Gene-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease, while still in the developmental stage, are under active investigation. For this potential therapy, genes are engineered in a laboratory and then injected into specific parts of the brain. The genes may function either to induce cells in the brain to produce dopamine, or to code for the production of enzymes that then lead to the production of dopamine.
This episode is the second part of our conversation with Dr. Roger Barker, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In our previous podcast with him, he discussed cell therapy for Parkinson’s. Here, he explains what gene-based therapy is, plans for the execution of the treatments, what symptoms they are aimed at, where the field currently stands, and how it compares to developments in cell-based therapies. As the field is still in the experimental stages, he again offers advice to people with Parkinson’s who are considering entering a clinical trial of gene-based or cell-based therapy and what they may expect in terms of symptom management and disease progression.
- Expert Briefing: What's in the PD Pipeline? Gene and Cell Therapies (webinar)
- Episode 113: Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (podcast)
- Stem Cell Therapies for Parkinson’s: Five Questions to Ask Before Participating in a Clinical Trial (blog)
- Surgical Options: A Treatment Guide to Parkinson’s Disease (book)
About This Episode
Released: October 5, 2021
Roger Barker, BA, MBBS, MRCP, PhD
Roger Barker, BA, MBBS, MRCP, PhD is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. He is a PI in the MRC-Wellcome Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge and Director of the MRC funded UKRMP Stem and Engineered cell hub.
His research seeks to better define the clinical heterogeneity of two common neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS- namely Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). This has helped him define the best way by which to take new therapies into the clinic including novel experimental therapeutics such as cell and gene therapies.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.