The Cancer Treatment that May Also Help with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s posted on: 05-16-2017

Alzheimer’sWhat if there was a medication that could treat not just one, but three devastating diseases: leukemia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s? Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are hopeful that nilotinib fits the bill. Currently approved for 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.

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. Hopefully these results will be just as encouraging, but regardless, the years of research that have gone into testing nilotinib and other new potential developments are helping pave the way towards viable treatment options, or even an eventual cure.

Encouragingly, trials on mice have shown outstanding results, actually curing Parkinson’s disease. It’s also proven effective in a small number of human trials in those with Parkinson’s and dementia, for which there currently isn’t a treatment available 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.

Patients with either Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s are currently being enrolled for the next phase of the study, which is anticipated to be completed in about a year. More details about the upcoming Alzheimer’s study are available here, while information about the Parkinson’s study can be found here.

For more resources on helping those with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, call on the aging care specialists at North River Home Care serving Cape Cod and the surrounding areas. We can provide a full range of expert in-home care with our fully trained and experienced specialized Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s caregivers. Contact us to schedule a free in-home assessment or to allow us to answer any questions you may have.