Through a dedicated development program, Guilford is pioneering a new approach to alter the course of serious neurological disorders. Guilford is developing a new class of drug candidates – called neuroimmunophilin ligands- that may have the potential to regenerate nerve cells damaged by injury or disease. If successful, neuroimmunophilin ligands may offer hope for the millions of people afflicted by Parkinson’s disease and other neurological and peripheral nerve disorders, by potentially slowing down, stopping or reversing the course of their disease or injury.

Guilford has initiated a Phase II clinical trial of GPI 1485 beginning November 2002. The Phase II clinical trial is a two year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial of GPI 1485 in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease. The trial is expected to enroll 200 patients and be completed in 2004. For further information, please contact Guilford at (410) 631-6300.
Patient Resource Center – Parkinson’s disease

Disease Overview
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system affecting over one million people in the United States. Clinically, the disease is characterized by a decrease in spontaneous movements, gait difficulty, postural instability, rigidity and tremor. Parkinson's disease is caused by the degeneration of the pigmented neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain, resulting in decreased dopamine availability. This decrease in dopamine can produce one or more of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease:
1. resting tremor on one side of the body;
2. generalized slowness of movement (bradykinesia);
3. stiffness of limbs (rigidity); and
4. gait or balance problems (postural dysfunction).

What are some other signs of Parkinson's Disease?
Other symptoms observed in some persons with Parkinson's disease can include:

1. Small cramped handwriting (micrographia);
2. Lack of arm swing on the affected side;
3. Decreased facial expression (hypomimia);
4. Lowered voice volume (dysarthria);
5. Feelings of depression or anxiety;
6. Episodes of feeling "stuck in place" when initiating a step...called "freezing";
7. Slight foot drag on the affected side;
8. Increase in dandruff or oily skin;
9. Less frequent blinking and swallowing

Few patients experience all of these symptoms and some may experience other signs.

Treatments
Administration of the drug levodopa has been the standard treatment for Parkinson's disease. Once it reaches the brain, levodopa is converted to dopamine which replaces the same substance not present in sufficient amounts in Parkinson's patients. Treatment with levodopa does not, however, prevent the progressive changes of the brain typical of Parkinson's disease. The drug may also produce side effects in some people, due to its change to dopamine before reaching the brain. The simultaneous administration with levodopa of substances inhibiting this change allows a higher concentration of levodopa to reach the brain and also considerably decreases the side effects. Some new drugs have recently been approved offering a wider choice of medications for the patient, while others are under investigation in this country and overseas in an effort to obtain better therapeutic results with fewer side effects.

A knowledgeable physician can offer patients much in the way of medical management and supportive therapies. It is important that the physician be compassionate and sensitive to the individual patient's needs as well. PD patients must be candid in sharing symptoms and concerns with their physicians to gain optimal benefit from the doctor/patient relationship.

Patient Resources
Please note: the links on this page lead to entirely independent web sites. Guilford Pharmaceuticals provides these links as a service to its web site visitors and users; however, Guilford Pharmaceuticals takes no responsibility for the information presented on any other web sites but its own.

- American Parkinson Disease Association
- Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- National Parkinson Foundation
- Parkinson's Disease Foundation
- World Parkinson Disease Association (WPDA)
- Movement Disorders Society
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)


This page was last updated on Tuesday, March 11, 2003

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