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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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Diabetes treatment shows potential as an adjunct therapy for early Parkinson’s disease

August 27, 2023

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — Lixisenatide may have potential disease-modifying effects when used an adjunction to antiparkinsonian medications, according to a multicenter phase II clinical trial released today at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders® in Copenhagen, Denmark.   

Lixisenatide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1-R) agonist, is commonly used to treat type II diabetes. It can cross the blood brain barrier and is known to have neuroprotective properties in preclinical PD models.   

This study by Meissner and colleagues examines the effect of one year of lixisenatide treatment for early Parkinson’s disease (PD) both during OFF times, when patients are not under the influence of other medications, and during ON times, when lixisenatide is active in association with other antiparkinsonian medications.   

After one year of daily treatment, the lixisenatide subjects were less disabled, when assessed by the MDS-UPDRS, a standard examination score of PD impairment. The improved scores on lixisenatide documented in the ON and OFF states favored an improvement in the underlying disease state and not just an amplified pharmacologic impact on drugs already being used.    

“The study design is innovative, because it examines drug effects in both ON and OFF phases,” said Dr. Christopher Goetz, Professor of Neurological Sciences and Pharmacology at Rush University in Chicago, USA. “Further, the high retention rates bespeak an impressive, centralized organization across the French centers conducting the research program. Larger international studies will definitively define this drug’s place in our treatment portfolio, but disease-modifying therapies are a goal that would open the prospect of treating the underlying disease as well as ameliorating symptoms.” 

Full text of this abstract will be available at (Reference #94) after the embargo lifts August 27, 2023, 08:00 CEST. 

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About the 2023 MDS International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders®:  
The MDS International Congress is the premiere annual event to advance the clinical and scientific discipline of Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Convening thousands of leading clinicians, scientists and other health professionals from around the globe, the International Congress will introduce more than 1,800 scientific abstracts and provide a forum for education and collaboration on latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options. 

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: 
The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society® (MDS), an international society of more than 11,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit

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