The Australian study offers new hope for the treatment of Parkinson's disease


C & # 39; s a quiet but confident hope for a revolutionary treatment for Parkinson's disease, following the success of a drug trial in Australia.

He scored two boxes when it comes to treating debilitating degenerative disease: improvement of the patient's symptoms and arrest of Parkinson's progression.

The drug involved is called CuATSM and addresses the brain cells affected through a copper capsule, taken orally, which was taken three times a day by patients over the course of six months.

It was developed in Victoria al Florey Institute of Neuroscience and mental health, in collaboration with the Bio21 Institute of the University of Melbourne. The trial was delivered by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Andrew Evans of the hospital said the drug also proved effective in studies with patients with motor neuron disease, the results of which were released in January.

Dr. Evans said The new newspaper the Parkinson's test – while cautious in tempering the results – gave many promises for future treatments to come.

"It shows a lot of hope," he said.

A "fortuitous" discovery

The path to the phase one trial that was released this week started about 15 years ago, said director of the Flothery Institute of neurotherapeutics Kevin Barnham.

But even in those early days, Professor Barnham said, the people involved were quietly optimistic. The positive results of studies on the treatment of MND and Parkinson have reinforced this optimism.

"So, while it is still too early to claim a definitive success, we are building sites to find out exactly how the compound saves brain cells, and I hope to report on this before the end of the year," said Professor Barnham in a Tuesday version.

Dr. Evans said The new newspaper he was initially involved in the project in 2012, when the institute researchers were developing the compound to treat Alzheimer's disease.

However, he said, they made a "fortuitous" discovery: he also worked to treat other neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Evans said in these types of tests, brain dopamine levels are poisoned in the tested animals – in this case, mice.

"First they will give the drug to the animal (the poisoning) to show that it works to prevent it," explained Dr. Evans.

The difference with CuATSM was that it was also effective in test rats after dopamine levels were targeted – a powerful indication, said Dr. Evans.

Since then, the drug has been perfected in a joint effort between Royal Melbourne and the US-Australian biotech company Collaborative pharmacological development to bring the drug to the stage of human experimentation.

Phase one to phase two

Nineteen Australian Parkinson's patients were recruited for the trial and 18 received the drug, in three different volumes: small, medium and large.

The dott. Evans said he expected to see – at best – that the participants' illness remained at the same level.

What he observed surprised him.

"But not only has it been shown that people have improved, they have improved the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's," said Dr. Evans.

"This was most pronounced in groups with higher doses, which were given 72 milligrams of drug a day.

"At the beginning I was playing patients, saying," This probably won't make you feel better. But people came back saying, "I feel better with this drug."

The dott. Evans has theorized that the drug is effective due to the way it has activated the affected neurons.

In Parkinson's disease, some neurons are dead and some are sick, while others continue to function.

"What the drug did was bring the sick neurons back to life," he said.

Dopamine neurons in the brain are affected by Parkinson's disease. Photo: Getty

With only a couple of final assessments to be made in the first phase, the researchers are already evaluating phase two, which will involve more tests for longer time periods and larger control groups.

"The challenge in Parkinson's is that it is a disease that progresses very slowly," said Dr. Evans.

"… if you're just slowing the progress of the disease, you need to study people longer.

"But if this drug holds up … maybe we can get (results) in a shorter time."

A Parkinson's therapy at the University of Queensland is partly underwritten by the Michael J Fox Foundation. Photo: Getty

Australia continues to progress

It is not the first time that Australian researchers have been involved in potentially innovative therapies for Parkinson's disease.

In November, The new newspaper reported that researchers from the University of Queensland – partly funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation – had developed a world-first pill that could stop brain cell death in Parkinson's patients rather than just manage symptoms.

It is expected that the phase 1 tests of this drug will take place this year, and that all will be well, the second phase will follow in 2020.


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