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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million for Critical Step Toward Development of Dyskinesia Treatments
Date:12/21/2009

of several weeks using numerous dyskinesia measurement scales. The researchers will examine the response to placebo as well in order to favor scales that maximally separate placebo-associated changes from amantadine-associated changes. The results will establish a path for clinical testing of future promising novel dyskinesia treatments.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, enrolling 66 PD patients at up to eight sites in the United States, Canada and Europe, will be led by coordinating principal investigators Christopher G. Goetz, MD, and Glenn T. Stebbins, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

"Dyskinesia is a harrowing problem for people with Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Goetz, who divides his time between seeing PD patients in his clinical practice and conducting clinical research.

"The drug levodopa, which is converted to dopamine, the chemical lost in Parkinson's disease, is our gold-standard treatment for relieving stiffness, tremors and rigidity," said Dr. Goetz. "But patients are forced to weigh the symptomatic relief offered by levodopa against the knowledge that, at some point, it will very likely cause dyskinesia. So, many patients wait as long as possible to begin using levodopa, and even after starting the medicine, they limit the dosage to reduce the risk of dyskinesia. Those who develop dyskinesia often need to reduce their levodopa dose and therefore settle for a sub-optimal benefit from the best medical therapy available for their disease."

This project is being carried out on the recommendation of The Michael J. Fox Foundation's Dyskinesia Working Group, an international consortium of the world's top experts (including Dr. Goetz) in dyskinesia convened by MJFF to assess the state of therapeutic development in dyskinesia and make strategic recommendations for faster progress toward transformative treatments.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

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SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
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