University of Arizona to begin clinical trial to test treatment for Parkinson's disease



TUCSON -

A new clinical trial will begin at the University of Arizona to help people with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Dr. Scott Sherman and Dr. Torsten Falk at the University of Arizona are researching how to help people with Parkinson’s disease by repurposing ketamine.  

“Many people take oral medication called levodopa for Parkinson’s disease and this works well to control symptoms of a number of years, but after four or five years many patients will develop involuntary movements that become problematic for them,” said Dr. Sherman.

According to the UA, 40% of patients on levodopa eventually experience dyskinesia, which is an uncontrollable and involuntary movements of the arms, legs, head or entire body and currently there is no treatment to cure those side effects. 

Researchers are testing a decades-old drug called ketamine, which is used to treat pain and depression, to help reduce and control those side effects.

Dr. Sherman says 9 to 10 patients will be enrolled in the first year of the clinical tests which they plan to begin this fall. 



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