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Drug repurposing (repositioning, reprofiling or re-tasking) is a strategy of identifying novel uses for clinically approved (or experimental) drugs that fall outside the scope of the original medical indication.
Many drug repurposing efforts have started with screening experiments, looking for drugs with certain properties.
Recently, researchers conducted a drug repurposing screening experiment for molecules that enhance a Parkinson’s protein (called GCase) and they found an interesting result: the antipsychotic medication quetiapine.
In today’s post, we will explain what GCase does, review what the new study found, and consider what could happen next.
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At the recent “Rallying to the Challenge” meeting (which was conducting in parallel with the Van Andel Institute‘s “Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease“), I was asked by Cure Parkinson’s to present on why the biology surrounding genetic risk factors – like variation in the GBA and LRRK2 genes – are important targets for potential therapeutic intervention in Parkinson’s (my presentation starts at 2 hours & 10 minutes into the video above).
Specifically, I was asked to discuss why they are important targets not just for individuals carrying the genetic variations in these genes, but for the wider Parkinson’s community in general. And it is a good question.
How could inhibitors of LRRK2 or enhancers of GCase activity possibly be useful to individuals with idiopathic (spontaneous or not associated with a genetic risk factor) Parkinson’s?
My answer was rather simple.
What was it?