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A characteristic often associated with Parkinson’s disease is dyskinesias, which is a spastic (or repetitive) motion. Dyskinesia is sometimes caused by the long-term use of medication to help control the disease like levodopa, or L-dopa.

The drug dextromethorphan is currently used to treat dyskinesias. Dextromethorphan is a drug used in to suppress coughs in cold and flu medications, like Robitussin, Sucrets, Triaminic, and Vicks.

Looking for an alternative drug treatment researchers found that BMY-14802 was also effective in the treatment of dyskinesias. Originally, BMY-14802 was studied as a treatment for people with schizophrenia. Two things were realized in that original study. First, it was found to be safe. Second, that it was not effective in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Comparing their research for BMY-14802 against previous ‘rat studies’ for the drug dextromethorphan, researchers  found that BMY-14802 is more effective in suppressing dyskinesias. The reason they suspect that BMY-14802 works better than dextromethorphan is because it works as an antagonist at sigma-1 receptor sites in the brain. Dextromethorphan works as an antagonist at N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.

Based on their findings researchers filed a patent for the use of BMY-14802 for the treatment of dyskinesias. They hope to get funding to begin human trials soon.