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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1.1 Million For Clinical Trial of Transdermal Nicotine as Disease-Modifying Treatment For Parkinson's
Date:2/18/2010

German-American consortium to test nicotine patch in 150 PD patients

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation announced that it has awarded $1.1 million for an international clinical trial vetting the potential of a nicotine skin patch to modify the progression of Parkinson's disease. The funding was made under the Clinical Intervention Awards initiative, one of MJFF's Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research.

This first-ever multisite, investigator-initiated collaboration between Parkinson's study groups in Germany and the United States will encompass a one-year double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 150 newly diagnosed Parkinson's patients. Principal investigators Wolfgang H. Oertel and Marcus M. Unger of Philipps University Marburg, Germany, and Karl Kieburtz of the University of Rochester, New York, will evaluate the disease-modifying potential of transdermal nicotine using standard skin patches of the type used by millions of smokers as a quitting aid. The production of the patches being used in this trial has been supported by the pharmaceutical company Novartis.

While scientists have previously studied the symptomatic effects of nicotine in Parkinson's patients, this is the first long-term clinical trial expressly designed to test whether nicotine may in fact modify the progression of PD. Parkinson's researchers have long been intrigued by epidemiological research showing a possible link between cigarette smoking and a lowered risk of PD: the disease is far less prevalent among smokers compared to never-smokers. Nicotine also has demonstr
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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