New £1.2m trial for Parkinson’s patients testing cannabidiol

pharmafile | October 15, 2019 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

A new clinical trial at King’s College London will investigate the use of cannabidiol (CBD) – a compound found in the cannabis plant – to treat hallucinations and delusions in people living with Parkinson’s.

The phase 2 trial is funded with a £1.2 million grant direct from Parkinson’s UK.

There are currently over 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK and between 50 and 60% of them will be affected by psychosis at some point in their life.

Hallucinations and delusions can be distressing for people with Parkinson’s and their families and are typically managed with the removal of medication used to treat the condition.

If symptoms persist, antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used, however this can results in worsened motor symptoms and side effects.

The study is scheduled to start in early 2020 and will being with a six-week pilot to assess the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of pharmaceutical grade CBD in people with Parkinson’s-related psychosis.

In order to find the optimum dose, CBD will be delivered orally in capsules at a dose of up to 1,000mg a day.

In the second stage, 120 people with Parkinson’s-related psychosis will be recruited to take part in a 12-week double blind, placebo-controlled study.

The research team will be led by Professor Sagnik Bhattacharyya from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, who said: “This clinical trial will determine, for the first time, whether CBD can correct the abnormal functioning of the brain that is causing symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

“Current treatments prescribed by clinicians for psychosis, typically work by blocking dopamine receptors which can increase the problems people with Parkinson’s experience with movement and other symptoms of the condition.”

Arthur Roach, Director of Parkinson’s UK, added: “The projects funded through the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech are driven completely by the Parkinson’s community. We hope this unique trial will demonstrate the potential of CBD to alleviate the symptoms and be one step closer to delivering a treatment that will positively impact the quality of life for those affected.”

Nik Kiran

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