A latest study has shown that some common diabetes drugs can reduce the onset of Parkinson’s disease in an individual. This latest discovery has widened the options for treating this degenerative brain disorder.
During the study, the researchers looked at the records of 100,288 patients who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. The researchers, as always, found that these patients had a higher than normal risk of developing the disease.
However, they discovered that some of the commonly prescribed diabetes medication actually reduced the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In fact, the patients who were consuming GLP-1 receptor agonists had a 60% less chance of contracting the disease.
“Our study has strengthened evidence that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, although it remains clear that most people with diabetes will not go on to develop Parkinson’s,” says neuroscientist Tom Foltynie, from University College London in the UK.
The research also served as a follow up to a 2018 study where around 2 million patients with type 2 diabetes were covered.
Scientists are now revving up to continue their research. In fact, they are now extremely keen on examining the potential of the medication Exenatide, which is a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
According to reports, numerous small studies have already mentioned that exenatide might prove to be a game-changer. The studies have established that the drug can limit the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
During this latest round of study, patient records were collected over a period of three years. Out of all the 100,288 patients, only 329 individuals developed the disease within the above mentioned time frame. Of course the number is not huge.
However, it was sufficient enough to prove that only a small fraction of patients consuming DPP4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists went on to develop Parkinson’s than those who were using a third antidiabetic drug, or those who were not using antidiabetic drugs at all.
“It may be helpful for doctors to consider other risk factors for Parkinson’s disease when prescribing medications for type 2 diabetes, but further research will be needed to confirm clinical implications,” says pharmacoepidemiologist Li Wei, from University College, London.
The results of this study are indeed very promising. However, the team opines that there are many factors that they still need to be discover. The researchers are now planning to recruit volunteers for a phase 3 clinical trial. This trial aims to take an in-depth look at the potential effects of exenatide on brain disorders.
“We have added to evidence that exenatide may help to prevent or treat Parkinson’s disease, hopefully by affecting the course of the disease and not merely reducing symptoms, but we need to progress with our clinical trial before making any recommendations,” says Foltynie.