Tag Archives: therapy

virus_bbb

Can Parkinson’s be treated using engineered viruses?

Gene delivery across the blood brain barrier with viruses could revolutionize neuro-medicine, scientists believe.

The brain presents a unique challenge for medical treatment: it is locked away behind an impenetrable layer of tightly packed cells. Although the blood-brain barrier prevents harmful chemicals and bacteria from reaching our control center, it also blocks roughly 95 percent of medicine delivered orally or intravenously. As a result, doctors who treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, often have to inject drugs directly into the brain, an invasive approach that requires drilling into the skull.

Some scientists have had minor successes getting intravenous drugs past the barrier with the help of ultrasound or in the form of nanoparticles, but those methods can target only small areas. Now neuroscientist Viviana Gradinaru and her colleagues at the California Institute of Technology show that a harmless virus can pass through the barricade and deliver treatment throughout the brain.

Gradinaru’s team turned to viruses because the infective agents are small and adept at entering cells and hijacking the DNA within. They also have protein shells that can hold beneficial deliveries, such as drugs or genetic therapies. To find a suitable virus to enter the brain, the researchers engineered a strain of an adeno-associated virus into millions of variants with slightly different shell structures. They then injected these variants into a mouse and, after a week, recovered the strains that made it into the brain. A virus named AAV-PHP.B most reliably crossed the barrier.

  • Description: “The harmless virus could deliver medicine throughout the brain
  • Source Link: http://ift.tt/27y2VCE

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

The Parkinson's Fighting Machine

The Parkinson’s Fighting Machine

In this post, you’ll read what we’ve been up to for the last year or so. You’ll learn what we’ve created and how it might benefit you and the Parkinson’s community. We’ll talk about what people with Parkinson’s really want, and why doctors, drug companies and much of scientific research have been failing them. We’ve been thinking outside the box, and we think you’ll like it. This is not a scientific article, it is written so that non-scientists can understand it and get a sense of our progress.

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Will Pomegranate help my Parkinson's?

Will Pomegranate help my Parkinson’s?

This is my first post for this project. Normally I let Dr. Steve do the writing, but this is a topic I really want people to understand. I’ve been talking as much as I can with folks on Facebook who are members of various Parkinson’s groups. Some groups provide more emotional support, some focus on practical tips, and some are interested in research. I see what concerns people, what people are confused about, and what gets them excited. BTW, feel free to friend me.
Recently there’s been a buzz about a chemical found in pomegranates that might help people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Previously there was a buzz about cinnamon, and before that I think it was the spice turmeric. So what’s the story? If I have Parkinson’s should I eat more pomegranates? Or maybe I should take pomegranate extracts in capsule form?

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Soldering

Can the Brain Repair Itself?

Once Parkinson’s progression is stopped, the brain may have the capacity to repair its own neuronal circuitry. Stopping the disease progression and neuronal repair have always been thought of as two separate challenges that only together constitute a “cure”. In other words, in order to cure Parkinson’s first you need to stop the disease process, the pathological cascade, and then you must invent a new therapy for regrowing neurons to replace the ones that were lost.

The common perception is that the brain is not capable of repairing itself when injured, and that neuronal circuitry cannot regrow. Yet researchers at Keele University in the UK found that …read more

Argonaute2

RNA interference is a possible cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers in San Diego are now a step closer to understanding and utilizing a technique that one day could be used to block proteins responsible for diseases like Parkinson’s. The technique is called RNA interference and it is a natural process that researchers hope to hijack.

A number of diseases can basically be described as undesired levels of specific cellular proteins. These diseases are in the minds of the researchers as they study RNA interference because understanding this process has the potential to lead to real cures for those diseases.

  • Description: “(Phys.org) —Researchers hope to hijack a natural process called RNA interference to block the production of proteins linked to disease and treat medical conditions for which conventional drugs do not work, including cancer, heart disease, HIV and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Source Link: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-hijacked-protein-therapeutic-interventions.html

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

CoQ10 Powder

Should I take CoQ10 for my Parkinson’s?

