Upward Mobility: New, Powerful Medication in the Treatment of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson's Disease

It had been 11 years since 70-year-old James Moore, M.D., was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). He was in the advanced stages and experiencing extreme, unpredictable swings in mobility; one moment he could barely move, and the next moment, he was wracked by dyskinesia, or rapid and excessive involuntary movements.

The man who had played basketball and golf, traveled to 93 countries, and performed complex orthopedic surgeries was barely able to retrieve his morning paper.

DIRECT DELIVERY

In June 2012, Dr. Moore joined a multicenter, clinical trial for DUOPA, a liquid suspension of two long-prescribed oral medications, Carbidopa and Levodopa. The combination had proven its effectiveness over the years, but the medications’ absorption was often compromised by the delayed and unpredictable emptying of the patient’s stomach, which is a common complication of PD itself.

One of the centers for the trial was the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center, under the supervision of medical director Daniel Truong, M.D.

“Friends and family often ask me why I decided to participate in a trial with an investigative medication,” says Dr. Moore. “My response was simple – I was looking for hope.”

A tube was implanted directly into part of Dr. Moore’s small intestine, and equipped him with a small, portable infusion pump. This type of administration is intended to bypass the stomach as well as eliminate any medication absorption issues.

REMARKABLE RESULTS

An estimated one million people in the United States are living with PD. Each year, 50,000-60,000 new cases of PD are diagnosed.

“We continue to work towards a cure,” says Dr. Truong. “The approval of DUOPA is another step in that direction because it has opened the door for treatment of the most advanced Parkinson’s patients.”

Dr. Moore was living proof. Within one day of his procedure, he had his life back. He’s no longer practicing medicine, but he is once again playing golf and working part-time as an expert witness.

“When I was taking the pills, my symptoms were up and down, but with the pump, everything leveled out,” says Dr. Moore. “I may have a little swing here and there, but I can honestly say that my quality of life now is 90 percent better.”

EXTRA MILE

With DUOPA, he doesn’t have to stop. Having regained his mobility, the Newport Beach resident and his wife are planning their next vacation to visit his brother in Alaska.

“In the morning, it might take me 10 minutes to shuffle outside and bring in the paper, but I’m able to actually do it,” says Dr. Moore. “And as soon as the medicine kicks in, I’m able to get rid of the walker and go play golf. I see and feel the difference every single day.”

For more information on DUOPA, please call The Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center at (714) 378 – 5062. Learn more about all that the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center offers to patients and caregivers.