Parkinson's disease breakthrough: THIS drug could treat cause not just symptoms

   WARNING SIGN Erectile dysfunction could be the first warning sign for this cognitive disease

GETTY WARNING SIGN Erectile dysfunction could be the first warning sign for this cognitive disease

Now there is no cure for the degenerative neurological disease and standard therapies just manage the side effects of tremors and body stiffness, but do not prevent brain cells from dying.

"This is a very promising finding, as the drug holds potential to affect the course of the disease itself, and not merely the symptoms", said the study's senior author, Professor Tom Foltynie (UCL Institute of Neurology).

Parkinson's disease, which affects 127,000 people in the United Kingdom, causes progressive damage to the brain over time and cells that produce dopamine hormone - a chemical that helps control body movement - are lost. It leads difficulty moving and eventually memory problems.

The drugs administered now, work to boost dopamine levels and replace the hormone being lost, but is powerless to stop the brain continuing to die.

First author Dr Dilan Athauda said there was still more work to be done before the drug could be approved as a Parkinson's treatment.

No drug stops that happening.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive injections of exenatide or placebo once a week for 48 weeks in addition to their regular medication, followed by a 12-week "washout" period.

It has been reported that half of the patients were provided with the drug exenatide and the others were provided with placebo during the trial.

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Three months after the experimental treatment stopped, those who had been taking exenatide showed better brain health than those who did not.

The study, published in The Lancet and funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), followed 60 patients with Parkinson's disease being treated at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

"We have to be excited and encouraged, but also cautious as we need to replicate these findings". Further, longer-term trials are required.

People with Parkinson's who took Exenatide - an existing diabetes medication - for around a year had better motor skills than those who took a placebo.

Those sensors are found in brain cells too.

According to a new research, diabetes drug may be useful to treat those suffering from Parkinson's disease. It is thought the drug makes those cells work more efficiently or helps them to survive.

David Dexter, the deputy director of research at Parkinson's United Kingdom, said: "The findings offer hope that drugs like exenatide can slow the course of Parkinson's - something no current treatment can do".

'The results from the Exenatide studies justify continued testing, but clinicians and patients are urged not to add Exenatide to their regimens until more is known about their safety and impact on Parkinson's'.

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