Flumazenil, a GABA antagonist, may improve features of Parkinson's disease

William G. Ondo, Christine Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Manipulation of γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) system has been little studied in Parkinson's disease, despite the fact that GABA subserves a large part of the basal ganglia, including the outflow tracts. To test whether antagonism of GABA could improve features of PD, we administered open label intravenous flumazenil to eight practically defined off patients and assessed UPDRS scores, bilateral 1-minute hand-tapping speed, and timed gait tests. Patients demonstrated significantly greater tapping speed, which peaked 40 minutes after injection (P < 0.05). Total motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores modestly improved (P < 0.05). There were no adverse events. Mechanisms by which flumazenil could improve PD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-685
Number of pages3
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Basal ganglia
  • Flumazenil
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Therapeutic trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Flumazenil, a GABA antagonist, may improve features of Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this