Diabetes drug could help those living with Parkinson's disease, research reveals
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson’s disease, research has revealed.
By 2020 it is predicted that 162,000 individuals in the UK will be living with the condition. While existing drugs help to control its symptoms, there are currently none available which slow or halt its progression.
But now scientists say they have found that a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes appears to improve movement-related issues.
The benefit persisted even when the drug had not been taken for 12 weeks, suggesting it might be helping to slow the progression of the disease.
“It is not ready for us to say ‘well, everyone needs to start this drug’,” said Thomas Foltynie, professor of neurology at University College London and co-author of the study. “[But] if we can replicate these findings in a multicentre trial, especially with longer follow-up, then this can change the face of our approach to treating Parkinson’s.”
Writing in the Lancet, Foltynie and colleagues in the UK and US describe how they tested the impact of the drug, known as exenatide.
With recent studies suggesting problems with insulin signalling in the brain could be linked to neurodegenerative disorders, hopes have been raised that diabetes drugs could also be used to tackle Parkinson’s, with previous research – including in cell cultures and animals, as well as a recent pilot study on humans by Foltynie and colleagues – backing up the notion..
But the latest study is the first robust clinical trial of the drug, randomly allocating 60 people with Parkinson’s t Continue reading