What Is Fetal Cell Transplantation
Fetal cell transplantation is a procedure in which fetal cells are implanted into the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease to replace the dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra. Although promising, this area of research is one of the most controversial. Some studies have found that fetal cell transplantation caused an increase in severe involuntary movements due to too much dopamine in the brain. There are also moral and ethical objections to the use of fetal cell implants. As a result, other methods of treatment are being explored.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain. This loss of nerve cells within the brain results in a reduced amount of dopamine being created which acts as a messenger between the parts of your brain that control voluntary and involuntary movement. Therefore without that vital connection, your brain starts losing the ability to effectively control movement. Currently, it is unknown what causes the deterioration of nerve cells associated with Parkinson’s Disease . Currently, it is believed that both environmental factors, as well as genetic factors, may play a role in the loss of nerve cells.
Parkinson’s Disease is a lifelong condition that can greatly impair the ability of one’s daily functions. Traditional treatments only address the symptoms of the condition, but researchers are excited about the possibilities of certain gene therapies and stem cell therapy, which may have the ability to reverse damage and halt the progression of the disease.
Where Is Drug Development Headed
Overall, experts say the Parkinson’s disease field aims to develop therapies that can slow or stop disease progression. Kordower notes several promising gene therapy and stem cell therapy approaches are entering the early stages of clinical development.
Most ongoing PD trials are at the Phase II stage, according to GlobalDatas Clinical Trial Database. While institutions are sponsoring 84 trials of the 133 ongoing Phase II studies , pharma companies are running 44 trials of the 56 ongoing Phase I studies .
As the field awaits results from the slew of ongoing trials, experts agree that the PD trials reading out in the remainder of 2022 could have a substantial impact. These four trials are all very timely, Eidelberg says. The community of movement disorder specialists and neurologists would use these drugs because the indications we’re talking about are really very common.
Also Check: What Causes Drooling In Parkinson’s Patients
How We’re Speeding Up The Search For A Cure
We believe that new and better treatments are possible in years, not decades. We have a clear strategy for making this happen. This includes:
- Backing the best and brightest minds to unlock scientific discoveries that will lead to new treatments and a cure.
- Accelerating the development and testing of new treatments through our Virtual Biotech.
- Collaborating internationally to make clinical trials faster, cheaper and more likely to succeed through the Critical Path for Parkinson’s.
- Tracking down drugs for other conditions which have untapped potential for Parkinson’s.
We know that the more we’re able to invest, the faster we’ll be able to deliver. So we’re working hard to raise the funds we need to drive things forward faster.
New Medications For Off Time
A number of new medications approved recently are designed to reduce OFF time. These medications fall into two major categories:
- Medications that lengthen the effect of a carbidopa/levodopa dose
- Medications that are used as needed if medication effects wear off
Well give specific examples below. In general, new medications that extend the length of a carbidopa/levodopa dose are used if OFF time is somewhat predictable and occurs prior to next dose. New medications that are used as needed are most beneficial when OFF time is not predictable.
New medications that lengthen the effect of a dose of carbidopa/levodopa
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist which was approved in the US in 2019 as an add-on therapy to levodopa for treatment of OFF time in PD. Unlike many of the other medications, it has a novel mechanism of action and is the first medication in its class to be approved for PD. It acts on the adenosine receptor, which modulates the dopaminergic system, but is not directly dopaminergic. The drug was developed in Japan and underwent clinical trials both in Japan and in the US.
- Opicapone is a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor that is taken once a day. It was approved in the US in 2020 as an add-on therapy to levodopa for motor fluctuations.
New formulations of levodopa designed to be used as needed if medication effects wear off
Other medications used as needed if medication effects wear off
Aptinyx Focuses On Parkinsons Disease Cognitive Impairment
Aptinyx is amid a Phase II trial targeting one of the biggest unmet needs in Parkinson’s disease treatment: cognitive impairment and dementia.
In patients with PD, Lewy bodies and alpha-synuclein, which are implicated in the pathology of PD, can spread into the cortex, causing forms of cognitive impairment and dementia in a large percentage of patients, Kordower explains. Theres no current treatment, so any clinical trial that has some benefit is incredibly valuable, he says.
Aptinyxs NYX-458, which targets the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, has placebo-controlled Phase II results expected at the end of 2022 or early 2023. The trial lists eight primary endpoints, ranging from the incidence adverse events to reductions in scales of psychosis and suicidal ideation.
“There’s no current treatment, so any clinical trial that has some benefit is incredibly valuable.”
Targeting NMDA is a good start, says Dr David Eidelberg, neurologist at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. However, showing reduction in cognitive impairment may be more difficult in PD than in Alzheimers disease, where changes are typically more pronounced, he notes.
Nevertheless, experts are encouraged that a trial is taking aim at this substantial unmet need. According to GlobalData consensus forecasts, NYX-458 has expected peak sales of $323 million in 2028.
