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 "Drug offers hope for Parkinson's" (isradipine) 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post "Drug offers hope for Parkinson's" (isradipine)
This BBC News story is about using a drug called isradipine to slow or stop the progression of PD in mice. The research was done at Northwestern University in Chicago. According to the news article, "Isradipine is a calcium-blocker which is usually used to tackle high blood pressure, angina and stroke." I read about this on an MSA-related online discussion group today.

Northwestern does have a clinical trial it's recruiting for to study isradipine in those with normal blood pressure. Their website says: "This study is conducted in preparation to an NIH submission on the efficacy of this agent as a neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease." (

Here's a link to the BBC News story and the full text of the article: ... 740109.stm

Drug offers hope for Parkinson's

From BBC News
Published: 2007/06/11 09:27:44 GMT

The progression of Parkinson's disease could be slowed or even stopped by a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure, a study in Nature suggests.

Tests on mice at Northwestern University in Chicago showed isradipine can rejuvenate the brain neurons which are dying in Parkinson's patients.

The disease, which mainly affects those aged over 40, leads to tremors and ultimately the inability to walk.

Parkinson's charities welcomed the study but said they were early results.

"It is too early to state with confidence that this drug will be appropriate for the treatment for Parkinson's disease," said Kieran Breen, director of research and development at the Parkinson's Disease Society.

"A significant amount of further research will be required before any definite conclusions can be drawn."

Young again

Isradipine is a calcium-blocker which is usually used to tackle high blood pressure, angina and stroke.

But researchers at Northwestern University found mice, who had been engineered to develop a progressive Parkinson's-type disease, did not become ill when their condition was treated with the drug.

Their dopamine neurons - cells which start to die in Parkinson's patients - appeared to revert back to their original, youthful form.

Dopamine is a critical substance which affects the control of movement. When it is lacking, that movement becomes increasingly difficult and uncoordinated.

The team found that when people become older, calcium ions start to enter the dopamine neurons and change how they behave. It is thought that isradipine's ability to stop calcium entering the cells is key to the effectiveness of the treatment.

"Our hope is that this drug will protect dopamine neurons, so that if you begin taking it early enough, you won't get Parkinson's disease, even if you were at risk," said Professor James Surmeier, who led the team.

The drug could also extend the effectiveness of traditional dopamine-boosting medication, potentially doubling or tripling the length of time it worked, he added.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 new cases of Parkinson's are diagnosed in the UK every year, with 95% of cases in those aged over 40.

At any one time, 120,000 people in the UK have the condition.

Last edited by robin on Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:23 pm

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
The options for neuroprotection continue to increase; Namenda is believed to work on a similar pathway as well - it blocks calcium ion influx to prevent excitotoxicity.

I'm curious if this is a class effect - this drug is already approved (and generic!) in the US for the treatment of high blood pressure, and is quite similar to the very-heavily-marketed Norvasc.


Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:43 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:43 pm
Posts: 54
Post Isradipine for migraines and Raynaud's syndrome
Isradipine has emerging uses as a drug to treat migraine headaches and also Raynaud's syndrome.

Perhaps if the LBD could be diagnosed early enough this drug could slow the disease process?

Here are some drugs/supplements I have seen for Parkinson's, which is also a Lewy body disease. Always consult a physician, even about supplements because they can have serious interactions with drugs:

Dynacirc CR (Generic name - Isradipine) - 5 mg

Selegiline - 6mg, or Rasagilene 1mg

Creatine - 5 mg

CoQ10 – 1200 mg

Acetyl-L-carnitine – 250 mg

Vitamin D – 1000 mg

Inosine - 5000 mg


R alpha lipoic acid - 50 mg . Very important to get the active 'R' form.

DHA from algae (omega 3’s without the mercury from fish oil) - 900 mg


Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:24 pm

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:32 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Dumfries Va
Robin, whyhaven't we heard more about this drug? Drug companies keeping it to themselves??

Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:19 pm

Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Calcium channel blockers have been used for many years for other disorders, mostly hypertension. The 'new' part is possible protection of dopamine neurons. It sounds interesting and promising.

Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:48 pm
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