Latest News in Parkinson Disease: Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Immunomodulator Treatment, and More

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease (PD) reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Trial Finds Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Safe, Effective

Findings from a randomized clinical trial among patients with PD who used electroCore’s noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) device show the treatment led to decreased levels of serum tumor necrosis factor and glutathione, according to an article published by NeurologyLive®.

Patients also exhibited significant increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels, as well in improvements in walking speed, stance time, and step time when compared with sham treatment. Of the 36 trial participants, 17 were randomized to nVNS and 19 to a sham stimulation.

Researchers noted findings support additional work to further understand the treatment’s use for patients with PD.

Small Study Demonstrates Impacts of Immunodulator in PD

A small phase 1b study revealed that treatment with 125 mcg/mm2 of sargramostim was safe and well tolerated among patients over a 12-month period. The drug is the only FDA-approved recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, reports NeurologyLive®.

The 5 participants included in the study received low doses of sargramostim on a 5-day-on, 2-day-off regimen, and all 5 reported at least 1 adverse event (AE) including elevated white blood cell count, injection site reactions, fall with injury, and gastrointestinal tract problems. No serious AEs were reported or associated with the treatment.

Overall, 4 of 5 patients showed improvements in Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III scores over 12 months.

Importance of Additional Agents to Treat PD OFF Periods

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Jennifer S. Hui, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, discussed data supporting the use of sublingual apomorphine. Data that Hui presented at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting show the treatment resulted in greater motor improvement and a higher rate of responders at earlier time points.

These metrics were compared with those of levodopa, the current gold standard for patients with PD.

In the interview, Hui described the findings as “a great development.” She also noted how “the development of on-demand therapies really changes the landscape of Parkinson’s treatment.” However, long-term data on how the medication is being used in the real-world are warranted.