Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are a class of drugs that have been widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. More recently, certain members of the GLP-1 receptor agonist family have been approved for use in weight loss therapy. From early in their development, researchers have reported on the neuroprotective properties of GLP-1 receptor agonists in models of neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease (PD). GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to rescue models of PD, and epidemiological research has demonstrated that their use in type 2 diabetes is associated with a reduced risk of developing PD. Since 2010, Cure Parkinson’s has been championing the repurposing of specific GLP-1 receptor agonists for PD, supporting clinical trials assessing the disease-modifying potential of these agents. At present, two GLP-1 receptor agonists, exenatide and lixisenatide, have reported encouraging results in phase 2 double-blind clinical trials for PD and are currently in late stage clinical development. In this review, we will provide an overview of the current data supporting the justification for the repurposing efforts of certain GLP-1 receptor agonists as possible disease-modifying therapies for PD. Cure Parkinson’s would welcome any feedback or thoughts regarding this review from the wider research and PD communities.

The scientific justification for the repurposing of GLP-1 receptor agonists for Parkinson’s

From the research team at Cure Parkinson’s