Parkinson’s disease affects 50% more men than it does women, with over 1 million total patients in the United States. (1)
In May, we wrote a blog post discussing Parkinson’s disease, its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Parkinson’s disease is the second most neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. As a result, doctors and researchers work tirelessly to understand the causes in order to find better treatment options for those with Parkinson’s disease.
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Current Parkinson’s Research
Despite still not having a permanent cure, recent developments have Parkinson’s patients, loved ones, doctors, and researchers feeling optimistic about what the future holds. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, these developments include drugs that can slow disease progression, gene-targeted therapies, and vaccine and immunotherapy trials.
One of the benefits of the four drugs discussed at the Parkinson’s Foundation Center Leadership Conference is that they are already FDA-approved, meaning that there is no need for new approval if successful in the clinical trials. These drugs include: isradipine, exenatide, nilotinib, and inosine.
Gene-targeted therapies are trial drugs that are designed to isolate and inhibit specific genes that can cause Parkinson’s disease. While some have had positive results, such as one that makes amino acid decarboxylase (AADC), others are still waiting to go to clinical trials. A vaccine trial, AFFiRiS, made it through the first safety inspection, and is awaiting the next phase. AFFiRiS is designed to slow symptoms and disease progression, which would be a tremendous benefit for Parkinson’s patients.
Parkinson’s Research Groups and Treatment
While there is a lot of research being done to improve Parkinson’s patients’ prognoses, there are many groups whose sole purpose is medical research to find new treatment options. One such group is the Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Programs (PDBP), which identifies at-risk individuals and tracks biomarkers to track the progression of the disease. This will help doctors and researchers both develop new treatment alternatives.
Doctors and researchers alike will have more funds available to research new solutions to combat the debilitating disease as the National Institute of Health received $3 billion for the last 6 months of FY18 which runs until September 30, 2018. The National Institute of Health is the largest public source of funding for Parkinson’s disease.
To stay up-to-date with the latest clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease treatments, patients and loved ones can visit www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for “Parkinson’s” for specific information about the disease.
Join a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
As patients and loved ones anxiously await new treatment options, they have the option of joining a Parkinson’s disease support group. By joining the healtheo360 network, you can read stories from other Parkinson’s survivors and become part of a community together, uniting against this life-altering condition.
“Find Local Resources & Support Near You.” APDA, www.apdaparkinson.org/community/.
“National Institutes of Health Receives $3 Billion Spending Boost.” The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research | Parkinson's Disease, www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?national-institutes-of-health-receives-billion-spending-boost.
“PDBP:Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pdbp.ninds.nih.gov/.
“What Are the New Therapies in Trial for Parkinson's Disease?” Parkinson's Foundation, 9 July 2018, parkinson.org/blog/whats-hot/2018-New-Therapies-in-Trial-for-Parkinsons-Disease.