In an early, small clinical trial an experimental drug designed to clear away a toxic protein associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) was found to be safe in people. This result is a step toward evaluating whether therapies that target the alpha-synuclein protein can slow PD progression. The research appears in the February edition of Movement Disorders.
A new study finds that, overall, lifespan for those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is nearly identical to those in the general population. The study looked at a group of diseases called synucleinopathies, including Parkinson’s. The results appear in the May 15 online edition of JAMA Neurology.
Using a new technology, researchers were able to detect trace amounts of toxic alpha-synuclein protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but not in people without PD. Furthermore, the amount of the protein increased with severity of PD. The results, published in the December 5 online edition of JAMA Neurology, suggest that the technique could be developed as a test to diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s disease.
In experiments with rats, scientists have shown that when nerve cells in the gut are exposed to certain bacteria, it may trigger protein-clumping similar to the clumping found in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The results suggest a possible way in which the protein clumping in PD might begin. The study appears in the October 6 online edition of Scientific Reports.
In the September 30 edition of Science, researchers say they have discovered how toxic protein clumps enter brain cells in Parkinson’s disease (PD) — by unlocking a molecular “door” called LAG3. They also showed that preventing the protein clumps (alpha-synuclein) from entering through this door could slow or prevent PD-like symptoms in mice, suggesting new strategies for therapies.