A recent study suggests that the Drug that is used to treat type-2 diabetes can now control the progression of Parkinson’s disease. At present, the drugs that are available for Parkinson’s disease can only control the symptoms of illness and does not have any effect on the progression of the disease.

What is the name of the drug?

Scientists have now discovered that the drug exenatide that is commonly used to treat type-2 diabetes can now slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers have also observed that the drug seems to have its benefits on those patients who stopped taking it for more than 12 weeks.

Thomas Foltynie, professor of neurology at University College London and also the co-author of the study has said that before recommending the drug to everyone, we need to conduct more clinical trials on a longer period and make sure that the results are same.

How was the study conducted?

Though there were some studies in the past which suggested that exenatide drug can help in treating Parkinson’s disease, the recent study is the first clinical trial of the drug which involved 60 people with Parkinson’s disease. The patients were divided into two groups with exenatide drug given to one group and a placebo injection to the other.

The participants in both the groups were assessed using a disease severity scale that measures the movement of limbs, tremors, and ability to recover balance.

The assessment was conducted at the start of the study and for every 12 weeks. The patients were assessed in the morning before medication and once again after taking medicine and then the results were observed.

The patients who were not given the medication showed a three point drop in the disease assessment scale every year.

From the results, it was observed that at the end of 48 weeks, the patients who were given the exenatide drug showed 1 point improvement while those who were given the placebo injection showed 3 point drop. The patients who were given the exenatide drug showed a 3.5 points improvement when compared to those who were given the placebo injection at the end of 12 weeks.

Thus the researchers of the study were able to conclude that the exenatide drug apart from treating the symptoms can also help in slowing down the severity of the Parkinson’s disease.

The Guardian reported that the author of the study Thomas Foltynie has said, “What we have found is that there is a 3.5 point benefit in taking this drug. So if that is all we get, then it is not going to be much significant. But if there is a cumulative advantage, imagine after two years if the patients in the placebo group were six points worse and those in the exenatide group were stable, then we have stopped the progression of the disease, and that is going to be of huge value.”