20 February 2015

Platelet growth factor will restore the brain in Parkinson's disease

All currently existing methods of treating Parkinson's disease are symptomatic and / or consist in taking 3-hydroxy-L-tyrosine (Levodopa drug) – a low-molecular precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine that can not be produced by dying nerve cells that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

The results of a recent clinical study conducted by Swedish scientists from Landa University and the Karolinska Institute give hope that in the future approaches to combating this disease will use the brain's own defense mechanisms to stop the death of neurons and restore the activity of dopamine synthesis to normal values.

12 patients with moderate Parkinson's disease participated in a randomized double-blind phase I/IIa clinical trial of a new approach conducted under placebo control. A pump with an internal catheter was surgically implanted into the abdominal cavity of the participants, delivering a placebo or platelet growth factor (PDGF, from the English platelet-derived growth factor) to the ventricles of the brain.

The duration of therapy was 12 days, after which the patients' condition was monitored for another 73 days, during which the pump delivered saline solution to the brain.

Earlier studies on animal models of Parkinson's disease have shown that platelet growth factor promotes the restoration of both neurons themselves and nerve fibers, which improves the motor functions of animals.

The results of the first clinical trial demonstrated that the introduction of platelet growth factor does not have any serious irreversible side effects. Moreover, the images of the brain obtained by positron emission tomography 4 months after the end of therapy show that the introduction of growth factor increased the activity of dopamine-mediated signaling mechanisms.

The image obtained by positron emission tomography shows signals of dopamine transporter binding before and approximately 4 months after therapy. The white color indicates a higher signal intensity.

Experiments to study the effect of platelet growth factor on animal models of Parkinson's disease began more than 10 years ago. Now that this approach has come a long way to the clinic, its developers hope that the positive results they have obtained will accelerate the process of conducting larger-scale clinical trials. They also hope to understand in detail the mechanisms underlying the complex processes of nerve tissue repair initiated by platelet growth factor.

Article by Gesine Paul et al. Safety and tolerance of intracerebroventricular PDGF-BB in Parkinson's disease patients is published in The Journal for Clinical Investigation.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Lund University:
New growth factor indicates possible regenerative effects in Parkinson's disease


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