Can this existing drug be a new treatment for dyskinesia?
Dyskinesia is a common side effect of Parkinson’s medication. It causes involuntary movements that can affect various parts of the body, making simple, everyday tasks, like tying your shoelaces or making a cup of tea, difficult.
Dr Adrian Newman-Tancredi’s research has found that a drug called NLX-112 stabilises the amount of dopamine released by serotonin cells. This could reduce dyskinesia and give more control back to peoples lives.
We’re very excited to be co-funding a phase 2 clinical trial in people with The Michael J. Fox foundation but we can’t do it without you.
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Why is treating dyskinesia important?
People with Parkinson's don't have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died. Drugs like levodopa artificially top-up dopamine levels, but after several years there are few dopamine-producing cells left for levodopa to activate.
Instead, levodopa is taken up by serotonin-producing brain cells, which can also produce small amounts of dopamine. But they tend to release it in an uncontrolled rush, causing dyskinesia.
More than 145,000 people in the UK live with Parkinson’s. About half will experience dyskinesia after five years of taking levodopa and after 10 years this jumps to 80%.
Dr Newman-Tancredi at Neurolixis, believes NLX-112 may have even greater potential, not just for helping control dyskinesia, but also to treat depression, improve sleep and reduce pain.
Watch the video below to find out more.
Bringing life-changing treatments closer
Professor Per Svenningsson and his team – world-leading experts in this area – will be running the clinical trial across several hospitals in Sweden.
Participants in the trial will be split into two groups. Over an eight week period, two thirds will be given NLX-112 and the other third will be given a placebo. Participants will record a diary each day of their dyskinesia and any effect the drug has on their quality of life, mood, sleep and pain. They will also wear a device to record their movement and monitor symptoms.
We’re aiming to raise £150,000, to help fund the highly specialised equipment that monitors participants’ dyskinesia and records any improvements. You can make this happen.
This research has the potential to be life-changing for thousands of people affected by Parkinson’s today. It could lead to a new treatment that would let people take back control of their movements.
What's promising about this trial?
We already know from previous testing that NLX-112 is safe for people to take. By testing the drug with people with Parkinson’s who experience dyskinesia, we can discover if it is both safe and effective in controlling dyskinesia.
If this phase 2 trial is successful in proving NLX-112 is effective, the next step will be to partner with a pharmaceutical company for large-scale clinical trials. The final step would be for the drug to be manufactured and made available as a treatment.
It could mean a new treatment for dyskinesia.
We urgently need better treatments for everyone affected by Parkinson's.