Drug found to slow onset of Parkinson's

Drug found to slow onset of Parkinson's

An experimental drug slows the progression of Parkinson's disease symptoms, a new study from Thomas Jefferson University reveals.

Known as GM1 ganglioside, the drug was found to be effective over a two-and-a-half year trial, although the precise mechanisms of its action are still unclear.

Published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, the research showed that the drug may protect against the death of dopamine-producing neurons in Parkinson's patients.

It may also partially restore the function of these neurons, leading to an increase in the level of dopamine, which is the key neurochemical missing in the brain of Parkinson's patients.

Furthermore, participants in the trial saw their condition worsen once they stopped taking the drug.

Jay S Schneider, PhD, director of the Parkinson's Disease Research Unit and professor in the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department of Neurology at Jefferson, said no drug has so far been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's.

"Our data suggest that GM1 ganglioside has the potential to have symptomatic and disease-modifying effects on Parkinson's disease," he explained.

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