News ArchivesRead News
Diabetes drug takes us one step closer to the holy grail of Parkinson's treatment
Monday May 20, 2013
Dr. Claire Bale
ITV News - Thanks to the likes of Michael J Fox, Muhammad Ali and more recently, Bob Hoskins, many more people have now heard of Parkinson's.
Yet despite this Parkinson's remains a condition that few understand.
Aside from a tremor, which most people associate with Parkinson's, it is a hugely debilitating condition that can eventually affect all aspects of daily life – with seemingly simple tasks like getting out of bed becoming increasingly difficult.
Anxiety, pain, problems with movement, sleep and speech are all part of daily life for the 127,000 people living with Parkinson's in the UK.
Although the impact of Parkinson's is all too clear, what causes this progressive condition to develop is much less so.
New research published today however, takes us one step closer to the holy grail of Parkinson's research – being able to slow down, or even stop, the condition in its tracks.
Exenatide is a drug commonly used to treat diabetes but this small trial has shown real promise that it could help to slow the course of Parkinson's in some people, and potentially help maintaining a good quality of life for longer.
The benefits of exenatide first came to light several years ago, when an initial study funded by Parkinson's UK, showed that the drug was able to rescue dying nerve cells.
This new research shows the potential the drug has when it is taken from the laboratory and delivered into the lives of people with Parkinson's.
People with diabetes are at a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's and although it isn't yet clear why; some diabetes drugs may also have potential for treating Parkinson's – such is the case with exenatide.
Despite these encouraging results, it is simply too soon to tell whether this drug is a blind alley or a breakthrough for people with Parkinson's.
The research was conducted in a very small number of people and, crucially, without a placebo group – making it difficult to draw too many firm conclusions at this early stage.
What needs to happen next is a much larger trial to fully examine the usefulness of exenatide for people with Parkinson's – we look forward to these results with anticipation.
Recent NewsMay 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
Apr 12 - Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects Cognition in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 11 - Seattle boxing gym giving hope to Parkinson's patients
Apr 10 - A new rhythm
Apr 10 - Brain cells reprogrammed to make dopamine, with goal of Parkinson's therapy
Apr 6 - FDA allows marketing of first direct-to-consumer tests that provide genetic risk information for certain conditions
Apr 5 - Combatting the isolation of young onset Parkinson's disease
Apr 1 - The Kid is Alright