Parkinson's disease (PD) manifestations include motor symptoms and behavioural deficits that resemble schizophrenia negative symptoms. The N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of glutamate receptor (NMDAR) represents a novel pharmacological target in PD. D-serine (DSR) allosterically modulates in-vivo NMDAR-mediated neurotransmission and has been shown to improve negative and antipsychotic drug-induced parkinsonian symptoms in schizophrenia patients. This pilot study assessed DSR effects in ten PD patients who completed a 6-wk double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover adjuvant treatment trial with 30 mg/kg.d DSR. Primary outcome analyses consisted of separate repeated-measures multivariate analyses of variance for Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Simpson-Angus Scale for Extrapyramidal Symptoms (SAS), Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS), and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores. DSR treatment was well tolerated and resulted in increased DSR serum levels (p=0.001) and significantly reduced UPDRS (p=0.02), SAS (p=0.009) and PANSS (0.05) total scores. These preliminary findings suggest that DSR treatment may be beneficial in PD. Larger-sized studies with optimized DSR dosages are warranted.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00215904.