The effort to cure diseases like Parkinson’s disease is on the minds of many people during this time of year. We are often traveling home to see loved ones where we learn about new diagnoses or new stages in the disease that they battle, or we are remembering those who bravely fought their battle with Parkinson’s, yet lost. It is understandable, therefore, why there is a push to fund only research that is the closest to bringing about a cure, so-called translational research.
Earlier this week, PsychoGenics Inc., announced that an experimental drug for Parkinson’s, eltoprazine, seemed to reduce dyskinesia in people with Parkinson’s in early studies. Dyskinesias are the twisting and writhing movements that occur as PD progresses – a common side effect of the medication levodopa (Sinemet®). Back in 2007, it was PDF-funded researcher Manolo Carta Ph.D., along with Anders Björklund, M.D., who performed the pre-clinical research that led to the identification of this drug. At the time, while many researchers were looking at dopamine neurons as the culprit behind dyskinesias (through their interaction with levodopa), Dr. Carta’s proposal suggested something… Read More
For years now, many of us at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) and other Parkinson’s disease (PD) organizations have fretted that the brain research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been too focused upon the basic processes of neuroscience and too little upon the next stage of research: finding clues to potential new therapies for specific conditions like Parkinson’s. This next stage of scientific investigation is often called “translational research,” because it is here that the molecules and compounds identified as interesting in the laboratory are “translated” into animal studies to determine their therapeutic potential. Those compounds… Read More