Dyskinesias are a category of involuntary movement disorders that are characterized by uncontrollable, abnormal, and repetitive muscle movements that can be disruptive to function and quality of life. Dyskinesia can be the result of an underlying condition or develop as a side effect of dopaminergic medications (Levodopa-induced dyskinesia), commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Dyskinesias can also be caused by the use of D2 atypical antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and irritability in autism (tardive dyskinesia). Together, Levodopa induced dyskinesia and tardive dyskinesia can be considered as drug-induced dyskinesias.
At MapLight, we are taking a precise approach to prevention and treatment of dyskinesia. Rather than impacting broad regions of the brain, our therapeutics are designed to target a small subset of neurons in the basal ganglia that demonstrate altered patterns of activity in cases of dyskinesia. MapLight is focusing its strategy on targeting M1 and M4 muscarinic receptors to restore normal patterns of activity without targeting dopaminergic receptors. MapLight’s ML-007 program is designed to offer both improved efficacy and fewer side effects than current treatment options for drug-induced dyskinesia.