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One of the more interesting pieces of clinical trial news in 2020 was the publication of the results of a “basket study” for neurological conditions. This was a trial that involved a drug being tested on a selection of neurodegenerative conditions, rather than just one condition.
Between December 2013 to May 2017, researchers recruited a total of 29 individuals with Alzheimer’s, 14 with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and 30 with corticobasal syndrome. These participants were intravenously injected with the same drug (TPI-287 – a microtubule stabilizer) once every 3 weeks for 9 weeks (with an optional 6-week open-label extension).
Although the findings of the study did not support further development of TPI-287 for tauopathies, the overall structure of the study represents an interesting example of how researchers are taking different approaches to investigating neurodegenerative conditions.
In today’s post, we will discuss novel clinical trial designs (“baskets and umbrella”) and other examples of research efforts to better understand neurodegeneration as a whole.
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It was when my daughter turned 3 years old that the psychological warfare really started.
And I remember the moment of realisation very clearly: It began with her desire for a pet dog.
Up until that point in time, she had limited experience with dogs and her negotiation strategies centred solely around crying. I think she loved “the idea” of a dog, but she was generally quite timid around them. Regardless, she gradually began applying pressure (read: lots of crying) on us to get a dog.
And said pressure began to build rapidly (read: frequent episodes of lots of crying).
Now my wife is definitely not a dog person (“wet, filthy, smelly things“). I on the other hand quite like dogs, but I was utterly, utterly, utterly opposed to getting one because I know full well who will be lumped with the mid-winter late night “walkies” two years down the line: me!
The pressure from our daughter continued to increase, however, until we finally had to sit down with her and explain that we were not going to be getting a dog. On the surface, it looked like she handled this news very well (that is to say: she did not cry). She simply accepted the situation, got up and left the room, saying “Ok”.
My wife and I looked at each other and thought “problem solved”.
The next morning, however, this picture was waiting for us on the kitchen table:
I kid you not.
That’s my daughter and her pet dog (“Linguine“) on the right, and I’m the big, cross-eyed, bad guy on the left.
Since that time the psychological manoeuvring has only become more sophisticated (the teenage years are still a few years away, but I am already absolutely terrified!).
Amusing, but what does this have to do with Parkinson’s?