Cough drug may be new treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Credit: Roberto Sorin/Unsplash.

Ambroxol is a drug that is currently used to treat respiratory conditions. It promotes the clearance of mucus, eases coughing and has anti-inflammatory properties.

In a study from UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, scientists found ambroxol as a new drug to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

They tested ambroxol in people with Parkinson’s. The team found that ambroxol was able effectively reach the brain and increase levels of a protein known as GCase (glucocerebrosidase).

GCase allows cells to remove waste proteins, including alpha-synuclein (a protein that builds up in Parkinson’s and is thought to be important in its cause), more effectively.

Additionally, the study showed that ambroxol was safe for people with Parkinson’s and was well tolerated.

The world-first Phase 3 trial will involve 330 people with Parkinson’s across 10–12 clinical centers in the U.K. It will be placebo-controlled and participants will take ambroxol for two years.

The team says the effectiveness of ambroxol will be measured by its ability to slow the progression of Parkinson’s using a scale including quality of life and movement. Preparations for the recruitment of trial participants have already started.

This will be the first time a drug specifically applied to a genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease has reached this level of trial and represents ten years of extensive and detailed work in the laboratory and in a proof of principle clinical trial.

If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about Vitamin E that may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about new way to treat Parkinson’s disease, and results showing flavonoid-rich foods could improve survival in Parkinson’s disease.

The study was conducted by Professor Schapira et al.

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