When Inflazome becomes Roche

# # # #

Over the past two decades, pharmaceutical companies have shifted from maintaining large in-house drug development platforms to a model that involves acquiring small biotech firms with interesting agents once those companies reach a certain point in their maturation.

This week a biotech firm called Inflazome was bought by the big pharma Roche.

Inflazome has been developing a novel NLRP3 inhibitor, which targets inflammasome activation and the company has had Parkinson’s in it’s sights as far as indications of interest.

In today’s post, we will discuss what the inflammasome is, how NLRP3 inhibitors work, and what will be happening next.

# # # #


Source: Science

One of the hottest areas of Parkinson’s research world is ‘inflammation‘ (cheesy pun intended).

What is inflammation?

When cells in your body are stressed or sick, they begin to release tiny messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.

When enough of these messenger proteins are released that the immune system becomes activated, it can cause inflammation.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune system’s response to trouble. It is the body’s way of communicating to the immune system that something is wrong and activating it so that it can help deal with the situation.

By releasing the messenger proteins (called cytokines), injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.

The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor

The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins. And there are processes that can amplify the immune response.

One of those processes is called inflammasomes.

What are inflammasomes?

Continue reading “When Inflazome becomes Roche”

A PINK shade of inflammation

# # # #

Inflammation is the means by which tissue in our bodies communicate with the immune system to indicate when something is wrong. Tiny messenger proteins are released from stressed or damaged cells to alert neighbouring cells of their situation.

Ailing cells can also release additional components – such as DNA – that can activate immune cells and cause inflamation.

Recently, researchers have identified both messenger proteins and specific types of DNA that are present in the blood of individuals with a genetically-associated sub-type of Parkinson’s. The discovery could provide both novel biomarkers, but also point towards specific biological pathways that could be therapeutically targetted.

In today’s post, we will review this new research.

# # # #


Ouch! Source: MedicalExpress

When cells in your body are stressed, damaged, or sick, they begin to release large amounts of tiny messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.

When enough of these messenger proteins are released, cells of the immune system will become activated, and come looking for the source of the trouble.

This is inflammation.

Source: Youtube

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune system’s response to problems. It is the body’s way of communicating with the immune system and explaining that something is wrong. This also aid in activating the immune system so that it can help deal with the situation.

By releasing the messenger proteins (called cytokines), injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.

The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor

The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins.

For a long time, it has been hoped that some of these messenger proteins might be useful as biomarkers for conditions like Parkinson’s. And recently, researchers have published data suggesting that they might have found one cytokine that could be very useful for a specific sub-set of people with Parkinson’s.

What did they find?

Continue reading “A PINK shade of inflammation”

The Wim Hof method

 

A regular theme of the SoPD website is the reviewing of novel phamarcological treatments that are being tested on models of Parkinson’s. And while the breadth of the research is exciting and encouraging, the average reader may feel distant to the results of those studies as the experimental drug being tested is still a long way from possible regulatory approval.

There have been numerous requests to explore more readily applicable research, which could be useful for the Parkinson’s community to explore (for example, diet and exercise). This is dangerous ground for a blogger to tread on, but in the interest of stimulating discussion (and possibly research), we shall do our best.

In today’s post, we will discuss what the Wim Hof method is, what research supports it, and potential issues with applying it to conditions like Parkinson’s.

Before we start: This post is not an endorsement of the Wim Hof method, but rather an exploration of the research that has been conducted on it. The author has had no contact with Mr Hof or any associated parties, nor is he aware of any clinical research investigating the Wim Hof method in the context of Parkinson’s. The author is simply fulfilling a request to discuss the topic.

 


Source: PDUK

I am regularly asked to give an opinion (or write a blog post) about a method or technique that is being advertised online as a remedy for all aliments (including Parkinson’s).

What do you think of the ________ method?” folks will ask.

Many of these techniques I am unaware of and I can simply give a polite “I honestly don’t know” kind-of response. But for others, where I do have a little information I find myself rather conflicted.

Why conflicted?

A lot of these online methods/techniques involve commercially-focused entities hidden behind a veneer of testimonials, and very few of them have any actual real science backing them. It is difficult for anyone to give an opinion, let alone write a post about it.

But if people in the Parkinson’s community are experiencing some kind of benefits from a particular method, who am I to say otherwise or pour doubt on their experience given the lack of alternatives (I do draw a line, however, at dodgy stem cell clinics – they are all charlatans).

Source: The conversation

But recently a friend within the PD community asked me to look into the “Wim Hof method”. And while I reluctantly agreed to, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised

Why surprised?

