Diabetes drug exenatide (Byetta) possibly to be used soon in Parkinson disease

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The most important fact is that drug “could do more than provide symptom relief for Parkinson’s disease.” In the study, 60 people with Parkinson’s received either a weekly injection of exenatide or an inactive placebo for 48 weeks, along with their regular medications. As result, those who took the diabetes drug scored four points higher on a 132-point scale of agility, speech and tremors than those who took the placebo.

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However, more research is needed. “The results from the exenatide studies justify continued testing, but clinicians and patients are urged not to add exenatide to their regimens until more is known about their safety and impact on Parkinson’s,” Brian Fiske, senior vice president of research programs at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research said. “This trial does provide an excellent rationale for larger and longer trials, and it remains to be seen if exenatide, and drugs like it, truly have a disease-modifying effect or merely improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” Martin Niethammer, a neurologist at Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute, in Manhasset, N.Y. argumented.

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