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Cancer drugs on Parkinson’s patients can abate their sufferings

Jan 10, 2020

A commonly prescribed drug for patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia is also considered as a reliever drug for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

According to the latest research, carried on by the scientists of Georgetown University Medical Centre, the drug called nilotinib is quite powerful in increasing dopamine levels and controlling neurotoxic proteins, resulting to smooth motor functioning of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, the tolerability of this drug is quite high among patients who intake it.

The study that lasted for around 15 months were primarily carried out on 75 participants who were mostly at an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease with stable condition. Again they were divided into three groups of 25 each, where they were provided either a placebo or 150 mg nilotinib or 300 mg nilotinib.

None of the participants or investigators were informed at the beginning of the research regarding the drugs that were given, to free it from producing any biased results. Further, the results were analyzed at regular intervals of six months, 12 months and 15 months and the final reports were published in JAMA Neurology.

As per the final results, in total 88% of the participants successfully completed the trial among which nine participants gave up before finishing it off due to the adverse effect of nilotinib.

The team also observed that few participants taking nilotinib drug had lesser levels of two toxic proteins that are commonly found in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Decreased level of toxins increased the dopamine levels up to 50 %, thereby, improving motor functioning of the patients.

Those who took placebo drug and 300 mg nilotinib showed improvement after initial six months but then their conditions remained the same after twelve months and fifteen months. Whereas, participants who took 150 mg nilotinib had improved their motor function after the research started till the end of experiment.

Although studies showed nilotinib drug helped Parkinson’s patients by giving them a better life, another recent experiment with nilotinib for treating Parkinson’s disease (NILO- PD) showed no clinical improvements in the patients.

According to the professor of neurology from the University Of Cincinnati Gardner Center for “Parkinson’s Diseases and Movement Disorders”, Dr. Alberto Espay- This drug is ineffective for treating Parkinson’s patients.

However, to confirm its effectiveness clinically this research has to be performed on diverse populations and requires more studies, according to the researchers of Georgetown University.