Leukemia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are all devastating diseases. What if there was one medication that could help treat all three? Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are hopeful that nilotinib fits the bill. Currently approved to use as a cancer treatment in individuals with one type of leukemia, a small trial is creating great excitement in its promising results to rid the brain of toxic proteins.
Georgetown’s medical director of the translational neurotherapeutics program, Fernando Pagan, 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. We hope these results will be just as encouraging, but regardless, the many years of research that have gone into testing nilotinib along with other new prospective developments are helping lead the way towards practical treatment methods, or even an eventual cure.
Trials on mice with Parkinson’s disease have been encouraging, with the disease actually being cured in the mice. It’s likewise 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 designed to stop or even slow the continuing development 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 part of the study is expected to be completed in about a year, and patients with either Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s are currently being enrolled in the study. More details in regards to the upcoming Alzheimer’s study are available here, while information regarding the Parkinson’s study can be found here.
For additional resources on helping individuals with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, ask the aging care specialists at All Care. We can provide a wide range of professional in-home care with our fully trained and experienced specialized Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s caregivers. Contact our home care offices in Medford or Klamath Falls at (541) 857-9195 to schedule a free in-home assessment or to allow us to answer any questions you might have.