Is it possible that there is one single medication that has already been developed that can be a treatment for not only leukemia, but Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s treatment as well? Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are hopeful that nilotinib fits the bill. Presently approved for use in those with one kind of leukemia, a small trial is causing great excitement in its encouraging results to rid the brain of toxic proteins.
Georgetown’s medical director of the translational neurotherapeutics program, Fernando Pagan, explains it this way: “Our drug goes into the cells to turn on that garbage disposal mechanism. And if we’re able to degrade these proteins, we could potentially stop the progression of this disorder.”
Due to the encouraging results of the small trial, a larger, more in-depth trial involving 75 patients with Parkinson’s and 42 patients with Alzheimer’s disease is underway. Hopefully these results will be equally as encouraging, but regardless, the years of research that have gone into testing nilotinib and other new prospective developments are helping lead the way towards feasible treatment options, or perhaps an eventual cure.
Mice trials have demonstrated some encouraging results, with Parkinson’s mice actually being cured. It has also been effective in a small number of human tests in individuals with Parkinson’s and dementia, for which there currently is not a treatment available to stop or even slow the advancement of the diseases. For patients in the first testing phase, improvements in mobility and speech were noted, as well as improvement in a variety of other areas.
The next phase of the study has already begun by currently enrolling new patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. This phase is anticipated to be completed in about a year. More details in regards to the upcoming Alzheimer’s treatment study are available here, and information about the Parkinson’s study can be found here.
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