Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | cancer | drug | Parkinsons | dementia | treatment

Cancer Drug May Fight Parkinson's Dementia

Cancer Drug May Fight Parkinson's Dementia
(Copyright Fotolia)

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 02:05 PM

An FDA-approved drug for leukemia may show benefits in patients with Parkinson’s disease or dementia with Lewy bodies, a small, preliminary study shows.

Dopamine is the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) lost as a result of death of dopamine-producing neurons that occurs in these neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. performed the study involving 12 patients, who were given a lower dose of nilotinib that when it is used as chemotherapy in treating chronic myelogenous leukemia.

One study participant dropped out due to an adverse effect, but the drug appears to be safe and well tolerated in the remaining 11 participants who completed the study, the researchers say.

In the treated patients, the level of  a biomarker that indicates that dopamine is being produced — steadily doubled, even with the loss of most dopamine neurons. Most study participants were able to stop using, or reduce their use of, dopamine replacement therapies as a result. They also found that the patients taking the drug had reduced levels of toxic biomarkers within their neurons, the researchers add.

All 11 patients who tolerated the drug reported meaningful clinical improvements. All patients were at mid-advanced stages of Parkinsonism and they all had mild to severe cognitive impairment, the team says.

Since this was a small, preliminary study, more research needs to be done, the team said of the findings, which appear in  researchers said of their findings, which appear in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

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A new study finds that a cancer drug may improve the dementia that sometimes comes with Parkinson's disease.
cancer, drug, Parkinsons, dementia, treatment
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 02:05 PM
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