Tapeworm Drug Molecule Could Aid Fight Against Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with the University of Dundee, have identified a drug molecule within a medicine used to treat tapeworm infections which could lead to new treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that, according to the charity, Parkinson's UK, affects one person in every 500. That means an estimated 127,000 people are currently living with Parkinson's disease in the UK alone.
Over the last decade or so, researchers striving to find a cure for this debilitating disease have focused their attention on a protein found in the human body known as PINK1. It's understood that the malfunction of this protein is one of the leading causes of Parkinson's disease.
Several studies have suggested that discovering a drug which is capable of enhancing the function of PINK1 could be a significant step in halting neurodegeneration and therefore slow down or even treat Parkinson's disease.
With this knowledge in mind, researchers at Cardiff and Dundee Universities have discovered that a drug traditionally used to treat tapeworm infections, named Niclosamide, is also an effective activator of the PINK1 protein.
Furthermore, the research, funded by The Welcome Trust, revealed that Niclosamide and some of its derivatives could enhance PINK1 performance within cells and neurons. This has given the researchers reason to believe that this drug could provide new hope for patients living with Parkinson's disease.
Dr Youcef Mehellou, from Cardiff University's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who co-lead the study, said: 'This work represents the first report of a clinically used drug to activate PINK1 and may hold promise in treating Parkinson's disease. We will now take our findings to the next level by evaluating the ability of Niclosamide to treat Parkinson's disease in disease models. This is an exciting stage of our research and we are positive about the long term impact it could have on patients' lives."
The research ‘The Anthelmintic Drug Niclosamide and its Analogues Activate the Parkinson’s Disease Associated Protein Kinase PINK1’ is published in ChemBioChem.
This article has been republished from materials provided by Cardiff University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
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Comments | 2 ADD COMMENT
EVELYN RAY | Mar 15, 2018
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Sorice Madina | Mar 06, 2018
My husband will be 81 years old next month and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 13 months ago. his main symptom were and rigidity or stiffness of his right-hand side.he also had some difficulty writing. The original diagnosis was confirmed three months later by a second neurologist. He was on one tablet of pramipexole (Sifrol), 0.25 mg three times a day. Four months ago his neurologist added Biperiden, 2 mg. he takes half a tablet of Biperiden three times a day. Since the original diagnosis, his stiffness has slowly increased. He lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medication I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started him on PD natural herbal formula we ordered from GREEN HOUSE HERBAL CLINIC, I spoke to few people who used the treatment here in Canada and they all gave a positive response, his symptoms totally declined over a 6 weeks use of the Green House Parkinson’s disease natural herbal formula. He is now almost 81 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! (Visit their website www . Greenhouseherbalclinic . com) I am thankful to nature, herbs are truly gift from God. Share with friends!!