We understand that it can be challenging to gain clarity and perspective on breaking Parkinson's news. Q&As in this section are conducted with leading experts in the Parkinson's disease research field to quickly provide an informed, impartial opinion on new findings -- and to get to the bottom of what they might mean for researchers and people living with PD today.
November 17, 2011
On Sunday, November 6, Lorenz Studer, MD, director of the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI) for Stem Cell Biology, published a paper in the journal Nature on a new strategy for using embryonic stem (ES) cells to graft human dopamine neurons into pre-clinical models of Parkinson's disease (PD). Historically, ES cells have shown promise for treating PD in a Petri dish, they have not yet been effective once transplanted into a living organism. Dr. Studer's new technique, however, has revealed new pro...Read More
Researchers Confirm that Clumps of Alpha-synuclein, the Pathological Hallmark of PD, Can Spread from Cell to Cell Within the Brain
November 03, 2011
This past month, a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania published a paper confirming that clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein, the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease, can spread from cell to cell within the brain. This supports a new emerging scientific understanding of alpha-synuclein, and could open up new approaches to develop treatments that target the protein.
Initial reports compared the spreading of these clumps, called fibrils, to prions -- infectious prote...
FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Against Modification of Clinical Progression Status for Azilect (Rasagiline)
October 31, 2011
Today, the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that Teva Neuroscience's drug rasagiline, brand name Azilect, should not be granted status "to slow the clinical progression of Parkinson's disease (PD)." Rasagiline is already FDA-approved as a therapy for PD, often taken alone or in conjunction with levodopa to treat the symptoms of the disease. Today's decision is only a committee recommendation and is not binding; t...Read More
October 06, 2011
In August, researchers from Toronto, Canada, published a paper in Archives of Neurology following up with Parkinson's disease (PD) patients who had undergone Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery 10 years earlier. The study found that motor improvement, on the whole, was sustained 10 years following the procedure, although overall benefit was less than patients had experienced in the immediate aftermath of the procedure.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) spoke with Scientific Advisory Board me...
Portuguese Researchers Study Motivation and the Placebo Effect in Parkinson's Disease Clinical Trial Participation
August 18, 2011
In a recent column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Michael J. Fox outlined a vision for speeding progress toward breakthrough treatments and cures for disease by increasing the flow of participants into clinical research studies. The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has made clinical trial recruitment an imperative, recently launching Fox Trial Finder, a Web tool to connect willing volunteers with the trials that need them.
But what makes someone with Parkinson's decide to participate in clinic...Read More