What if there was a medication that could treat not just one, but multiple devastating diseases: leukemia, Alzheimer’s/dementia, and Parkinson’s? At Georgetown University Medical Center, researchers are hopeful that nilotinib is that medication. Currently approved to use in those with one type of leukemia, a small trial is causing great excitement in its promising results to rid the brain of toxic proteins.
Fernando Pagan, Georgetown’s medical director of the translational neurotherapeutics program, explains it this way: “Our drug goes into the cells to turn on that garbage disposal mechanism. And if we’re able to degrade these proteins, we could potentially stop the progression of this disorder.”
As a result, a larger and more in-depth trial is being launched, involving 42 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 75 with Parkinson’s. Hopefully these results will be equally as encouraging, but regardless, the many years of research that have gone into testing nilotinib as well as other new potential developments are helping pave the way towards practical treatment options, or perhaps an eventual cure.
Trials in mice have produced some amazing results, actually curing Parkinson’s disease in mice. It has also been effective in a small number of human tests in people that have Parkinson’s and dementia, for which there currently is not a treatment offered to stop or even slow the progression of the diseases. For those in the initial testing phase, improvements in a variety of areas were noted: speech and mobility, most notably.
The next phase of the study has already begun by currently enrolling new patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. This phase is anticipated to be completed in about a year. More information regarding the upcoming Alzheimer’s study is available here, while information regarding the Parkinson’s study is available here.
For additional resources on helping those with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia or conditions of aging, turn to the dementia care professionals at Atlanta Home Care Partners. We are able to provide a full range of expert in-home care with our fully trained, specialized Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s caregivers. Contact us at 404.228.0103 to schedule a free in-home assessment or to allow us to answer any questions you may have.