Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:
Initial studies of compounds acting on the serotonin transporter (SERT) for the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) revealed, as hypothesized, that blocking SERT with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) provided impressive protection against the development and expression of LID. Importantly, such an approach also maintained the anti-parkinsonian effects of levodopa.
Objectives for Supplemental Investigation:
The current supplemental investigation builds substantially on previous work with SSRIs for the reduction of LID. Researchers identified a FDA-approved compound from Forest Pharmaceuticals called Vilazodone with unique and promising pharmacologic properties, acting as both a SERT inhibitor and a partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist. Since each target alone has shown promise, this dual profile may provide distinct control over LID at therapeutically viable doses.
Importance of This Research for the Development of a New PD Therapy:
Because this pre-clinical work incorporates a developed pharmacotherapy already approved by the FDA, it constitutes a proof of principle study which may precipitate rapid repositioning for the better treatment of the Parkinson’s disease patient.