Parkinsons Surveys Clinical Trials And Volunteer Opportunities
PAIRing Up If you are a person with Parkinsons or a care partner to someone with Parkinsons, you are invited to participate in an online survey to address neuropsychiatric concerns in Parkinsons. The survey aims to learn about the needs and priorities for clinical care, education, support, and research as related to neuropsychiatric symptoms. To learn more and participate, .
The University of Oulu, along with collaborators from Aalborg University, Fraunhofer University, the University of Manchester, the University of Glasgow, the University of Lisbon, and the University of Melbourne, is conducting a survey for people with Parkinsons and Parkinsons care partners about self-care. Complete the survey here to share your self-care strategies and techniques. You can also review ideas submitted by others and add them to your own self-care toolbox.
Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure? Pass to Pass, a nonprofit dedicated to raising Parkinsons awareness while supporting hikers living with Parkinsons, offers multi-day hiking trips on the Pacific Crest Trail in both Washington and Oregon. Participants are being recruited now for these summer 2021 events. For more details and information, visit www.PasstoPass.org or contact Bill Meyer at 509-991-1212 or .
Park Test University of Rochester
Project Euphonia LSVT Global and Project Euphonia
Also Check: Can Stem Cells Help Parkinson’s Disease
Exploring Seven Recently Approved Parkinsons Treatments
Remarkably, in the last five years, seven new medications have been approved for the treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease , with two approved in 2020. Thats exciting progress! And while it is great to have so many choices, the various options can be confusing so today I will describe these new medications and their uses.
Parkinsons Disease: A Hopeful Future
Parkinsons disease is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Between 1990 and 2015, the number of people with this disease doubled to over 6 million . This number is predicted to double again to 12 million by 2040, primarily because of an ageing population . In the UK, the lifetime risk of developing Parkinsons disease is 2.7%, with approximately 17,300 new diagnoses made every year in people aged 45 and above .
Parkinsons disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder of the brain . It is characterised by the death of certain brain cells , particularly in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra . A high proportion of neurons within this part of the brain use a chemical called dopamine to transmit signals between themselves and throughout the brain these signals act to coordinate movement .
As the neurons in the substantia nigra die off, the amount of dopamine falls, which results in some of the major features of Parkinsons disease, such as slowness and stiffness of movement .
Adapted from International Society for Stem Cell Research 2022.
These symptoms increase in severity over time as more neurons are lost, and eventually patients may experience a resting tremor and have problems walking . Approximately 80% of patients also develop dementia within 20 years of disease onset .
Current treatment options target the symptoms, but not the cause
A new era: Targets for the Parkinsons disease medication pipeline
Lewy body accumulation
Recommended Reading: Thc Treatment For Parkinson’s
Current Parkinsons Treatments Cant Slow Down Onset Of Disease
Parkinsons is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which mainly the area of the brain that controls movement leading to a slow onset of symptoms including tremors, rigidity and slow movement.
More than 10 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinsons disease, according to the US-based Parkinsons Foundation, with the Parkinsons News Today website saying it affects 1,900 per 100,000 among those aged over 80,
Typically, by the time people are diagnosed with the condition, they have already lost between 70% and 80% of their dopamine-producing cells, which are involved in co-ordinating movement.
While current treatments mask the symptoms, there is nothing that can slow down its progression or prevent more brain cells from being lost.
As dopamine levels continue to fall, symptoms get worse and new symptoms can appear.
Brain’s Support Cells May Hold Key To New Huntington’s Treatments
- University of Rochester Medical Center
- A growing body of research suggests that the disease may also flow from defects in glia, important support cells found in the brain. The new study expands our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the disease, and reinforces the potential of therapies that target glia cells.
Huntington’s disease — a hereditary and fatal genetic disorder — has long been considered a neuronal disease due to the permanent loss of medium spiny motor neurons, the death of which over time is responsible for the clinical hallmarks of the disease: involuntary movements, problems with coordination, cognitive decline, depression, and psychosis.
However, a growing body of research, including a new study appearing in the journal Cell Reports, suggests that the disease may also flow from defects in glia, important support cells found in the brain. The new study expands our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the disease, and reinforces the potential of therapies that target glia cells.
Additional authors of the study include John Mariani, Ashley Tate, Pernille Madsen, Kathleen Clark, Kevin Welle, Renee Solly, Laetitian Capellano, Karen Bentley, and Devin Chandler-Militello with URMC. The research was funded with support from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Hereditary Disease Foundation, CHDI, and Sana Biotechnology.
Cite This Page:
Don’t Miss: How To Diagnose Parkinson’s On Mri
Innovative Gel Offers New Hope To Defeat Parkinson’s Disease
When we introduced the gel technology with the stem cells we saw huge improvement in the animals’ coordinated paw movement and overall motor function recovery.
Researchers from The Australian National University , in collaboration with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, have developed a new type of hydrogel that could radically transform how we treat Parkinson’s disease. The gel also offers hope for patients who have suffered from other neurological conditions such as strokes.
The new material is made from natural amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – and acts as a gateway to facilitate the safe transfer of stem cells into the brain and restore damaged tissue by releasing a growth-enabling protein called GDNF.
