Parkinson's sufferers are usually treated with the drug called levodopa or L-dopa that helps in reviving cellular communication. After prolonged use of the drug, many patients may experience motor complications and a reduced response to the drug.
Parkinson's disease is a slow process of destruction of brain cells which produce dopamine. As dopamine levels fall, the symptoms of Parkinson's shows up as tremors in the arms, legs and face. The patients visibly portray slow movement, lack of proper balance and coordination.
A new clinical trial is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel drug to treat Parkinson's, which could extend the benefits of he existing drug, L-dopa. The study will also investigate the potential of the drug, E2007, and its contribution in extending the effectiveness of L-dopa.
The prevailing treatment for Parkinson's disease aims to revive cellular communication by simply restoring the lost dopamine with L-dopa. Though this therapy is effective for sometime, yet it is unable to halt the gradual decline so evident in long time Parkinson's sufferers.
"The hope is that by altering dopamine transmission through the modulating the activity of AMPA receptors, there will be measurable effects on the dopamine system," said Dr. Liang.
The study has been tailored to suit patients suffering advanced Parkinson's and have been undergoing L-dopa treatment for a considerable period of time. The study will involve nearly 700 patients from more than 100 centers across the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
Dr. Kremens said, "It's an interesting approach and an exciting trial because it is exploring a drug in a new therapeutic category. L-dopa is still the gold standard and we haven't come up with a better dopamine as yet."