Researchers have developed a new drug that may limit the progression of Parkinson’s disease while providing better symptom relief to people with the disease. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are commonly managed using selective dopamine receptor agonists. While these drugs are useful in early-stage Parkinson’s, they tend to lose efficacy in later disease stages.
In this study, the researchers employed a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease to compare the effects of the dopamine agonist ropinirole to their new experimental drug, known as D-512. In experiments with animal models, the study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, showed that D-512 was more efficacious than ropinirole in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
“We were quite astounded to discover that our new compound, D-512, was superior to the widely-used drug, ropinirole, in terms of maximal symptom relief and duration of action,” said David Lindenbach from Binghamton University – State University of New York. The researchers also noted that D-512 may have fewer side effects than current medications. When patients take anti-Parkinsonian drugs, over time they develop hyperkinetic movements that are hard to control, called dyskinesia. The researchers are currently at a pre-clinical phase.