By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Drug trial raises hope for Parkinson's patients

Parkinson’s disease sufferers experiencing psychosis could benefit from being treated with a new drug, the results of a new trial suggest.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease with more than half of them at some point experiencing debilitating psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

It is hoped pimavanserin, a non-dopaminergic drug, could offer the first safe and effective treatment for the symptoms.

The drug works by blocking serotonin receptors in the part of the brain that is associated with visual hallucinations and delusions.

The trial involved 199 patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis being given a daily 40mg dose of pimavanserin or a placebo for six weeks.

At the end of the trial 37% of the patients who had been taking pimavanserin showed a significant improvement in their psychotic symptoms compared to only 14% of those given the placebo.

Professor Clive Ballard, of King’s College London, said the patients and those caring for them had seen the “clinical benefits” of pimavanserin.

Professor Ballard and his colleagues say the results suggest that the drug could also have the potential to treat the psychotic symptoms that are common in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The results of the team’s phase 3 randomised trial of the drug have been published in The Lancet.


Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!