@CureParkinsonsT) August 3, 2017
Australian professor and director of the Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney, Bryce Vissel, said: “This is an exceptionally important landmark study that, for the first time, provides evidence in a controlled way that it may be possible to slow the underlying disease in Parkinson’s in people using a currently available drug.
“If this finding holds up to further investigations, this will have been a watershed for a disease that affects approximately 70,000 Australians from all walks of life.
“Parkinson’s doesn’t just affect movement. Non-motor symptoms such as pain, depression, anxiety, and problems with memory, sleep and bowel function can also occur and have an impact on the day-to-day life of the person with Parkinson’s. Despite decades of research efforts, there are no cures, and the disease continues to worsen over time until the symptomatic treatments are less and less useful. No currently available treatments slow the underlying disease process in humans. There is an urgent need for treatments that slow the underlying disease.”
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