I’m a retired British research scientist diagnosed with PD, living in France. For the last year I have been researching on how to improve the half-life of levodopa taken orally. I have concluded that the reason for the short half-life is metabolism by an enzyme called Cytochrome P450, CYP3A4.
This enzyme rapidly degrades levodopa in the gut and the liver causing the well-known on/off states that ruin our quality of life as the drug wears off. Inhibition of CYP3A4 could literally change the lives of PD sufferers if personalised medicine was adopted instead of rigid protocols that don’t work for many
There is currently no direct experimetal work published on this subject.
Drug companies have no interest in pursuing this research for two reasons : 1) Inhibition of CYP3A4 would lead to much lower consumption of PD drugs. 2) Inhibition of CYP3A4 could expose patients and drug companies to the impact of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) involving other drugs with a narrow therapeutic window and high sensitivity to CYP3A4. These DDIs can however be avoided, by choosing other drugs not sensitive to CYP3A4.
I believe that I am the only person working on this subject and with absolutely no resources. There is a lot of work to do and I can’t do it alone. This post is for information for PD patients, but is also a call for help from other researchers or laboratories to join me in pursuing this research.
My latest article is here. If you are interested, please download the file to get the maximum information. This is ongoing work and will be updated frequently.