PD-STAT, a clinical trial using cholesterol-lowering treatment simvastatin in people living with Parkinson’s, is now underway in centres across the country – with the hope that it could become one of a number of effective treatments available to treat Parkinson’s. Dr Richard Wyse (CPT's Director of Research) and Dr Camille Carroll who is leading the trial, make a compelling case for testing simvastatin as a potential disease modifying therapy in Parkinson’s in a recent article in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Spearheaded by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, the double-blinded placebo controlled study is involving 198 people with Parkinson’s. The trial has nearly completed recruitment and is seeking people who have been living with Parkinson’s and who are not already taking a statin.

The trial, funded by Plymouth University, the JP Moulton Trust and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, is being ably led by Dr Camille Carroll, and run by the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit at Plymouth University with the support of the NIHR Clinical Research Network for the South West Peninsula.

This trial is part of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s Linked Clinical Trials programme (LCT) which is now in its sixth year. Each year the LCT international committee comprising many of the most respected Parkinson’s experts from around the world analyse a number of pre-selected compounds to bring into clinical trials that show the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s. These compounds already have proven safety records in people and a number of them are already used to treat other conditions.

The LCT programme has seen treatments for diabetes, cystic fibrosis and mitochondrial dysfunction move forward into Parkinson’s trials in a variety of centres in Europe and the US.

“...the results of this trials programme could lead to new and highly effective treatments in the armoury of medications to tackle Parkinson’s.”

Commenting on the study, the trial’s chief investigator Dr Camille Carroll said: “It is encouraging to see new compounds that are already approved as being safe for use in man being trialled for use in Parkinson’s. There have been few innovations in the treatment of Parkinson’s for over 40 years and for the more than 127,000 people living with the condition in the UK, the results of this trials programme could lead to new and highly effective treatments in the armoury of medications to tackle Parkinson’s.”

“At CPT, we are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find new treatments that will slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s”

Helen Matthews COO at The Cure Parkinson’s Trust said: “At CPT, we are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find new treatments that will slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s. We want to make a difference to people living with this condition. Simvastatin was prioritised by our LCT committee in 2012.  Statins are known to work in a number of ways, only one of which is to reduce cardiovascular risk.  Other actions include potential moderation of  mitochondrial size and number, suppressing pro-inflammatory molecules, inhibiting oxidative stress, reducing alpha-synuclein aggregation, and increasing expression of neurotrophic factors."  

Jon Moulton of the JP Moulton Trust added: “The Moulton Charitable Foundation was pleased to fund the highly successful trial in Multiple Sclerosis. We very much hope to see a clinical benefit at modest cost for sufferers of Parkinson’s in this trial - which we are delighted to be able to part fund.”

Simvastatin trial - FAQ's

To find out more or to take part,  please click here.

Further reading: 'Licenced drug Simvastatin shows promising neurological results'.

If you already take a statin, The Cure Parkinson's Trust would like to hear from you. Please complete this survey.

** Dr Jon Stamford, who has Parkinson's, was interviewed by a number of radio stations about the Simvastatin trial. These interviews can be accessed here.**

Participating Sites

Derriford Hospital (Plymouth)
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospital (Truro)
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Exeter)
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
Musgrove Park Hospital (Taunton)
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Yeovil District Hospital (Yeovil)
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Christchurch Hospital (Christchurch)
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal United Hospital (Bath)
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust
St Peter’s Hospital (Chertsey, Surrey)
Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust
Charing Cross Hospital (London)
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Royal Free Hospital (London)
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Queen’s Hospital (Romford, Essex)
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust
John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford)
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Luton and Dunstable Hospital (Luton & Dunstable)
Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salford Royal Hospital (Salford)
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
Fairfield General Hospital (Bury)
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Preston Hospital (Preston)
Lancashire Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds General Infirmary (Leeds)
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Clinical Ageing Research Unit (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
King’s College Hospital (London)
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Southmead Hospital (Bristol)
North Bristol NHS Trust