July 25, 2018 – Treating Parkinson’s


Anchor lead: Can a drug class used to treat diabetes help in Parkinson’s disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

A drug similar to diabetes drugs already on the market can slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease in both cells and an animal model of the disease, as well as relieve symptoms. That’s according to research published in Nature Medicine by Ted Dawson and colleagues at Johns Hopkins. Dawson says the drug works on cells in the brain called microglia and astrocytes.

Dawson: Microglial activation plays a substantial role in Parkinson’s disease but it also plays a major role in Alzheimer, MS, Huntingdon’s disease. So this compound we identified may also work in these other diseases. The thing about microglial astrocyte activation, it’s active from the beginning of your disease to the end, so it’s likely that if we can show that it works in early Parkinson’s disease, it will eventually be shown to work in later Parkinson’s.  :34

Dawson says clinical trials will start shortly. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.