New hope for suf­fer­ers of Parkin­son’s

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

A DI­A­BETES drug could be a break­through treat­ment for stop­ping Parkin­son’s disease, a study sug­gests.

Peo­ple with Parkin­son’s who took Ex­e­natide, which has been used to treat type 2 di­a­betes since 2005, for about a year had bet­ter mo­tor skills than those who took a placebo.

The re­sults sug­gest the drug could halt de­cline in Parkin­son’s pa­tients.

In the study, re­searchers from Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don fol­lowed 60 Parkin­son’s pa­tients who in­jected them­selves once a week for 48 weeks with ei­ther Ex­e­natide or a placebo in ad­di­tion to their reg­u­lar med­i­ca­tions.

After the treat­ment, those who took the drug had im­proved their mo­tor func­tion, in­clud­ing fewer tre­mors and im­proved agility and speech, while those who took the placebo had de­clined. In di­a­betes, Ex­e­natide works by ac­ti­vat­ing hor­mone re­cep­tors in the pan­creas to stim­u­late the re­lease of in­sulin. But the same re­cep­tors ex­ist in the brain, and sci­en­tists believe ac­ti­vat­ing them can boost dopamine func­tion and stop in­flam­ma­tion. In Parkin­son’s, dopamine-pro­duc­ing cells be­come dam­aged, so pre­vent­ing this could help stop the pro­gres­sion of the disease.

The re­search, which was pub­lished in The Lancet, was wel­comed by David Dex­ter of Parkin­son’s UK, who said: “These re­sults of­fer en­cour­age­ment that di­a­betes treat­ments could pro­vide new treat­ments for Parkin­son’s pa­tients.” – Daily Mail

Di­a­betes drug could halt de­cline in pa­tients

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