NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Parkinson’s patients stomach new drug better than conventional meds

Thursday June 15, 2006

12 June 2006(Baylor College of Medicine) - Several studies conducted at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston show that a new kind of orally disintegrating tablets provides improved symptom relief for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Results are reported in today’s issue of the journal Therapy.

A new form of the medication selegiline, used for years to manage motor complications in Parkinson’s patients, avoids first-pass metabolism and sidesteps compromises to its efficacy and tolerability. The drug is currently awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use as an adjunctive therapy to the drug levodopa in the management of the neurodegenerative disease.

“Although a variety of therapeutic options exist, there is a tremendous amount of unmet need in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,” said co-author Dr. Joseph Jankovic, professor of neurology at BCM and director of the college’s Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic. “

Many patients with Parkinson’s disease still experience several hours a day during which the effects of levodopa, the most frequently used drug in Parkinson’s treatment, wear off to the extent that patients shake and cannot move. Besides the wearing-off effects, many patients experience jerky involuntary movements, called dyskinesias, at the peak effect of levodopa.

Because the orally disintegrating tablet dissolves within seconds, the drug can be delivered more effectively at a relatively low dose, reducing roughly two hours each day that a patient experiences debilitating symptoms, according to the studies’ findings.

“The goal of treatment is to reduce the ‘off’ time and increase the ‘on’ time during which they are free from Parkinson’s symptoms and dyskinesia,” said Jankovic. “This unique formulation of selegiline delivers a more active drug without some of the troublesome side effects seen with standard selegiline. These study results offer hope to Parkinson’s disease patients and the physicians who treat them.”

Due to its fast-dissolving technology, the new form of selegiline bypasses the gut and first-pass hepatic metabolism and is primarily absorbed into the systemic circulation through the oral mucosa, the mucous membrane that covers all structures inside the mouth except the teeth.

Some Parkinson’s patients also have difficulty swallowing, making this treatment a more convenient option than others. One of the studies reports that more than 90 percent of patients found the new selegiline easy to take, with 61 percent rating it extremely easy to take.

The Therapy article draws from results of three selegiline studies, whose patient populations totaled 517. BCM was one several international sites that participated. Dr. Anthony Clarke of the United Kingdom-based Amarin Neuroscience was a co-author of the paper.

Recent News

Jun 13 - Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson's
Jun 12 - Smell Test May Sniff Out Oncoming Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Jun 8 - Smartphones Track Motor Function in Parkinson's Disease
Jun 8 - GKC Enrolls First Patient in Personal KinetiGraph Trial as Part of NPF’s Parkinson’s Outcomes Project
Jun 8 - Low-fat dairy intake may raise Parkinson's risk
Jun 6 - Patient Voices: Parkinson's Disease
Jun 1 - World-First Trials Have Been Launched to Treat Parkinson's And Blindness With Embryonic Stem Cells
May 24 - Survival Rates Differ Widely in Parkinson's, MSA, Lewy Bodies
May 22 - Discovery may offer hope to Parkinson's disease patients
May 15 - Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia
May 5 - Parkinson's in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
May 5 - ‘Hunger Hormone’ Could Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease
May 3 - Antibiotic doxycycline may offer hope for treatment of Parkinson's disease
May 1 - Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease: Building Physician, Patient Awareness
Apr 28 - Does Parkinson’s disease begin in the gut?
Apr 28 - New empathy-creating digital device could be revolutionary for caregivers
Apr 24 - Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation Works—Most of the Time
Apr 24 - Parkinson’s disease shows links to depression
Apr 21 - TOLEDO Trial: Apomorphine Infusions Reduce 'Off' Time in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 21 - New drug provides long-awaited breakthrough for Parkinson's psychosis