Rave drug sparks hope for treating Parkinson’sJune 15th, 2012 - 12:20 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, June 15 (IANS) Rave culture’s illicit drug ‘ecstasy’ can help develop drugs that curb involuntary movements in Parkinson’s disease, says a study.
A team led by a medicinal chemist at The University of Western Australia (UWA) studied the possibility. Matthew Piggott, associate professor, said Parkinson’s patients have a great deal of difficulty moving without medication.
The drug, levodopa, restores their movement but, over time, side-effects often develop. These include a reduction in therapeutic duration and jerky, involuntary movements known as dyskinesia.
“Dyskinesia is often confused as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease, when in fact it is a side-effect of the treatment,” Piggott was quoted as saying in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
“For some time now we’ve known that the drug most commonly sold as ‘ecstasy’, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), ameliorates the side-effects of levodopa therapy. But MDMA has no therapeutic potential because it makes users ‘high’,” said Piggot, according to a university statement.
“Although controversial, there is also evidence that MDMA may be neurotoxic, or at least responsible for long-term, deleterious changes in brain chemistry,” Piggot said.
The team of UWA scientists, collaborating with Parkinson’s disease experts in Toronto, has now demonstrated that it is possible to de-link the beneficial effects of MDMA from its undesirable attributes. The feat was achieved through the creation of MDMA analogues - new compounds with a similar chemical structure to MDMA.
“The best compound, which we call UWA-101, is even more effective than MDMA at enhancing the quality of levodopa therapy,” said Piggot.
If translated to a medicine, this would mean that Parkinson’s patients could take their medication less frequently and get a better quality result from it,” Piggot added.
- Altered 'ecstasy' could kill some blood cancers - Oct 06, 2011
- New brain imaging technique shows effects of Parkinson's drug - Dec 01, 2010
- Scientists produce compound that may treat Parkinson's disease - Feb 12, 2011
- New discovery shows promise against Parkinson's, Alzheimer's - Dec 08, 2010
- Recreational Ecstasy use linked to loss of brain efficiency - May 04, 2011
- Scientists using gene therapy to treat Parkinson's disease - Oct 15, 2009
- Club drug ecstasy good for autism, post-traumatic stress patients - Jan 02, 2011
- Gut bug may cause development of Parkinson's - May 23, 2011
- This substance tricks brain to ease Parkinson's - Apr 21, 2011
- Ecstasy users unlikely to suffer worse health problems: Study - Oct 26, 2010
- Indian scientists find safe drug against kala azar - Sep 10, 2012
- Ecstasy could help ease trauma long term - Apr 17, 2010
- French Man Claims GlaxoSmithKline Drug Made Him Gay Sex Addict - Feb 01, 2011
- Repeated use of ecstasy may lead to sleep apnea - Dec 03, 2009
- Some HIV drugs cause premature ageing - Jun 27, 2011
Tags: american societies, analogues, associate professor, beneficial effects, brain chemistry, chemical structure, compounds, disease experts, drug ecstasy, drug levodopa, effects of mdma, federation of american societies for experimental biolo, illicit drug, involuntary movements, levodopa, matthew piggott, medicinal chemist, quality result, university of western australia, uwa