Because there was actual real research backing up some of the claims! The method has never been clinically tested on Parkinson’s (as far as I’m aware), but researchers have had a look at the method and the results are worth discussing.

What is the Wim Hof method?

Continue reading “The Wim Hof method”

The inflammasome field is heating up

 

When a cell is sick or damaged it will send out signals alerting the immune system that something is wrong. If enough of these molecules are released, they will initate an “immune response” and this process is called inflammation.

There is evidence in neurodegenerative conditions (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) that the inflammation process is involved, and inhibitors of particular aspects of inflammation are being developed as potential therapies for these conditions.

Of particular interest are drugs targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome.

In today’s post, we will discuss what the NLRP3 inflammasome is, look at new research identifying a novel NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor, and provide an overview/update of where things are in the clinical testing of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for Parkinson’s.

 


Source: Science

One of the hottest areas of Parkinson’s research world is ‘inflammation’ (cheesy pun intended).

What is inflammation?

When cells in your body are stressed or sick, they begin to release tiny messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.

When enough of these messenger proteins are released that the immune system becomes activated, it can cause inflammation.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune system’s response to trouble. It is the body’s way of communicating to the immune system that something is wrong and activating it so that it can help deal with the situation.

By releasing the messenger proteins (called cytokines), injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.

The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor

The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins. And there are processes that can amplify the immune response.

One of those processes is called inflammasomes.

What are inflammasomes?

Continue reading “The inflammasome field is heating up”

Resolvin(g) Parkinson’s

 

A major focus on Parkinson’s research is inflammation.

Inflammation is a vital part of our immune system’s response to infection or injury. It is means by which the body signals to the cells of immune system that something might be wrong and help is required. It is a complex, multi-stage process, involving many different mechanisms which help to amplify and resolve the response.

Recently, some researchers reported some interesting data regarding the ‘resolving’ aspect of the inflammatory response in Parkinson’s. It involved a protein called Resolvin.

In today’s post, we will look at what Resolvin is, what the new research reported, and how this information could be useful in the development of future therapies for Parkinson’s.

 


Spot the unhealthy cell – exhibiting signs of stress (yellow). Source: Gettyimages

When cells in your body are stressed or sick, they begin to release tiny messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.

When enough of these messenger proteins are released that the immune system becomes activated, it can cause inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune system’s response to trouble. It is the body’s way of communicating to the immune system that something is wrong and activating it so that it can help deal with the situation.

By releasing the messenger proteins (called cytokines), injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.

The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor

The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins. And there are processes that can amplify the immune response.

But an important component of the immune response that is often overlooked is resolution.

Once an infection/injury has been dealt with, the immune response must be resolved. And there are tiny messenger proteins that our body producing naturally which involved in dampening down the immune response. They are typically released when a situation has been resolved.

One group of resolving messenger proteins are called Resolvins.

What are Resolvins?

Continue reading “Resolvin(g) Parkinson’s”

A re-think of PINK

 

The immune system is our main line of defense against a world full of potentially dangerous disease causing agents. It is a complicated beast that does a fantastic job of keeping us safe and well.

Recently, however, there was an interesting study suggesting that a genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s may be associated with an over-reaction from the immune system in response to infection from a common human food poisoning bug.

Specifically, mice who were missing the gene PINK1 literally had an ‘autoimmune reaction’ to the infection – that is the immune system began attacking healthy cells of the body – while normal mice (with intact PINK1 genes) recovered from the infection and went about their business.

In today’s post, we will explore this new research and discuss why we may need to rethink PINK.

 


Source: Huffington Post

I have had a guts full of all this gut research being published about Parkinson’s.

[NOTE 1.: For the unitiated: A “guts full” – Adjective, Kiwi colloquialism. Meaning ‘Had enough of’, ‘fed up of’, ‘endured to the point of tolerance’]

[NOTE 2.: The author of this blog is a Kiwi]

I really can’t stomach anymore of it.

And my gut feeling suggests that there is only more to come. It would be nice though, to have something else… something different to digest.

So what is today’s post all about?

Gut research of course.

But this gut research has a REALLY interesting twist.

Continue reading “A re-think of PINK”

I’m worried about my IMM-AGE

 

Researchers have recently described a new method to quantify a person’s “immune age” – a measure that could act as a key determinant of future health, as well as response to disease and treatment.

This novel test appears to provide a more reliable predictor for the status of one’s immune system than any other previous method.

And it could be useful in other ways.

In today’s post, we will discuss this new method of determining “immune age”, explore examples of how similar analysis has been used for other conditions, and consider what it could mean for Parkinson’s.

 


Source: Emaze

Do you remember Andre Agassi?

