- UCL Institute of Neurology Professor John Hardy is first UK winner of $3m Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
- MRC Centre-BRC MRI Biomarker Collaboration in Lancet Neurology: Important implications for experimental trials in Neuromuscular Diseases
- Movement Making and Action Potential: collaborations raising awareness of Motor Neuron Disease
- Being moody may help us adapt to change
- Landmark study tests whether immunotherapy drugs can prevent onset of symptoms in patients at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s
- UCL Institute of Neurology hosts inaugural Ada Lovelace Day event
- First human trial for innovative new drug in development to treat Huntington’s disease
- UCL and UK supermarkets unite to beat dementia
- Possible evidence for human transmission of Alzheimer’s pathology
- GABA neurotransmitter may be progressive MS marker
- Piepenbrock Group and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases honour Professor Hardy
- Compensation in Huntington’s disease
- Novel conceptual framework for tackling the global challenge of dementia
- BRC funding for experimental medicine research projects
- Researchers identify genetic links between epilepsy and sudden death
- Landmark 69-year study to provide window into dementia
- Study of brain changes 20 years before hereditary dementia symptoms start
- Dopamine drugs affect risk taking behaviour and happiness
- Commonly prescribed drugs affect decisions to harm oneself and others
- Research reveals how the human brain might reconstruct past events
- Research into genetic influences on epilepsy and migraines
- Fast forwarding treatment for neurodegenerative disorders at LWENC
- Natural genetic variation gives complete resistance in prion diseases
- Professor Lees awarded ABN Medal 2015
- Professor Hardy elected member of EMBO
- Working with Saracens to monitor concussion in rugby
- Mutations in two novel genes cause primary dystonia
- A new genetic switch uncovered in the long genes expressed in our brain
- Professor Alan Thompson elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences
- UCL Institute of Neurology researchers awarded MRC fellowships
- Professor Ray Dolan has been elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Deep brain stimulation for Tourette syndrome
- Behaviour changes common in early stage familial Alzheimer's
- Imaging shows early brain changes in FTD patients
- New test measures deadly protein in Huntington’s disease patients’ spinal fluid
- Professor Mary Reilly is elected to be the first female President of the Association of British Neurologists in 83 years
- Structure of genetic messenger molecules reveals key role in diseases
- Professor Nick Fox speaks about trial in early onset familial Alzheimer's disease at UCL
- First major exhibition to explore BSE and its impact opens at Hayward Gallery
- Government pledges £300m for dementia research
- UCL awarded £10m to develop new dementia treatments
- BRC awards £700,000 to neuroscience projects
- Acute optic neuritis: a review and proposed protocol
- Teaching Awards 2015
Lizard venom offers hope for Parkinson’s disease patients
27 August 2010
The saliva of a venomous lizard native to southwestern America and Mexico could provide a cure for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
A trial is underway at the National Hospital to establish whether the drug ‘Exenatide’ could be used to treat patients with the progressive neurological condition.
A synthetic version of this drug, originally found in the saliva of the Gila monster, is already an approved treatment for patients with diabetes.
However, laboratory evidence suggests it could also arrest the neurodegenerative process that causes Parkinson’s disease – potentially leading to a cure. Four independent groups around the world (including colleagues at the School of Pharmacy, London), have shown that this drug can improve symptoms of Parkinson’s and rescue dying cells in five different rodent models of the disease.
Dr Tom Foltynie, of the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, and consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, who is leading the trial, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project. At present there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and the drugs currently available only relieve the symptoms, but do not arrest the underlying progressive neurodegenerative process.
“We will be studying a tried and tested drug which is used for the treatment of diabetes and are hopeful it will arrest the neurodegenerative process for Parkinson’s and provide new hope of a cure for this disabling condition.”
People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died. Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things. There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s and it is not yet known why people get the condition. Parkinson’s doesn’t directly cause people to die, but symptoms do get worse over time.
Six million diabetics worldwide inject Exenatide in the abdomen, thigh or arm, 30 to 60 minutes before the first and last meal of the day to control their glucose levels.
It works on a receptor in the gut and pancreas but is also known to act on a receptor in the brain. Dr Foltynie’s research, funded by the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and involving 40 patients in an initial phase, will seek to establish whether the effects previously seen in animals are reproduced when these receptors in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients are stimulated by subcutaneous injections of this drug.
Image above: Sleeping gila monster at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Tucson, Arizona.
Page last modified on 27 aug 10 13:26