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What’s New In Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics?

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Parkinson Disease Therapeutics

Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a decline in nervous coordination. The interruption in nervous coordination affects the body and muscular movement. That’s why the initial signs and symptoms are trembling hands and stiffened muscles.

What Is Parkinson Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is of genetic disorder which is why some of us are at greater risk of developing Parkinson disease due to our familial history of the disease.  Parkinson’s disease is quite widespread. According to reports by NIH, over half a million US population has Parkinson’s disease.

There are remarkable developments in research, therapeutics, in the field of genetics, and recombinant DNA technology that many diseases are curable now. Researchers have developed monoclonal antibodies and recombinant engineered antibodies against cancer and a few similar diseases.  Similarly, in Parkinson’s researchers are striving to develop proper cures or treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The most probable hurdle is the complex molecular and genetic basis of disease. However, the recent development and advances in Parkinson’s disease treatment are no doubt promising. Let’s have a look at what’s new in Parkinson disease therapeutics.

New Drugs For Parkinson Disease

Various drugs or medicines are used for relieving the symptoms of Parkinson disease. These drugs help in improving nervous coordination either by mimicking the action of dopamine neurotransmitters or by preventing its excessive breakdown in brain cells. Thus, these drugs improve nervous coordination and also prevent muscular stiffness.       


Levodopa Parkinson Disease Drug

One of the exciting new drugs for PD treatment is Levodopa. This drug enhances the dopamine level in brain cells relieving the symptoms of PD.  However, long-term use of levodopa is found to be associated with certain side effects. The patients may develop abnormal and involuntary movements, a condition known as  dyskinesia or levodopa-induced dyskinesia.


Amantadine Parkinson Disease Drug

To relive dyskinesia, an amantadine drug is used. In order to check the efficiency of amantadine drug, a study was performed undertaking 126 patients with levodopa-induced dyskinesia. The results were promising as dyskinesia symptoms improved within 12 weeks of taking the amantadine drug.


Opincapone Parkinson Disease Drug

Another recently introduced effective drug is opincapone. This drug basically inhibits the breakdown of levodopa in brain cells thereby improving its retention in blood plasma. Moreover, opincapone drug is effective for relieving and curing motor fluctuations. Many patients experience these motor fluctuations during their treatment. These fluctuations are kind of ‘on’ and ‘off’ periods.

The patients show an effective response to drugs as long as the treatment is going on. But, as soon as the treatment procedure ends, the symptoms of Parkinsonism reappear. Therefore, one main focus of Parkinsonism therapeutics is to control these motor fluctuations and improve the effectiveness of drugs for PD treatment.      


Istradefylline Parkinson Disease Drug

Recently, the istradefylline drug has been developed for controlling motor fluctuations.  Istradefylline drugs block certain receptors sites and eventually reduce the ‘off’ period for improving motor fluctuations.

Gene Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Gene therapy is an approach to genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology. This technique involves the replacement of a mutated gene in the patient’s body, with a normal functional gene.

Gene therapy is a trending and hot topic in Parkinson therapeutics. the aim is to replace the genes of certain enzymes and those which control the neurotransmitter levels in brain cells. Regulating certain genes will be helpful in relieving the symptoms and improving the drug’s effectiveness. For instance, an enzyme AADA catalyzes the conversion of the levodopa drug to dopamine. Low levels of this enzyme result in less production of dopamine due to which the PD symptoms reappear in patients.

The researchers at Voyager Therapeutics are testing to deliver this enzyme’s gene in PD patients. Similarly, scientists at Axovant Sciences are testing another type of gene therapy which is based on one –a time surgical procedure. The aim is to infuse genes into the brain cells of the patient. The gene is basically an instruction for the production of dopamine neurotransmitter in brain cells. The trials of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease are underway. Although the early results of this trial are promising, there is a long way to go to make gene therapy a common medical practice for PD. One of the major concerns is ensuring the safety of patients and the long-term effects of undergoing gene therapy treatment for PD.    

Bottom Line….

Parkinson disease is one of the major diseases for which proper medication or therapy is yet to be developed. However, certain drugs have been developed over in recent years to deal with this neurodegenerative disorder. Gene therapy is one of the main focus points of research in the field of genetic engineering for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.        

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