News ArchivesRead News

Your Weekly News Update for the Week of 7.8.19

Monday July 08, 2019
UAB Study Identifies Promising Target for Parkinson’s
Alabama Newscenter
There has been major debate how alpha-synuclein is most responsible for Parkinson's: “Our findings indicate that the form most toxic to neurons was a structure referred to as beta-sheet fibrillar fragments,” researcher Volpicelli-Daley said.
“This is a form of alpha-synuclein that makes overlapping sheets of the protein, which subsequently develop into long filaments. The filaments can then break into smaller fragmented pieces...
All this suggests that beta-sheet fibrillar fragments specifically should be a target for development of therapeutic strategies, such as immunotherapy, that might reduce the formation and propagation of this form of alpha-synuclein. This strategy may work to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s and other disorders that involve alpha-synuclein, such as Lewy body dementia.”
Gene Therapy Used to Produce and Sustain
Dopamine in Brains of Primate Model of Parkinson’s
Parkinson's News Today
Direct delivery of two dopamine-synthesizing enzymes to the midbrain, using a safe and inactive form of an adenovirus, was able to effectively ease signs of motor difficulties in a primate model of Parkinson’s.
Published in the journal Brain, this study suggests that continuous dopamine production via a gene therapy approach may be a promising one-time treatment strategy for Parkinson’s patients, providing long-lasting improvement and lowering the chances of motor fluctuations and other side effects associated with oral dopaminergic medication.
Could this Newly Discovered Protein Help Treat Parkinson's?
Medical News Today
A new study in Journal of Molecular Biology has identified a protein able to reduce the aggregation of misfolded alpha-synuclein, a key factor in the development of Parkinson's. This new research has focused on the therapeutic potential of a protein called "HYPE," which, the investigators explain, is the only Fic protein present in humans. Fic proteins help decide whether a cell survives or dies when it encounters stress, characterized by the misfolding of the cell's proteins.
"We're in the early stages [of this research]," Mattoo shares, "but these results are giving us a new angle to look at potential therapeutics."
Seelos Therapeutics Acquires Rights for
Parkinson’s Gene Therapy Program
Parkinson's News Today
The pharmaceutical company Seelos Therapeutics has acquired the rights for a gene therapy program targeting the regulation of the SNCA gene, which provides instructions to make alpha-synuclein, a key player in the development of Parkinson’s. This research aims to use gene editing technology and fine-tune the SNCA gene; this would lower alpha-synuclein production, therefore reducing symptoms of Parkinson's.