According to a study published in the journal Plos Medicine, a type of diabetes drug called glitazone might assist in combating Parkinson’s disease.
During the study, scientists found that individuals taking glitazone pills experience reduction in chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. However, they have warned that the drug might end up causing serious side effects; according to the scientists, the drug should never be given to healthy people i.e. people who don’t have diabetes. They have also stated that findings of the study can be confirmed only after carrying out further research.
Right now, the United Kingdom is home to around 127,000 patients of Parkinson’s disease. For those who don’t know: it’s a condition that can make patients experience tremor and cause symptoms like stiff muscles and slow movement.
This new study focused only on individuals suffering from diabetes, but didn’t have Parkinson’s when the project began. The research team combed through UK electronic health records for comparing 44,597 people treated with glitazone pills with 120,373 people undergoing other forms of diabetes treatment. The participants were matched carefully to ensure that their stage of diabetes treatment and age are similar.
The researchers found that fewer people treated with glitazone got Parkinson’s. However, the benefits offered by the drug were not long-lasting. All potential protections disappeared the moment patients started taking another type of medication.
The study’s lead researcher Dr. Ian Douglas, a representative of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that like we often hear medicines causing negative side effects, there are times when they end up offering unintended benefits. He added that the findings of this new study offers unique evidence that he and his colleagues are hoping will lead to further investigations on potential treatments for Parkinson’s.
According to Dr. Douglas, such therapies will offer maximum benefits to patients in the early stages of the condition i.e. when there’s little damage to their nerves. Nothing is said about the effects of the drug on patients in the later stages of the nerve disorder.
Here, it must be noted that previous studies have pointed out that glitazone can cause serious bladder and heart problems. As a result, the scientists have warned that healthy individuals should never take this drug.