Researchers Find Drug That Halts Progression of Parkinson's Disease in MiceMarch 8, 2011 0 Comments
In a huge breakthrough for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, researchers at the CU School of Medicine have found a drug that stops the disease from worsening. Current drugs only treat Parkinson symptoms.
Led by Wenbo Zhou and Curt Freed, the team found that the drug Phenylbutyrate activates a gene called DJ-1 that protects brain neurons.
Mice with Parkinson's disease were able to move normally with no decline in mental function when Phenylbutyrate was placed in their drinking water. Human trials have already begun back in 2009 to test the drug's safety.
Their findings will be published later in 2011.
Freed and Zhou are now looking for other drugs that might turn on the DJ-1 gene. One drawback of phenylbutyrate is that patients must take very large doses, 16 grams per day or 32 large tablets taken at frequent intervals. While the drug is approved by the FDA for treating a rare genetic disease in infants, whether it can stop Parkinson's in people remains to be seen.
The video below contains an overview of Parkinson's.