I know he’s still around, but when I was young and less beautiful, I was a big fan. Not only of his on court achievements, but also of his charismatic off-court image.

And it certainly paid off well for him:

One of the things that Agassi taught us was that “image is everything”.

Before Agassi, tennis was a conservative sport of white shirts & shorts (McEnroe was basically as radical as things got). It was bland, conservative, and – yes, I’ll say it – boring.

Agassi not only brought colour but charisma to the game. It was shocking and disgraceful to some, but to young, naive fools like me, it was a captivating breath of much needed fresh air.

Source: Hesaidandshesaid

Despite the early infatuation with the stylings of Mr Agassi, I have to admit that I have never remotely been concerned about own image. My dimensions mean that I wear what fits as opposed to what I like, and as a result the finished product is better behind a keyboard rather than speaking to a crowd.

But as I have gotten older, I have become concerned about a different kind of IMM-AGE (not a typo).

Let me explain: Recently some researchers in Israel and at Stanford University in the US published a rather remarkable research report which if replicated could have important implications for how we approach medical care.

What did they report?

Continue reading “I’m worried about my IMM-AGE”

Brain. On. Fire.

 

Inflammation is part of the immune system’s response to damage or infection. It is a very natural process that our bodies undergo when we come into harms way.

Researchers at the University of Queensland, have recently demonstrated something interesting about the inflammation associated with Parkinson’s: by inhibiting a very specific part of the inflammatory process, they can reduce the spread of Parkinson’s associated alpha synuclein pathology in models of PD.

And they have developed a drug – called MCC950 – that specifically targets that component of the inflammation process which they are now seeking to test in clinical trials.

In today’s post, we will discuss what inflammation is, review this new research, and consider what it could all mean for the Parkinson’s community.

 


Spot the unhealthy cell – exhibiting signs of stress (yellow). Source: Gettyimages

No silly preamble today – this is going to be a very long post, so we’re diving straight in:

When cells in your body are stressed or sick, they begin to release messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.

When enough cells release these messenger proteins, it can cause inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system’s response to trouble. It is the body’s way of communicating to the immune system that something is wrong and activating it so that it can help deal with the situation.

By releasing the messenger proteins, injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.

The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor

The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins.

And the level of messenger proteins being released partly depends on multi-protein structures called inflammasomes.

What are inflammasomes?

Continue reading “Brain. On. Fire.”

York: #Parkinsons2018

 

On the 12th and 13th November, Parkinson’s UK held their biennial research conference in York.

It is not only an opportunity for the charity to showcase some of the research that they have funded over the last few years, but it was also a chance for members of the Parkinson’s research community to come together to share ideas, network and form new collaborations.

I was lucky enough to attend the event this year, and wanted to share some of the take away messages from the conference with the readers.

In today’s post, we will review Parkinson’s UK 2018 research conference (#Parkinsons2018).

 


Parkinson’s UK is the largest Parkinson’s research and support charity in the United Kingdom. Since 2015, they have invested over £18 million in a variety of research projects focused on all aspects of Parkinson’s – from new experimental treatments to the Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank.

 

 

Every two years, Parkinson’s UK holds a conference highlighting some of the research that the organisation has funded over the last few years. The meeting is usually held in the beautiful walled city of York – lots of history and narrow streets to explore.

Th “The Shambles” in York. Source: hauntedrooms

Continue reading “York: #Parkinsons2018”

Sensing seriousness about senolytics

 

Researchers are building as ever increasing amount of evidence supporting the idea that as our bodies age, there is an accumulation of cells that cease to function normally. But rather than simply dying, these ‘non-functional’ cells shut down and enter a state which is refered to as ‘senescence‘.

And scientists have also discovered that these senescent cells are not completely dormant. They are still active, but their activity can be of a rather negative flavour. And new research from the Rockefeller University suggests that these senescent cells could potentially explain certain aspects of Parkinson’s.

The good news is that a novel class of therapies are being developed to deal with senescent cells. These new drugs are called senolytics.

In today’s post, we will discuss what is meant by senescence, we will review the new data associated with Parkinson’s, and we will consider some of the interesting senolytic approaches that could be useful for PD.

 


This is not my living room… honest. Source: Youtube

Humans being are great collectors.

We may not all be hoarders – as in the image above – but everyone has extra baggage. Everybody has stuff they don’t need. And the ridiculous part of this equation is that some of that stuff is kept on despite the fact that it doesn’t even work properly any more.

The obvious question is:

Why do we hold on to stuff long after we don’t use it anymore?

Oh, and don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about all that junk you have lying around in your house/shed.

No, I’m referring to all the senescent cells in your body.

Huh? What are senescent cells?

Continue reading “Sensing seriousness about senolytics”