Nasal Spray For Parkinson’s Disease Delivers Treatment Directly To Brain

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

Development of a nasal spray treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease has attained significant progress by the scientists at the University of York.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects movement due to loss of nerve cells – neurons that produce a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) in the brain called dopamine (black substance). It is characterized by the formation of inclusion proteins called Lewy bodies.

A new gel has been developed by the team, that could flow into the nose as a liquid and then rapidly change to a thin layer of gel inside the nose (adhere to nasal tissue) alongside the drug levodopa.

This helps in delivering the levodopa successfully from the gel into the blood and then directly to the brain. The levodopa is then converted to dopamine in the brain, which makes up for the deficit of dopamine-producing cells in Parkinson’s patients and helps treat the symptoms of the disease.

Levodopa is a dopamine agonist drug that is most commonly used to treat Parkinson’s patients. Over extended periods, levodopa becomes less effective, which mandates increased doses.

Nasal Spray Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

“The current drug used for Parkinson’s Disease is effective to a point, but after a long period of use the body starts to breakdown the drug before it gets to the brain where it is most needed. This means increased dosage is necessary, and in later stages, sometimes, instead of tablets, the drug has to be injected. Investigations into nasal sprays have long been of interest as a more effective delivery because of its direct route to the brain via the nerves that service the nose, but the challenge here is to find a way of making it adhere to the nasal tissue long enough to release a good dosage of the drug,” says Professor David Smith, from the University of York’s Department of Chemistry.

The current nasal spray method was successfully tested in animal models by a team at King’s College London.

“Not only did the gel perform better than a simple solution, but the brain uptake was better than that achieved using intravenous injection of the drug. This suggests that nasal delivery of Parkinson’s drugs using this type of gel may have clinical relevance,” says Khuloud Al-Jamal, Professor of Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine from King’s College London.

The study team anticipates to test this nasal spray device in human clinical trials that may be further applied to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: MedIndia

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