Potential to Cure Parkinson’s Disease Found in Existing Drug

In a recent report, researchers found that the current drugs Chloroquine and Amodiaquine, two common anti-malaria drugs, could also provide treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease itself is a disease caused by a loss of cells in a part of the brain called the subtantia nigra. This loss of cells causes the reduction of the neurotransmitter called dopamine, or the chemical in the brain that regulates movement and mood.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Yoon Ho Sup, stated, “Our discovery brings hope for the millions of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, as the drugs that we have found to have worked in the laboratory tests have already been used to treat malaria in patients for decades.”

Dr. Sup continued, “Our research also shows that existing drugs can be repurposed to treat other diseases and once several potential drugs are found, we can redesign them to be more effective in combating their targeted diseases while reducing the side effects.”

This monumental breakthrough could lead to an inexpensive alternative treatment to many individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s on a daily basis. Creating the new treatment would be beneficial not only from a financial standpoint but also because many of the current treatments involve a varied concoction of many drugs and surgery.

Another of the study’s authors, Professor Kwang-Soo Kim stated, “…[existing] pharmacological and surgical treatments address the patient’s symptoms, such as to improve mobility functions in the early stages of the disease, but the treatments cannot slow down or stop the disease process.”

With the current research and backing of scientific evidence, these drugs are seen to be a potential drug target to treat Parkinson’s itself.

The researchers hope that the drugs can be further modified to continue to better treat Parkinson’s and hopefully slow and stop the process.

Alysha Biemolt

Sources: Spring, WHO, PNAS
Photo: Medical Press