People with Parkinson's disease dementia sought for drug trial

Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane is part of a clinical trial looking into treatment for Parkinson's disease dementia.
Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane is part of a clinical trial looking into treatment for Parkinson's disease dementia.

A CLINICAL trial evaluating an experimental drug as a treatment for Parkinson's disease dementia is recruiting volunteers.

The phase 2 study of Anavex 2-73 will be conducted via Anglicare and KaRa MINDS, Sydney, and Hammondcare's Clinical Trials Unit in Melbourne.

"Parkinson's disease, already prevalent among older individuals, is poised to become a much greater public health challenge in coming decades and is commonly understood to also cause cognitive impairment, including dementia," said principal investigator for the Melbourne trial, Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane.

Sydney trial investigator, Associate Professor Kathryn Goozee, said that as brain changes caused by Parkinson's gradually spread, they often begin to affect mental functions, including memory and the ability to pay attention, make sound judgements and plan the steps needed to complete a task.

"The clinical trial will seek to measure the neuroprotective effects of Anavex 2-73 and its ability to re-establish the normal function of cells," she said.

Both trial sites are involved in ongoing trials for the same drug as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, which have shown promising results.

Parkinson's disease patients aged 50 and over who have been diagnosed with dementia will be recruited for the trial. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive Anavex 2-73 or a placebo for 14 weeks.

Researchers will evaluate the impact of the treatment on cognition as well as motor function and sleep quality.

The trial, which is also being conducted at other international sites, has received the support of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and Leon Research.

Pre-clinical studies with mouse models of Parkinson's disease showed Anavex 2-7 was able to restore the function of damaged nerve cells and significantly improve motor function.

To express interest in participating in the trial:

Sydney: KaRa MINDS (02) 8960-7788, email info@karaminds.com.au

Melbourne: HammondCare - email parkinsonstrial@hammondcare.com.au

This story Trial of new drug to treat Parkinson's dementia first appeared on The Senior.