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Experimental drug could treat dyskinesia in people with Parkinson’s

Published on 02/03/20 at 09:31am
Photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick

Results from a new study researching treatment for dyskinesia has offered hope that it may be treatable in people with Parkinson’s.

Neurolixis carried out the study, published in Neuropharmacology, with funding from Parkinson’s UK. They investigated the effects of the drug NLX-112 on dyskinesia which is often a common side effect of Parkinson’s sufferers who have been taking levodopa-based medications for several years. This causes involuntary movements that can affect various parts of the body. The drug targets cells inside the brain which release dopamine in an erratic manner which contributes to the development of the condition.

Around half of Parkinson’s sufferers will experience dyskinesia from five years of taking levodopa and this increases to 80 percent in people who have been taking the medication for ten years.

The study looked at the effect of NLX-112 on its own and in combination with levodopa to analyse how it impacted Parkinson’s and dyskinesia. The results showed that the drug successfully reduced dyskinesia but did not reduce the effectiveness of levodopa. When NLZ-122 was used on its own it also improved the condition.

Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson's UK, commentated on the results, saying: “This promising research on NLX-112 offers hope that we can find a treatment that can tackle dyskinesia, which can make everyday tasks, such as eating, writing and walking, extremely difficult. People with Parkinson's tell us it is one of the most critical issues that impacts quality of life so we're delighted that this project is progressing so positively.

“With 145,000 people living with Parkinson's in the UK, we are desperately in need of a breakthrough treatment and we're committed to delivering one by 2024. It is vital we continue to work with biotech companies like Neurolixis to drive forward new treatments that may slow, stop or reverse Parkinson's and also those, like NLX-112, that could bring relief from symptoms or side effects.”

Clinical trials are currently being planned before the end of the year.

Conor Kavanagh


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