Tag Archives: clinical trials

Easing Dyskinesia: PDF-funded Research from 2007 Leads to Testing of Experimental Drug

Earlier this week, PsychoGenics Inc., announced that an experimental drug for Parkinson’s, eltoprazine, seemed to reduce dyskinesia in people with Parkinson’s in early studies.  Dyskinesias are the twisting and writhing movements that occur as PD progresses – a common side effect of the medication levodopa (Sinemet®).    Back in 2007, it was PDF-funded researcher Manolo Carta Ph.D., along with Anders Björklund, M.D., who performed the pre-clinical research that led to the identification of this drug.  At the time, while many researchers were looking at dopamine neurons as the culprit behind dyskinesias (through their interaction with levodopa), Dr. Carta’s proposal suggested something… read more Read More

Understanding the FDA Committee’s Decision to Recommend Approval for Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension Drug

From James Beck, Ph.D., Director of Research Programs You may have read the recent news about the small pharmaceutical company,Chelsea Therapeutics, and their drug Northera™ (droxidopa). Chelsea recently received the recommendation of a FDA advisory committee to approve droxidopa as a treatment for neurogenic orthostatic hypotension or NOH for short. This recommendation was a big surprise since FDA documents released ahead of the committee meeting showed that agency staff members were clearly against approval; nevertheless, this approval recommendation will strongly influence the final decision expected to be made later this month. What is NOH? Normally, blood pressure increases as you… read more Read More

Sham Surgery

In clinical trials that test new drugs for Parkinson’s disease, the process is fairly straightforward: some people get the real stuff and others get a sugar or placebo pill. It looks identical to the pill containing the new drug, but doesn’t offer the new compound. Here everyone (the person with Parkinson’s and physician) enters the trial knowing that a certain amount of deception is necessary from the outset….no one knows which pill is which. That is a good thing scientifically. There is an overwhelming consensus that double-blinded experiments, in which participants are randomly assigned to receive a placebo, result in… read more Read More

Reflections on PDF’s Top Ten List

Over the New Year’s holiday, I found myself reflecting on the Top Ten of 2009 – accomplishments of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation that we thought worthy of sharing with our supporters and friends. (You can find this list on our website.) I was happy to see that for almost every item in the “Top Ten,” the people who live with Parkinson’s – along with their loved ones, friends and health professionals – are front and center. Whether it’s a research project, a new educational program or an advocacy initiative, it is this perspective that keeps our work going. The roles… read more Read More

Why do Promising PD Treatments Fail?

On Tuesday, June 9th, the second day of the Movement Disorder Society International Congress in Paris, Dr. Warren Olanow, one of the world’s leading Parkinson’s specialists, gave a brilliant and authoritative talk on the subject of “What’s New in Parkinson’s Trials?” His focus was three high-profile clinical trials that have been watched intently and anxiously by people with Parkinson’s around the world. One was the Ceregene trial, in which a growth factor called neurturin (CERE-120) was delivered via a gene therapy technique. The second was STRIDE, in which a levodopa-COMT inhibitor (Stalevo(R)) was tested for its potential impact on improving… read more Read More