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article imageDiabetes drug slows down Parkinson’s Disease

By Tim Sandle     Dec 18, 2016 in Science
A new drug, originally developed to help combat the effects of type 2 diabetes, has shown success in slowing down the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
For those with Parkinson’s disease the focus tends to be on treatment management, and these treatments have remained largely unchanged for fifty years. There is no cure for the neurodegenerative disease. A new trial drug offers a means to address the cause directly. The drug, called MSDC-0160, based on the results of animal trials slows down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The next step is to test out the drug on human subjects.
The trial drug MSDC-0160 was developed by the Metabolic Solutions Development Company with the aim of combating diabetes. Further explorations of the drug mechanism showed that its mode of activity could extend more widely, and this led to animal trials to explore the ability of the drug to slowdown the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The use of a drug, developed for one condition for a different pathology, is called drug repurposing.
If successful in humans the drug should prevented both the occurrence of falls and, importantly, slow down or prevent cognitive decline. The drug may also stop the need for other medications — and avoid the associated side effects of these medications.
One sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, Tom Isaacs and who chairs The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, said in a statement: “Our scientific team has evaluated more than 120 potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease, and MSDC-0160 offers the genuine prospect of being a breakthrough that could make a significant and permanent impact on people’s lives in the near future.”
In a statement one of the scientists involved, Dr. Patrik Brundin said: “We hope this will be a watershed moment for millions of people living with Parkinson’s disease.”
Further information, refer to the following video:
The research has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research paper is titled “Mitochondrial pyruvate carrier regulates autophagy, inflammation, and neurodegeneration in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease.”
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