New Findings Diabetes drug could be used to fight Parkinson's disease

Scientists found people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson's than patients on other diabetes drugs, they however caution the drugs can have serious side-effects and should not be given to healthy people.

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New research has shown that a type of diabetes drug may offer a glimmer of hope in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

Scientists found people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson's than patients on other diabetes drugs, they however caution the drugs can have serious side-effects and should not be given to healthy people.

According to BBC, the latest study focuses solely on people with diabetes who did not have Parkinson's disease at the beginning of the project.

Researchers scoured UK electronic health records to compare 44,597 people prescribed glitazone pills with 120,373 people using other anti-diabetic treatment.

After matching participants to ensure their age and stage of diabetes treatment were similar, scientists found fewer people developed Parkinson's in the glitazone group - but the drug did not have a long-lasting benefit.

According to Dr Ian Douglas, lead researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, "sometimes there can also be unintended beneficial effects."

Said Douglas "our findings provide unique evidence that we hope will drive further investigation into potential drug treatments for Parkinson's disease."

He suggested such therapies would be most useful in the earliest stages of the disease when there is little damage to nerves.

Scientists however cautioned that healthy people shouldn't take the drug as glitazone drugs have previously been linked to serious heart and bladder problems.

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