Combining a vertigo drug with a Parkinson’s disease drug to treat the inner ear disorder, Meniere’s disease
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Strupp
Disease: Meniere’s disease
Research Description: Meniere’s disease (MD) is a chronic inner ear condition, with symptoms including vertigo, dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear pressure. Although a number of therapeutic options have been proposed to treat MD, including a low salt diet, surgery and steroid injections into the inner ear, no FDA approved therapies for MD currently exist. In Europe, the anti-vertigo drug betahistine was approved to treat MD over 50 years ago, and betahistine is a commonly prescribed generic drug outside the US. However, its efficacy in treating MD has not yet been definitely shown. The research team has previously found that higher doses of betahistine can be more effective in reducing MD symptoms than lower doses, but patients must take a very large number of pills to achieve the higher dose levels. The team also discovered that combining betahistine with selegiline, a generic drug approved for Parkinson’s disease inhibits the enzyme that also metabolizes betahistine, leading to higher blood concentrations. Therefore, this drug combination may improve the clinical efficacy of betahistine even at lower doses. The team now proposes a clinical study to determine the efficacy of combining betahistine and selegiline in MD patients, potentially resulting in a new therapeutic approach not only for MD but also for other vestibular disorders.
Funding Partners: Becky and Lester Knight
CWR funding role: Primary funder