Parkinson’s Disease Drug Ropinirole Safely Slows Progression of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for Over 6 Months in Clinical Trial

Photo of iPSCs-Derived Motor Neurons Derived from an ALS patient. (Credit: Morimoto et al/Cell Stem Cell).

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal motor neuron disease that causes people to gradually lose control of their muscles. There is no cure, and current treatments focus on reducing symptoms and providing supportive care. Reporting June 1, 2023 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers from Japan show in an early clinical trial that the Parkinson’s disease drug ropinirole is safe to use in ALS patients and delayed disease progression by 27.9 weeks on average. Some patients were more responsive to ropinirole treatment than others, and the researchers were able to predict clinical responsiveness in vitro using motor neurons derived from patient stem cells. The open-access article is titled “‘Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial in ALS with Ropinirole, A Drug Candidate by iPSC Drug Discovery.”

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