18th July 2015 - New research
A dry powder inhaler has been found to be a viable means of administering L-dopa. Because of its rapid onset of action, pulmonary administration of L-dopa is a possible alternative to the oral administration of L-dopa in Parkinson's Disease patients in an off period. Its means of administration could enable a very quick therapeutic effect.
Researchers studied the ability of people with Parkinson's Disease to operate a dry powder inhaler (DPI) correctly during an off period. They used an instrumented test inhaler with three different resistances to air flow. The volumes inhaled varied from 1.2 litres to 3.5 litres. Total inhalation time and the time to peak inspiratory flow rate both decreased with decreasing inhaler resistance. Nearly all of the patients could hold their breath for at least five seconds after inhalation and most of them could extend this time to ten seconds.
The data from this study indicate that patients with Parkinson's disease will be able to use a dry powder inhaler during an off period and they provide an adequate starting point for the development of an L-dopa powder inhaler.
An L-dopa inhaler using L-dopa in liquid form instead of a dry form, that takes only 10 minutes to start having effect, is already undergoing clinical trials in Parkinson's Disease.
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Reference : PLoS One  10 (7) : e0132714 (M.Luinstra, A.W.Rutgers, H.Dijkstra, F. Grasmeijer, P.Hagedoorn, J.M.Vogelzang, H.W.Frijlink, A.H.de Boer)
Complete abstract : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26173114