The Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, which took place last week in Chicago, IL, is a place where the latest preliminary data in neuroscience is presented. True to form, there was an interesting abstract presented by Fernando Pagan, M.D. and colleagues from Georgetown University Hospital which suggested a potential treatment for those with Parkinson’s disease (PD). At the heart of the presentation, Dr. Pagan and colleagues reported that in a small trial, an anti-cancer drug called nilotinib was able to reverse both the movement symptoms and cognitive decline of people with PD involved in the study.
From James Beck, Ph.D., Vice President of Research Programs Using old drugs as new cures seems like a surefire winner. It may be. However, after attending a recent meeting outside London hosted by the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, a small yet impactful British charity, it is clear that this path is neither clear nor easy. A committee of experts at the meeting evaluated and prioritized dozens of existing compounds – many are drugs used to treat other diseases – based upon their potential to stop Parkinson’s disease.