Since I’ve started working on this project to slow Parkinson’s, quite a number of people have asked me about a dietary supplement called Coenzyme Q10, commonly abbreviated CoQ10. It is a natural substance in your body that is critical to mitochondria, the power generators in your cells.

CoQ10 has gained interest from the alternative health community because it also functions as a potent antioxidant for both lipids and proteins, and can also regenerate other antioxidants. Also, oral supplementation of CoQ10 is effective at replenishing the body’s concentrations of CoQ10. And since many disease conditions deplete CoQ10, an obvious way to help fight those diseases is to supplement with CoQ10.

Indeed, many studies have generated evidence suggesting that CoQ10 is beneficial for a number of conditions. It also may correct a potentially dangerous side effect of statin use, which reduces serum levels of CoQ10 dramatically. The desire for supplementation has increased steadily over the past 10 years, and prices have dropped.

Regarding Parkinson’s disease, there was the feeling that CoQ10 could be helpful because oxidative stress is involved in Parkinson’s disease, either as a cause or an effect, depending on the Parkinson’s subtype. Parkinson’s also involves the inability to properly dispose of old or damaged mitochondria (mitophagy), so the desire to keep mitochondria healthy was reasonable.

Like other diseases, patients with Parkinson’s disease are also deficient in CoQ10. Additionally, CoQ10 appears to be effective at protecting dopaminergic neurons and other brain tissue from certain toxins and other insults (neuroprotection). I suspect that CoQ10 supplementation may be useful as part of a prevention strategy for those who are at greater risk of developing Parkinson’s. Supplementation also appears to be useful for certain patients that experience headaches and migraines.

However, increasing mitochondrial longevity through CoQ10 supplementation might have value for only certain subtypes of Parkinson’s patients . For those patients, one would at least want to pair CoQ10 with a mitophagy inducer. Our algorithms are busy examining the data, looking for existing supplements and compounds that should be effective as mitophagy inducers.

Indeed, a large clinical trial of CoQ10 in Parkinson’s patients was stopped in 2011 because it failed to show any particular benefit. This was disappointing because a number of animal models showed significant benefit of CoQ10. It is important to note that these were general Parkinson’s patients, not segmented based on subtype. I would be curious if certain subtypes would see more benefit, but I’m skeptical that CoQ10 supplementation alone would slow Parkinson’s neurodegeneration significantly.

The experiment on humans was certainly worth doing, however Parkinson’s is not a single issue that can be slowed with a single supplement. By the time somebody is diagnosed, there is an avalanche of multiple issues, caused by problems in multiple pathways, requiring multiple directions of attack. Multiple supplements are required to attack Parkinson’s from these directions. Adding to this complexity is that Parkinson’s is made up of multiple subtypes, each with a different origin. The mission of this project is to determine exactly what combination of supplements, and in what quantities, would benefit the most patients.

Phrenology Phigures

Regenerating neurons in Parkinson’s disease by activating the Axin pathway

Researchers in Hong Kong have identified a protein, Axin, that plays a key role in the production of neurons. They feel that by manipulating this pathway they can also help people with Autism and will be able to apply this discovery towards regenerating neurons in people with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately the researchers feel that any treatment based on this discovery is 10 years away.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Normal Brain

New drug discovery technique using skin cells reveals promising new drugs

Skin cells with a genetic defect found in a small number of Parkinson’s cases, specifically autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Essentially, the mutation makes mitochondria, the cell’s energy factories, sick. Out of 2,000 compounds, the screen found a family of new drugs, including an existing drug called UDCA, that allowed the mitochondria to work again. Very nicely done!

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

Phosphorylation

How protein phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease went from culprit to potential cure.

From culprit to cure. How protein phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease went from “scene of the crime” suspect to neuroprotective mechanism and potential treatment.

In the process, scientists learned an important lesson: “The lesson we learned from this research is that everything you find at the scene of a crime is not necessarily involved in the crime. By remaining fixated on that assumption, we may lose sight of the bigger picture.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News