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Cough Medicine Helps Parkinson’s

MedicineResearchers discover a cough suppressant and a drug tested as a schizophrenia therapy appears to mitigate some of the debilitating side effects of the levodopa , the primary medicine used for Parkinson’s disease.

Dextromethorphan, used in such cold and flu medications as Robitussin, Sucrets, Triaminic and Vicks, suppresses dyskinesias in rats, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University found. Dyskinesias are the spastic or repetitive motions that result from taking levodopa, or L-dopa, over long periods.

The researchers also found that BMY-14802, a drug previously tested in people with schizophrenia and found to be safe – although not effective in treating schizophrenia symptoms – suppressed dyskinesias in rats more effectively than dextromethorphan did, suggesting that BMY-14802 might work to block dyskinesias in people with Parkinson’s.

“These results were unexpected, but very exciting,” said the study’s lead author, Melanie A. Paquette, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, and the PVAMC.

“We have filed a patent for the use of BMY-14802 for dyskinesias and we hope to get funding to begin human trials very soon.”

The results also affirm the value of the rat model for dyskinesias that Paquette’s team used in the study.

Previous studies by other researchers have shown the drug amantadine already is effective in treating dyskinesias in both humans and rats, and dextromethorphan’s effectiveness against the condition in rats provides more data supporting the use of the model.

“Basically, these two drugs work to block dyskinesias in both humans and rats, and that means the rats are a good model to screen potential drug treatments for humans with dyskinesias,” Paquette said.

But BMY-14802, which is an antagonist at sigma-1 receptor sites in the brain, “worked much better than dextromethorphan,” an antagonist at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.

“There’s something special about BMY-14802,” Paquette explained. “The effect on dyskinesias is really striking and I’ve repeated it several times, so it’s a reliable finding. It’s a very exciting result.”

Source: Oregon Health & Science University

Cough Medicine Helps Parkinson’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Cough Medicine Helps Parkinson’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/11/08/cough-medicine-helps-parkinsons/1505.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.