A new approach to address motor and non-motor complications of Parkinson’s disease

2015  -  Montréal, QC, CA


Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal, Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Laval

Project description

Psychosis and abnormal involuntary movements (dyskinesia) affect over 50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease, however, there are few available therapies. In this project, we will seek new therapies that will alleviate, and potentially prevent the development of, psychosis and dyskinesia. Specifically, we will use modulators of glutamate, the most abundant chemical substance of the brain, in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and determine the effect of glutamate modulation on the severity of psychosis and dyskinesia. We will test clinically-ready drugs, assess their behavioural efficacy, determine blood levels associated with effectiveness, and conduct brain imaging studies. If successful, our project will pave the way to clinical trials with glutamate modulators to address both psychosis and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

Relevance to the acceleration of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging

We intend to identify and validate a new therapeutic target to address debilitating manifestations of advanced Parkinson’s disease. As part of our project, we will assess 5 drugs that have already undergone clinical testing for other conditions. These drugs have a well-documented safety and tolerability profile and could therefore be administered to patients with Parkinson’s disease in the context of clinical studies in a relatively short term.

Anticipated outcome

Using a novel approach to modulate glutamate transmission, we will provide pre-clinical evidence of efficacy to reduce psychosis and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease. Our experiments will gather essential data in order to move glutamate modulators to clinical trials and represent the first steps to bring these molecules to clinical use.