DUOPA for Parkinson's Patients

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease can have an increasingly tough time regulating their medication. Now, they may have a better way to keep their drugs and their daily lives more consistent with DUOPA which recently received FDA approval.

Retired orthopaedic surgeon James Moore has been fighting Parkinson's disease for 15 years.

His body was absorbing the Levidopa pills he took to control his Parkinson's unpredictably, meaning it didn't always work.

Moore told Ivanhoe, "It might take me 20 minutes to walk 40 yards."

He heard about a clinical trial for DUOPA, a gel of Levidopa and Carbidopa delivered by a portable infusion pump. It bypasses the stomach straight into the small intestines for 16 hours. His wife convinced him to sign up.

"I didn't know how great it would be at all, and boy am I glad I did it. Or my wife made sure I did it, because it really has changed my life," Moore explained.

Daniel Truong, MD, Neurologist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley California says the biggest benefit is consistent drug delivery and absorption.

Dr. Truong told Ivanhoe, "With this drug, you know it's there and it will go directly to the place where it'll be absorbed."

Now, instead of waiting 45 minutes for a pill to work, the infusion gets James on his way in two.

"I still have my honey-do list that I keep getting all the time," he exclaimed, and he's planning to play more golf.

James has been on DUOPA for four years now. Dr. Truong says, "The drug is effective over a 16 hour period every day the patient uses the therapy." But it is unknown how long it'll be effective; there's just not enough information yet. He also says DUOPA is for advanced Parkinson's cases, patients need to exhaust conventional treatment first.
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