The research has been published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
Want More Practical Articles Like This
Much more can be found inourEvery Victory Counts®manual.Its packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinsons, plus an expanded worksheets and resources section to help you put what youve learned into action.Request your free copy of theEvery Victory Countsmanual by clicking the button below.
Thank you to our 2021 Peak Partners, Adamas, Amneal, Kyowa Kirin, and Sunovion, for helping us make printing, distributing, and shipping the Every Victory Counts manual possible.
Also Check: Does Parkinson’s Cause Anxiety
Using Machine Learning In Research
The available treatments for Parkinsons disease to date are only partially effective and fail to markedly delay disease progression. Thus, there is growing interest in repurposing existing medications as an accelerated method of therapeutic development.
Such approved treatments, having already been rigorously tested in clinical trials, generally have established safety profiles.
Studies have suggested that people treated with certain medications, including immunosuppressants or those that widen the airways, called bronchodilators, have a lower risk of developing Parkinsons.
These findings prompted researchers based at the Université Paris-Saclay, in France, to use machine learning tools to automatically screen a large database of marketed therapies to detect those related to a lower risk of Parkinsons.
This study is part of a research effort aimed at identifying already-developed compounds associated with reduced risk, the researchers noted.
Data were collected from the French national health data system. A total of 40,760 incident Parkinsons patients were identified based on the details of at least one claim for an anti-Parkinsons medication from 2016 to 2018. A control group of 176,395 individuals of similar age, sex, and area of residence were included as a comparison.
Given that, the team assessed therapeutic exposure and related factors during the two years before the lag period to find associations to a reduced risk of developing Parkinsons disease.
What Will A Cure For Parkinson’s Look Like
Parkinson’s varies so much from person to person. There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinsons. Tremor. Pain. Hallucinations. Everyones experience is different.
Because of this, there may not be a single ‘cure’.
Instead, we may need a range of different therapies to meet the needs of the individual and their specific form of the condition.
This mix may include treatments, therapies and strategies that can:
- slow or stop the progression of the condition
- replace or repair lost or damaged brain cells
- control and manage particular symptoms
- diagnose Parkinson’s at the earliest possible stage.
And this could involve medical treatments, such as drugs and surgical approaches, as well as lifestyle changes, for example to diet and exercise.
Also Check: What Is Advanced Parkinson’s Disease
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies For Neurodegenerative Diseases
While there have been significant advances in the symptomatic management of these diseases that improve quality of life and at times survival, the available medications likely only slow the progression of neuronal death by a few months. The idea of using cell therapy to treat neurodegenerative diseases has been around for decades, most notably in Parkinson’s Disease where a variety of cell transplant investigations have been performed with success.
According to a recent study conducted by Nathan P. Staff et al,
“The precise mechanism by which MSCs may exert beneficial effects in neurological disease is still being elucidated, but it appears that multiple different mechanisms may contribute. First, MSCs have been shown to secrete neurotrophic growth factors, including glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor , vascular endothelial growth factor, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor ,which can be further enhanced under specific culture conditions.Neurotrophic growth factors have been shown to improve neuronal survival in a number of preclinical models of neuron injury, including ALS, PD, and MSA transgenic animalsand nerve injury models. â Second, MSCs strongly modulate the immune system and can aid wound healing, and this mechanism has been exploited in disorders such as graft versus host disease and Crohnâs disease. From a neurodegenerative perspective, it has become increasingly recognized that neuroinflammation plays a significant pathomechanistic role.”
New Treatment For Advanced Parkinsons Disease In Abu Dhabi
A 61-year-old patient at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi can now confidently drive short distances and walk without assistance.
A 61-year-old Emirati patient has become the first in Abu Dhabi to benefit from a new treatment that reduces the debilitating symptoms of advanced Parkinsons disease, helping him regain control over his life.
Patients with Parkinsons disease symptoms have low or falling levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays a role in movement and coordination. The number of Parkinsons disease patients has more than doubled in the last 25 years, with about 10 million people suffering from it worldwide. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi follows more than 500 patients with Parkinsons disease in the region.
While there is no cure yet for this disease, the new treatment at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which includes a gel formulation called Duodopa®, helps increase the levels of dopamine in the body through quick absorption in the small intestine.
The new procedure at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, is part of the hospitals effort to expand treatment options for patients with advanced Parkinsons disease. Earlier this year, the hospital also became the first in the country to offer deep brain stimulation treatment in which electrodes are implanted into precise areas of the brain to block rogue signals that cause motor problems such as tremors in patients with Parkinsons disease.
Read Also: Does Parkinson’s Cause Swelling
Neuroaxis In The Media
The highly skilled neurosurgeons at Neuroaxis are known around the world for being highly skilled in their field. Here you will find media coverage recognising the contribution of our neurosurgeons to find new innovative ways of treating patients.
While we are dedicated to furthering medical research and being part of breakthrough, pioneering treatments, we also care deeply about our community of patients. Youll find details of our charity commitments to help support the conditions many of our patients suffer from.