In this end-of-year post, we review the Parkinson’s research that caught our attention at SoPD HQ in 2019.
Month-by-month we will briefly discuss some of the major pieces of research/announcements that have defined the year and advanced our understanding of Parkinson’s. The list is based on nothing more than the author’s personal opinion – apologies to any researchers who feel left out – and the contents should certainly not be considered definitive or exhaustive.
It was just some of the stuff that made me say “wow” in 2019.
And in the next post, we will conduct our annual horizon scan and consider what 2020 may have in store for us.
2019 was a productive year for the Parkinson’s research community.
Wait a minute. Hold your horses. What is that statement based on?
If we use number of research report published in 2019 as our measure, there was a total of 8094 articles added to the Pubmed website with the tag word “Parkinson’s” attached (compared to 7672 for all of 2018 and 7675 for 2017). That sounds rather productive.
In addition, there were a host of new clinical trials initiatiated, many of which are exploring entirely new experimental therapies. These include:
- UDCA (aka Ursodeoxycholic acid) – A bial acid therapy used for reducing gall stones that may improve mitochondrial function entered Phase II testing for Parkinson’s (Click here to read a SoPD post on the topic).
- PR001 – A gene therapy targetting GBA-associated Parkinson’s (Click here to read a SoPD post about this).
- CNM-Au8 – Gold nanoparticles entered Phase II testing for Parkinson’s (Click here to read an SoPD post about this research).
- Terazosin – This prostatic hyperplasia and hypertension drug was found to enhance Phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1) activation & a Phase II trial was immediately initiatiated (Click here to read an SoPD post on this topic).
- Inzomelid – An NLRP3 inhibitor from Inflazome began Phase I testing (Click here to read a SoPD post on this topic).
On top of all of this, numerous novel potenially therapeutic pathways were proposed, such as:
- Farnesyltransferase inhibition (Click here to read a SoPD post on the topic)
- Miro1 degradation (Click here to read an SoPD post on the topic).
- CD22 inhibition (Click here to read a SoPD post on this topic).
- Felodipine – Researchers discovered that this L-type calcium channel blocker & anti-hypertensive drug boosts waste disposal (or autophagy) in mouse brains (Click here to read an SoPD post on the topic).
Plus, there were a number of major Parkinson’s research organisations launched, including the Australian Parkinson’s Mission (Click here to read more about this), Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP – click here to read more about this), the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Parkinson’s disease (or AMP-PD) initiative (Click here to read more about this), and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Based on all of this, I think it is safe to say that 2019 was a productive year for Parkinson’s research.
Ok, all of that sounds great, but what does that mean for someone living with the condition?