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Study in Finnish Population to Identify Therapies with Repurposing Potential for Parkinson’s Disease

Study Rationale:
Effective treatments for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease are urgently needed. Searching for possible treatments among drugs already used for other indications is a promising approach as they would be more rapidly available and have a better-known safety profile than a completely new drug. Certain drugs used for treating other diseases (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) have been linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s in epidemiological studies and have been tested for ability to delay the progress of Parkinson’s disease.

It is possible that more therapies with repurposing potential for Parkinson’s disease already exist but have not yet been discovered.

Study Design:
We will utilize a bedside-to-bench approach in which we systematically review a database of prescription drugs usage in Finland between 1995 and 2015 to determine therapies associated with lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. The treatment and diagnosis of PD, as well as the use and availability of prescription drugs in Finland are well comparable to other Western countries, and thus the results are generalizable and applicable elsewhere. Positive “signals” of drugs associated with lower risk or slower progression will be replicated in a separate human data set.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
This study could point to therapies that may be repurposed from other conditions to treat and slow Parkinson’s progression.

Next Steps for Development:
This project will provide promising candidates for randomized controlled trials, where the efficacy of these drugs in delaying the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be fully evaluated.


  • Anna-Maija Tolppanen, PhD

    Kuopio Finland

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