New Study Suggests GLP-1 Agonist May Offer Potential Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

New Study Suggests GLP-1 Agonist May Offer Potential Treatment for Parkinson's Disease
New Study Suggests GLP-1 Agonist May Offer Potential Treatment for Parkinson's Disease. Credit | REUTERS

United States – Could there be a medication similar to high-selling weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy to slow down the burdens of Parkinson’s disease?

Potential for Disease Modification

A new, small study suggests it could: For one year, a team of French researchers participated in a clinical trial with 156 people suffering from Parkinson’s who were randomly assigned to receive either lixisenatide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist by Sanofi, or the placebo, as reported by HealthDay.

What did they discover? The illness has symptoms like tremors, stiffness, slowness, and balance, which were more severe in those taking the placebo but not in those taking the drug.

The results, according to experts, can open the door for more studies on how dexamphetamine can be used to shrink movement disorders.

Caution Amid Promising Findings

Visual Representation. Credit | Shutterstock

This is not an easy play, but efforts have been made to modify the course of the disease. Michael Okun, Parkinson’s disease specialist at the University of Florida, who was not part of the study, told the New York Times that this is “nibbling at the edges of disease modification,”

Dr. Chu, from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said the research findings were very important, and the early work was designed just to test the hypothesis.

“There are many, many examples of very promising Phase 2 trials,” she told the Times. “People get very excited, and then it doesn’t pan out.”

However, the fact that almost all of the patients had nausea and vomiting can also be explained by the fact that scientists started with the highest dose instead of gradually increasing the intake. After a third of patients experienced side effects and could no longer bear them, the investigators decreased the dose by half.

For scientists such as Dr. Wassilios Meissner of the University of Bordeaux and Dr. Olivier Rascol of the University of Toulouse, thinking that a GLP-1 drug might slow Parkinson’s disease was not an unbelievable idea.

Insights from Diabetes Research

Visual Representation. Credit | iStock

The research has revealed that people with type 2 diabetes have a heightened risk for Parkinson’s disease, as it was stated by Rascol in the Times. However, it is worth noting that this elevated hazard is not observed when patients use GLP-1 drugs as an option to control their diabetes.

He reminded us that research on brain tissue from deceased Parkinson’s patients had shown abnormalities that are related to insulin resistance, where GLP-1 drugs do the treatment, as reported by HealthDay.

Implications for Future Research

Researchers who had decided to do a bigger and longer study have been withdrawn from the drug by Sanofi in the USA and have started to withdraw it globally. A company spokesman told the Times that the move was made for business considerations.