Diabetes drug is a potential disease-modifying therapy
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson’s disease, a new University College London-led study suggests, paving the way for further research to define its efficacy and safety.
The study was conducted at UCL in collaboration with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and researchers from the National Institute on Aging, and was supported by the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre.
The study, published in The Lancet and funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), found that people with Parkinson’s who injected themselves each week with exenatide for one year performed better in movement (motor) tests than those who injected a placebo.
“This is a very promising finding, as the drug holds potential to affect the course of the disease itself, and not merely the symptoms. With existing treatments, we can relieve most of the symptoms for some years, but the disease continues to worsen. This is the strongest evidence we have so far that a drug could do more than provide symptom relief for Parkinson’s disease.”
- Professor Tom Foltynie (UCL Institute of Neurology).