A drug that reduces the symptoms of stuttering has been successfully tested by a group of doctors from the University of California at Riverside. During the experiments, the researchers noticed that the patients showed a reduction of the communicative defects caused by the stuttering after eight weeks of administration of the drug, the ecopipam.
Among the results that the researchers obtained there was a greater fluidity of speech, a faster reading and in general shorter duration stuttering events. Moreover, as specified by Gerald Maguire, president of the School of Medicine of the aforementioned university who led the study, the participants in the experiment did not show serious side effects so that none of them had to stop treatment.
Furthermore, no weight gain or movement disturbances were recorded, which were other side effects that have characterized other drugs for stuttering used in the past. A larger clinical study will be conducted early next year when experiments with more than 100 adults will be performed.
“If the ecopipam at the end of this study was considered a potentially safe and effective treatment for stuttering, it would be a big step towards finding the FDA approval for the first ever drug for stuttering treatment,” Maguire says.
The ecopipam drug works by selectively blocking dopamine in its D1 receptors, unlike other commercially available drugs that cannot block dopamine in such a selective manner.