There is an urgent need to identify effective, safe and inexpensive drugs for Parkinson’s disease, and over past years, there has been increasing interest on ways to repurpose existing medications. A few previous epidemiologic studies showed a decreased risk of Parkinson’s in users of, for example, statins, calcium channel blockers, non-aspirin NSAIDs, ibuprofen and beta2-agonists. If confirmed, these findings may open new avenues for treatment. More pharmacological connections could point to new therapeutic routes.
Our objective is to identify drugs that are associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s in two large population-based epidemiological studies to trigger new paths to drug development.
We propose to implement a pharmacoepidemiological study using two complementary approaches: (i) agnostic approach: in a study (~48,000 Parkinson’s cases, 144,000 matched control volunteers) within a French medico-administrative database, we will use sophisticated statistical methods to screen whether people with Parkinson’s have been less often exposed to any type of drug than controls; significant signals will be replicated in an independent cohort; (ii) a priori candidate approach: in both datasets, we will examine association between drugs previously associated with reduced Parkinson’s risk (i.e., non-aspirin NSAIDs and ibuprofen, calcium channel blockers, statins, beta2-agonists).
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
The identification of drugs that are associated with decreased Parkinson’s risk may open new paths to develop new treatments in a considerably shorter time and at less cost than traditional approaches to develop drugs.
Next Steps for Development:
The next steps would involve: (i) confirmation of findings in other large-scale databases or cohort studies; (ii) elucidating the mechanisms underlying the inverse association of Parkinson’s with the drug(s) identified in our study as potential candidates; (iii) developing clinical trials to translate findings from our observational study to people with Parkinson’s disease.