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.
Therapy is most effective when it addresses an individual’s passion By Ken AidekmanPaul West is a professor of English and comparative literature and a prodigious writer of both fiction and non-fiction books. His entire life revolves around words. But, in 2003 he suffered a massive stroke that left him with global aphasia, a condition that rendered him unable to understand words or produce them. His wife, Diane Ackerson, also an author and poet, tells the story of West’s bumpy road to recovery in her book One Hundred Names for Love. Upon his emergence from critical care, West was faced with… Read More
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
On Tuesday, June 9th, the second day of the Movement Disorder Society International Congress in Paris, Dr. Warren Olanow, one of the world’s leading Parkinson’s specialists, gave a brilliant and authoritative talk on the subject of “What’s New in Parkinson’s Trials?” His focus was three high-profile clinical trials that have been watched intently and anxiously by people with Parkinson’s around the world. One was the Ceregene trial, in which a growth factor called neurturin (CERE-120) was delivered via a gene therapy technique. The second was STRIDE, in which a levodopa-COMT inhibitor (Stalevo(R)) was tested for its potential impact on improving… Read More