Cough medicine may help treat Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. Manifesting itself in the form of hand tremor, shuffling gait and some mental disorders, the disease occurs as a result of breach of the hormone dopamine, which is responsible for human cognitive activity. Anyway, according to a new study, first published in the journal JAMA Neurology, scientists have found a rather unusual way of treating Parkinson’s disease by applying to the test tool long used in the treatment of cough and respiratory diseases.

Is it possible to cure Parkinson’s disease?

Ambroxol — drug, first discovered over 50 years ago and long used as the active ingredient in cough mixtures. Being quite a popular tool in the treatment of respiratory diseases, last month the drug was investigated for its obvious potential to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease. It is known that a group of researchers led by scientists from University College London (UCL) reported the results of a small clinical trial, suggesting that Ambroxol raises a number of neuroprotective effects, helps patients to lead a normal daily life.

Due to the fact that all existing drugs not aimed at treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but only a suppression of its symptoms, patients are forced to accept their drugs until the end of his life, until the end and not recovering. The researchers note that because of the lack of proper drugs against Parkinson’s disease, the treatment of the disease with Ambroxol could potentially solve the problem of shortage of necessary medicines.

In order to test the effects of the drug on patients with Parkinson’s disease, the researchers observed the progress of the disease in 17 of patients receiving a daily dose of the drug for six months. According to the theory of specialists, the disease occurs due to a mutation of the protein glucocerebrosidase (GCase) in the brain of the person who is responsible for cleaning processes in a living organism. The fatal changes of the protein stops its normal functioning, which in turn causes the accumulation of another protein, called alpha synuclein. This substance is a key culprit of cognitive dysfunction that we see in the case of Parkinson’s disease.

According to Tony Shapira. lead researcher from UCL, previous experiments with human cells and animal models show that Ambroxol can help to increase GCase proteins while reducing levels of alpha-synuclein that allows cells to remove waste material, thus greatly slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Despite the fact that the results of the study still need the series of tests, the researchers believe that the use of the drug in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease may be promising. So, in the case of 17 participants of the experiment, the drug has successfully penetrated the blood-brain barrier of patients, while improving the level of GCase protein in cerebrospinal fluid of patients by about 35 percent without causing any side effects.