In a small clinical trial of people with Parkinson’s disease, treatment with a low dose of medication Sargramostim was well-tolerated and eased the motor symptoms.
Now, Partner Therapeutics, who market this Sargramostim under the name ‘Leukine’ are planning to seek approval for further clinical testing for Parkinson’s as the results “provide the basis for larger scale assessments”.
Treatments that reduce the process of abnormal inflammation have attracted much interest for their potential in Parkinson’s medicine, as this is one of the processes that is thought to determine the disease.
Previous to this, a study had been carried out on Parkinson’s patients given a higher dosage of the therapy and results indicated that the treatment did improve motor function.
However, this dosage was also associated with adverse events such as, injective site reactions, bone pain and inflammatory reactions.
After this occurred, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) ran a clinical trial to test lower doses that might lessen the extent of these effects – with five people with Parkinson’s treated for one year.
Despite the results of this study only applying to the five patients and one year of treatment, this trial has now been extended to two years and is expanding to 10 patients.
Undertaking regular assessments of Parkinson’s-related symptoms, as well as safety tests, results have shown that the low dosage of Sargramostim was well-tolerated by all.
Every participant had reported some side effects, the most common one being elevated immune cell counts, injection site reactions, falls that led to injury and digestive issues such as, nausea. However, there were no serious effects related to the treatment.
Three of the five patients experienced easing to motor symptoms and the other’s symptom severity scores did not fundamentally change throughout the treatment.
From this study, it appears that higher Treg cell counts from the Sargramostim were associated directly with greater motor symptom-related benefits.
However, this study is limited in its small size and patient population, as well as its lack of a placebo group.
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