BREAKTHROUGH?

Clinical Trial Suggests Parkinson’s Can Be Halted

It may be possible to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease with exenatide, a drug typically used to treat Type 2 diabetes, a new U.K. clinical trial suggests. Parkinson’s gradually damages the brain as cells that produce dopamine start dying. Currently, drugs can help manage the symptoms, but they do not prevent the progression of the disease. “This is the first clinical trial in actual patients with Parkinson’s where there has been anything like this size of effect,” said Tom Foltynie, a professor who worked on the trial. “It gives us confidence exenatide is not just masking symptoms; it’s doing something to the underlying disease. We have to be excited and encouraged, but also cautious as we need to replicate these findings.”