Findings from a phase two clinical trial suggest that ketamine could be used to treat the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease Psychedelic Spotlight reports.
The dissociative psychedelic properties of ketamine have caused a huge upsurge in its medical use in recent years. Ketamine clinics are popping up worldwide, using the compound to treat a plethora of mental and physical conditions such as depression, PTSD, substance use disorders and ALS.
Parkinson’s Disease and its Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects more than seven million people globally.
The disorder can cause uncontrollable shaking and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination.
The most widely used treatment for Parkinson’s is a drug called Levodopa. Although this drug is initially effective in treating symptoms, long-term use is associated with side-effects which mirror the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
After 5 years of Levodopa treatment, around half of patients report experiencing uncontrollable bodily movements, termed LID (Levodopa Induced Dyskinesia). Within 10 years, almost all Levodopa users will be affected by LID, which is currently untreatable.
How Could Ketamine Treat Parkinson’s?
A Phase 2 clinical trial conducted by PharmaTher suggests that low-dose ketamine infusions for the treatment of LID in patients with Parkinson’s disease is safe and effective.
Researchers found that ketamine treatment caused a reduction in LID in 100% of study participants. However, the extent of the reductions are not yet available to the public and full data is expected to be available in June.
The LID treatment market is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion annually in the US alone.
The organisation hopes that these positive results will lead to the approval of a Phase 3 trial, using their ketamine intravenous treatment product.
If further clinical trials do go ahead and produce favourable results, ketamine treatment could be legally approved to treat LID in Parkinson’s patients. However, as ketamine is already a legally approved medicine, doctors are able to prescribe it ‘off-label’ when other existing treatments have been exhausted.
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