First hints Parkinson’s can be stopped
It may be possible to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease with a drug normally used in type 2 diabetes, a clinical trial suggests.
Current drugs help manage the symptoms, but do not prevent brain cells dying. The trial on 62 patients, published in the Lancet, hints the medicine halted the progression of the disease. The University College London (UCL) team is “excited”, but it urges caution as any long-term benefit is uncertain and the drug needs more testing.
“There’s absolutely no doubt the most important unmet need in Parkinson’s is a drug to slow down disease progression, it’s unarguable,” Prof Tom Foltynie, one of the researchers, told the BBC.
In Parkinson’s, the brain is progressively damaged and the cells that produce the hormone dopamine are lost. It leads to a tremor, difficulty moving and eventually memory problems. Therapies help manage symptoms by boosting dopamine levels, but the death of the brain continues and the disease gets worse. No drug stops that happening. Read the article BBC News