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Apr 29, 2016 5:55 PM

First drug for delusions in Parkinson's patients approved

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Federal health officials have approved an experimental drug to treat psychotic delusions and behaviors that often afflict patients with Parkinson's disease, the debilitating movement disorder.

The drug from Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the first drug for the condition, which affects approximately half of Parkinson's patients. An estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's each year, making it the second-most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S.

The company's drug Nuplazid is part of the antipsychotic family of medications, including Abilify, Zyprexa and Seroquel, which are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Like those drugs, Nuplazid will carry a boxed warning about the risks of death when used in older patients with dementia. The drugs are not approved for that use.

Acadia is based in San Diego.

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