A drug that was originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes is now being investigated to see if it can hold back the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a disease that affects nerves in the brain. Researchers believe that type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease may share a common link.
The drug is currently known as MSDC-0160. Drugs are typically given more pronounceable names once they have been granted approval for use in humans.
It is still an experimental drug, at the present time, as it has been tested as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in humans but not tested in enough people to be evaluated for approval. Drugs need to pass through three phases of trials before being submitted for approval and currently the drug has completed studies at phase two.
MSDC-0160 is in a class of drugs known as mTOT modulators. The drugs work in a similar way as another class of type 2 diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones (or TZDs for short). Actos (pioglitazone) is the one TZD drug that is currently regularly prescribed in the UK.
Both the new mTOT modulators and TZDs work in a similar way to help the body respond better to insulin. The reason mTOT modulators are being investigated is that they may present a lower risk of side effects than TZDs.
The research to date shows that mTOT modulators lower blood sugar levels similarly well as TZDs. The latest research, however, is whether the drug may also benefit Parkinson’s disease.
Given that TZDs have also shown significant promise in treating Parkinson’s disease, it is not surprising that mTOT modulators, which work in a similar way, are now being tested as a possible treatment.
The trial that has recently been published in the Science Translational Medicine journal is at a very early stage of research. The study was carried out by researchers from the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michiga, USA.
The research tested the drug MSDC-0160 in mice and showed promise that it may reduce inflammation in a way that protects nerves in the brain and might therefore help slow down Parkinson’s disease.
Readers should note that the way the drug works is to improve metabolism particularly in people that are taking in high calorie diets. Whilst these drugs may present some resistance to conditions like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, the greatest weapon we have against these conditions is a simple, healthy diet.
For easy, step by step guidance on eating a healthy, nutritious diet join our Low Carb Program, which has helped thousands of people to improve their weight, blood sugar levels and wellbeing.

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