Monday, December 05, 2022

Experimental drug linked to fewer tics in children, teens with Tourette’s syndrome: Study shows drug reduces tics by 30 percent

Children and teens with Tourette’s syndrome who are treated with an experimental drug called ecopipam may improve in tests of tic severity after three months, according to a new preliminary study. The research, being released today, March 30, 2022, will be held in person in Seattle from April 2 to 7, 2022 and virtually from April 24 to 26, 2022, at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by motor and verbal tics, which are driven by repetitive movements and an irresistible urge to produce vocalizations.

Gilbert, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical, said, “Our results are exciting, as they suggest that echopam may be used as a treatment to reduce the number, frequency and severity of what young people experience with Tourette syndrome. shows promise.” Center in Ohio, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “This is especially true because many people with the disease who are currently taking available medications still have debilitating symptoms or experience weight gain or other side effects.”

The research looked at 149 children and adolescents aged six to 17 years with Tourette’s syndrome. They were divided into two groups: 74 were treated with eclopipam, 75 with a placebo.

Researchers measured the severity of participants’ tics using two common tic rating scales at the start of the study and again three months later. The first test measures motor and vocal tics and has a maximum score of 50. The second test looks at overall tic symptoms and the severity of tic-related impairment. Its maximum score is 100. Higher scores on either test indicate more severe symptoms and a negative impact on daily life.

After three months, the researchers found that the group taking ecopipam had fewer and less severe tics and both were doing better overall according to test scores.

On average, participants taking ecopipam improved their motor and vocal tic severity scores from 35 to 24, a reduction of 30%. This compared with those taking a placebo, who improved their average tic severity score from 35 to 28 during the same time period, a 19% reduction.

When researchers looked at scores from a second trial to evaluate the overall effectiveness of ecopipam, they found that those taking the drug improved their average score from 68 to 46, a decrease of 32%, compared with those taking a placebo. Improved average score from 66 to 54, a decrease of 20%.

Gilbert noted that 34% of participants taking ecopipam experienced side effects such as headache and fatigue, compared to 21% of those taking placebos.

“Previous research suggests that problems with dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, may be associated with symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, and that D1 dopamine receptors play an important role,” Gilbert said. “Dopamine receptors are found in the central nervous system. When they receive dopamine, they create signals for various mental and physical functions, such as movement. Different receptors help control different functions. While ecopipam is still under testing This is the first drug to target the D1 receptor instead of the D2 receptor, which is currently targeted by drugs on the market. Our results demonstrate that eclopipam may in the future be a viable treatment option for Tourette’s syndrome in young people. deserves more study.”

One limitation of the study is its three-month duration. Gilbert said that although this is standard for this type of study, it will be important to know whether symptom improvement persists over the long term.

The study was supported by Amalex Biosciences, LLC.

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material provided by American Academy of Neurology, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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