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Drug trial for Parkinson hallucinations

Wednesday October 28th 2020

An anti-nausea drug is being tested to see if it can reduce the hallucinations which affect people with Parkinson’s disease.

The drug, ondansetron, is currently used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The charity Parkinson’s UK is working with University College London to run the £1 million, four year, trial which will include 216 patients. It is part of a larger initiative on novel drug development for Parkinson’s.

The trial will compare ondansetron against placebo for 12 weeks and be based at 20 to 25 NHS clinics across the UK. Visual and other types of hallucinations will be assessed after six and 12 weeks.

Dr Arthur Roach of Parkinson's UK said: “It’s vital we find better treatments for people with Parkinson's who have seen their hallucinations worsen at home and ondansetron offers much hope for them and their families. If successful, positive results from the trial could see this drug, which is already used in the NHS, quickly repurposed to become an available treatment in Parkinson’s.“

Lead Researcher, Professor Suzanne Reeves, added: “Finding treatments for hallucinations that are both effective and safe is an area of great unmet need. Ondansetron influences visual processing in the brain and its potential for treating visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s was first identified in small studies in the early 1990s.

“This trial will enable us to find out if ondansetron is effective and safe as a treatment and if it is, we could see clinicians prescribing an inexpensive drug with fewer side effects to people with Parkinson’s throughout the UK.”

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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