Funded by The Cure Parkinson's Trust (CPT), the GLP-1 receptor agonist Exenatide was recently studied for potential disease-modifying effects in a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial in people with moderate stage Parkinson’s, and showed positive effects on the motor severity of the disease which were sustained 12 weeks beyond the period of exenatide exposure.

Analysis of pre-defined secondary outcomes revealed no statistically significant differences between patients treated with exenatide in total non-motor symptom burden and overall quality of life measures. However, the response of individual non-motor symptoms to an intervention may vary and thus this post hoc analysis was conducted to explore the possible effects of exenatide compared to placebo on individual non-motor symptoms. Compared to placebo, patients treated with exenatide-once weekly had greater improvements in individual domains assessing mood/depression across all observer-rated outcome measures after 48 weeks including the “mood/apathy” domain. In addition, there was an improvement in the “emotional well-being” domain though these improvements were not sustained 12 weeks after exenatide withdrawal. At 48 weeks these changes were of a magnitude that would be subjectively meaningful to patients and were not associated with changes in motor severity or other factors, suggesting exenatide may exert independent effects on mood dysfunction.

CPT is so pleased to have supported further investigations into the results of the Exenatide trial as this analysis will identify insights which will help in planning the next stage trials for this potentially breakthough treatment.

Dr Richard Wyse, Research & Development, CPT

Re-watch our first webinar in partnership with Journal of Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Movement. Chaired by Professor Patrik Brundin, with fellow panellists Prof. Tom Foltynie from UCL  who led the exenatide trial, Nigel Greig and Dimitrios Kapogiannis from the NIA and exenatide trial participant Penny Kustow the panel discuss the recent paper “What effects might exenatide have on non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease: A post hoc analysis”, by Dr Dilan Athauda et al.