New hope for sufferers of Parkinson’s
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