A research in the journal Plos Medicine suggests glitazone, a type of diabetes drug, may offer a glimmer of hope in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
According to scientists, people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson’s than patients on other diabetes drugs.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes shaking, rigidity and dementia.
Glitazones is the nickname for a group of drugs used to treat type 2 diaetes, like Actos (pioglitazone) or Avandia (rosiglitazone).
However, they caution the drugs can have serious side-effects and should not be given to healthy people.
Instead, they suggest the findings should prompt further research.
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.
They matched 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. Any potential protection disappeared once patients switched to another type of pill.
Dr. Ian Douglas, lead researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “We often hear about negative side-effects associated with medications, but sometimes there can also be unintended beneficial effects.
“Our findings provide unique evidence that we hope will drive further investigation into potential drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease.”
Dr. Ian Douglas suggests such therapies would be most useful in the earliest stages of the disease when there is little damage to nerves.
However, as glitazone drugs have previously been linked to serious heart and bladder problems, scientists caution that healthy people should not take the drugs.
Diabetes drug metformin has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice, a new research suggests.
Scientists believe metformin may mimic the effects of extreme calorie restriction.
This regime, which is based on eating a very low calorie diet, is thought to promote healthy ageing.
The human implications of the study are unclear, the researchers report in the journal, Nature Communications.
Rafael de Cabo, of the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore, Maryland, said calorie restriction in laboratory animals had been shown to increase their lifespan.
His team is searching for interventions – such as a drug – that can mimic these effects.
Diabetes drug metformin has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice
Metformin is one of the most widely prescribed treatments for type-2 diabetes, which occurs mainly in people above the age of 40. It is also used to treat metabolic syndrome, a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Previous work has shown that metformin can extend the lifespan of simple organisms such as worms, but studies in flies and mammals have given conflicting evidence.
The scientists gave one of two different doses of metformin to middle-aged male mice and found that lower doses increased lifespan by about 5%, and also delayed the onset of age-associated diseases. But they said the higher dose of metformin was toxic and reduced the lifespan of mice.
Further studies were needed to determine if metformin has any effect on human health and lifespan, said Dr. Rafael de Cabo.
“These are very promising results that need to be translated to humans via clinical studies,” he said.
He said the best current advice was to eat a good diet and exercise.
“Right now the best that we can say is probably what your grandmother told you,” Dr. Rafael de Cabo.
“Eat a good diet and exercise are the only two things that we know for sure that they work very well in humans.”
Express Solicitors have begun legal proceedings against British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline after a number of individuals have been seriously affected by the drug Avandia.
The diabetes drug Avandia was first introduced on to the NHS in the year 2000 and was used primarily to treat people with type 2 diabetes whose glucose levels were not being kept properly under control by the everyday, already in use drugs – a sulphonylurea drug and metformin. Avandia was created to lessen the body’s resistance towards insulin and could be used alone or together with metformin, which is also known as Avandamet.
The drug was banned in 2010 after ten years, due to very serious health concerns surrounding it. The health concerns connected with the drug were issues such as heart failure and heart attacks after a US scientist carried out clinical trials on 28,000 different people.
GSK (a company who produces and sells a large range of prescription and over the counter medicines) faces legal action due to a number of instances where the drug Avandia was prescribed to patients eight weeks subsequent to the European medicines regulator ordering it to be removed. The pharmaceutical firm also admitted to covering up any data which showed the drugs damaging side effects.
The National Health Service is too facing difficulties of the same sort for the marketing and sale of the drug even after its ban in Europe.
Since the discovery of Avandia’s side effects, thousands of families have come forward demanding compensation for the death or harm of a close relative but only the US claimants have prevailed. GSK have agreed since to pay out billions of dollars to the US government to cover and settle any claims from people in the US.
However, despite the pharmaceutical company being of British origin, UK families may not be quite as well off, as GSK are not prepared to pay out without a fight to defend themselves. Whilst claimants in the US got it relatively easy, fighters in the UK will be faced with having to produce evidence such as medical expert opinions and reports to stand up in court.
Express Solicitors in Manchester are at present representing four families, with a further 15 on its books and are offering a “no win, no fee” basis for anyone affected by the drug.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc. has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and has to pay $3 billion to settle the largest case of healthcare fraud in U.S. history.
The Justice Department says GSK pleaded guilty to promoting two popular drugs for unapproved uses and to failing to report important safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration.
Prosecutors say GSK encouraged use of Paxil for children although it was not approved for anyone under 18.
The company also promoted Wellbutrin for uses besides major depressive disorder, its only approved use.
They say that between 2001 and 2007 GSK failed to report on two studies of the cardiovascular safety of Avandia, a diabetes drug.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc. has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and has to pay $3 billion to settle the largest case of healthcare fraud in U.S. history
Of the penalties, $1 billion covers criminal fines and forfeitures and $2 billion is for civil settlements with the federal and state governments.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole said at a news conference in Washington that the settlement “is unprecedented in both size and scope”.
As part of the settlement, GSK agreed to strict oversight of its sales force by the U.S. government to prevent the use of kickbacks or other prohibited practices.
GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement it would pay the fines through existing cash resources. The company announced a $3 billion charge in November related to legal claims.
Chief Executive Andrew Witty said GSK’s U.S. unit has “fundamentally changed our procedures for compliance, marketing and selling. When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct”.
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