Diabetes Drug May Slow Parkinson’s Disease
New Therapeutic Target?
“At the end of 48 weeks, when assessing patients’ movements in the off-medication state, the placebo group had gradually declined, as expected, while those patients treated with exenatide had slightly improved. The exenatide-treated group maintained this advantage 12 weeks after we stopped the exenatide injections, and it was no longer detectable in the serum,” said Dr Athauda.
“Parkinson’s disease progresses slowly, and so this advantage over the course of 1 year was relatively small and had minimal effect on day-to-day activities. However, if this advantage were to accumulate year on year with longer-term treatment, then we would have potentially altered the course of the disease — a major milestone in Parkinson’s treatment,” he added.
Exenatide was generally well tolerated, with injection site reactions and gastrointestinal symptoms reported at frequencies similar to those reported in prior diabetes trials. Six serious adverse events occurred in the exenatide group and two occurred in the placebo group, but none in either group were judged to be related to the study interventions.