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Cambridge patients trial new Parkinson's drug

Photo: Parkinson's affects 150,000 people in the UK

Addenbrooke’s Hospital is trialling a new drug aimed at treating Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s affects thousands of people in the UK but there is currently no way to stop or slow its progression.

Research suggests that inflammation in the brain might be important to understanding Parkinson’s and this is a target of interest for new therapies.

Now, Cambridge researchers alongside Addenbrooke's patients have teamed up to investigate the potential of an anti-inflammatory drug called dapansutrile.

It is being led by Dr Caroline Williams-Gray:

"There is a pressing need for a specific treatment, such as dapansutrile, which targets the most relevant aspects of the immune activation pathway in Parkinson’s without causing general immunosuppression and leading to unwanted side effects.

"In this trial, we aim to determine dapansutrile’s safety and tolerability in people with Parkinson’s, and to establish whether the treatment can reduce inflammation in the brain. 

"We will also investigate whether this results in a positive effect on clinical symptoms and disease progression."

The trial will involve 36 people with Parkinson’s who will be treated with dapansutrile tablets for up to 12 months. 

In this early phase trial, the main aims will be to establish that the drug is safe in Parkinson’s, and to determine whether it reduces inflammation in the brain.  

Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement, and arises after substantial loss of the dopamine-producing cells in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. 

The movement problems can be accompanied by anxiety, sleep disturbance, gut symptoms, cognitive problems and dementia.

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