A study has claimed that illegal drug ecstasy can be used in creating new drugs to help treat severe problems faced by patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, including involuntary movements.
The study carried out by a team of researchers led by a medicinal chemist at The University of Western Australia (UWA), emphasized that patients affected by the disease have to face major problems in moving, if they don't take any medication.
Currently the drug used to reinstate the movement of these patients, levodopa, has been discovered to assist with a short-term benefit, which later on lead to development of side-effects, including lowering of healing effects and irregular involuntary movements termed as dyskinesia.
Matthew Piggott, associate professor, asserted that dyskinesia is most of the times looked upon as a symptom of the disease. However, it is not a symptom but side-effect of the drug being given.
"For some time now we've known that the drug most commonly sold as `ecstasy', methylene dioxy methamphetamine (MDMA), ameliorates the side-effects of levodopa therapy. But MDMA has no therapeutic potential because it makes users `high'", said Piggot.
However, he affirmed that the drug cannot be used due to evidences obtained, which support the fact that MDMA can be neurotoxic and also can have adverse effects on the brain.
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