Geodon (ziprasidone) is an antipsychotic therapy manufactured by Pfizer and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and children older than 10. It also may be prescribed to treat the symptoms of Huntington’s disease.
How Geodon works
Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation in the huntingtin (HTT) gene called a CAG repeat expansion. This leads to the formation of an abnormal protein that is then degraded by the cells. This degradation results in the formation of toxic protein fragments that accumulate inside cells and cause the neurodegeneration responsible for the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, namely tremors (chorea) and depression.
By blocking dopamine (D2) receptors, Geodon reduces the signal sent by the dopamine in the brain, ultimately reducing the tremors caused by Huntington’s disease.
Similarly, Geodon blocks serotonin signaling in the brain by blocking the 5HT2 receptor. Serotonin is increased in patients with depression, so blocking the serotonin receptor can reduce symptoms of depression.
Geodon in clinical trials
Clinical trials have not been performed for Geodon to treat Huntington’s disease specifically.
However, several case studies, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology have shown improvements in Huntington’s disease patients in several categories of the motor scale of the unified Huntington’s disease rating scale.
Common side effects of Geodon include tiredness and sedation, as well as nausea and congestion.
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