Parkinson’s breakthrough: New ‘life-changing’ drug could calm involuntary ticks

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Scientists are launching human trials of a “life-changing” drug that can alleviate involuntary and erratic “jerking” caused by Parkinson’s medication. Here’s the latest on the groundbreaking research.

The drug, NLX-112, has the potential to reduce dyskinesia and “improve movement symptoms of Parkinson’s”, said Parkinson’s UK.

What’s dyskinesia?

The research charity explained: “Dyskinesias are involuntary, erratic, writhing movements of the face, arms, legs or trunk.

“They may also cause rapid jerking or slow and extended muscle spasms.”

NLX-112 works by stabilising serotonin brain cells, which are otherwise thought to convert levodopa into dopamine and release it in an erratic way.

It’s this random release of dopamine that may contribute to the twitchy movements associated with dyskinesia.

Thus, treatment with NLX-112 can help reduce dopamine from being released randomly.

For a year, the drug was tested on monkeys with Parkinson-like symptoms that had developed dyskinesia in response to levodopa.

This development follows the £1½m deal made between the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in New York and Parkinson’s UK.

The chief executive of the Michael J Fox Foundation, Todd Sherer, commented on the latest development.

Sherer said: “This collaboration with Parkinson’s UK is about combining our resources to advance this promising therapeutic approach from Neurolixis as quickly as we can.”

A public announcement regarding the latest development is expected this week.

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