Ruvo Center Tests New Drug for Parkinson's Psychosis - 8 News NOW

Ruvo Center Tests New Drug for Parkinson's Psychosis

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LAS VEGAS -- An exciting development in the treatment of Parkinson's disease has been made right here in Las Vegas at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

Dr. Jeffrey Cummings is Director of the Center, and was lead author on this study. It appears in the latest issue of The Lancet, the prestigious medical journal. It involves an experimental drug called pimavanserin for the treatment of psychosis associated with Parkinson's Disease.

Up to one million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and the public is well aware of the disease and its side effects, especially the shaking and unsteady walking. But a devastating symptom is not as well known: psychosis. Called PDP for short, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis affects up to 60 percent of those with Parkinson's. PDP's complications include hallucinations, delusions, sleep disturbance and others.  It also puts a much greater burden on the caregiver.

The study involved the new drug, pimavanserin. The drug was found to be significantly more effective when compared to placebo.  It improved movement, hallucinations, delusions, and also substantially lightened caregiver burden.  While some other drugs have been used "off label" to treat PDP, they have not been shown to be as effective nor as safe as pimavanserin, according to the article by Dr. Cummings.

Dr Cummings explained the importance of the discovery, saying, "among Parkinson's patients, psychosis causes great distress for patients and caregivers and is the leading cause of institutionalization. These data indicate that pimavanserin, a selective 5-HT2A inverse agonist, confers a meaningful clinical benefit in patients with PDP and has the potential to be an important new treatment option for this condition for which there is no approved therapy in the U.S."

The drug, if it is eventually approved by the Food and Drug Administration, will likely be the first treatment for PDP, with the potential to improve the lives of patients and the people who care for them.  The fact that it is associated with the Las Vegas-based Ruvo Center is a point of pride for all citizens of our great city!

RUVO CENTER  Image by David Giral Photography, Las Vegas

The following is from a news release issued by ACADIA, which developed the drug:

"The drug Pimavanserin is ACADIA's proprietary small molecule that acts selectively as an antagonist/inverse agonist on serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. ACADIA has successfully completed a pivotal Phase III trial with pimavanserin for Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP), potentially positioning it to be the first drug approved in the United States for the treatment of this disorder. Pimavanserin is also in Phase II development for Alzheimer's disease psychosis (ADP) and has completed a Phase II trial as a co-therapy in schizophrenia. Pimavanserin is formulated as a tablet and is administered orally once-a-day. ACADIA discovered pimavanserin and holds worldwide rights to this new chemical entity."


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