neurodegenerative diseases

neurodegenerative diseases

neurodegenerative diseases

Reactions: Analysis shows monoclonal antibody slows motor symptoms in patients with rapidly progressing Parkinson's disease

A monoclonal antibody called prasinezumab reduces the worsening of motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease who have rapidly progressive disease, according to an analysis of a phase 2 clinical trial published in Nature Medicine. These findings suggest that clinical efficacy of prasinezumab, which works by binding to alpha-synuclein protein aggregates, is seen after one year of treatment in such patients. According to the authors, more research is needed to determine whether the antibody can be effective in people with slower disease progression after longer periods of treatment. 

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Reactions to phase 2 clinical trial testing an oral antidiabetic as a treatment for Parkinson's disease

A phase 2 clinical trial in France has examined whether taking an oral anti-diabetic drug called lixisenatide - a GLP1 receptor analogue, similar to those also used for weight loss - also has an effect on the progression of Parkinson's disease. The results indicate that there is a modest but significant decrease in the progression of motor symptoms of the disease, although side effects were also observed. The results are published in the journal NEJM

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Reaction: EMA recommends approval for new ALS drug

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting marketing authorisation in the European Union for a new therapy for the treatment of adult patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare and frequently fatal disease that causes muscle weakness and leads to paralysis. Qalsody (tofersen) is indicated for the treatment of adults with ALS who have a mutation in the SOD1 gene. There is currently only one treatment for ALS authorised in the EU (riluzole).

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Reactions to study revealing how oocytes survive toxic protein aggregates for decades

An international team, led by a Spanish group, has published the mechanism that allows immature egg reserves (oocytes) to survive for many years, up to almost half a century in the case of humans. The research studies how oocytes are affected by protein aggregates similar to those that damage other cells such as neurons and can cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The finding of how these egg reserves are kept healthy may help to understand some causes of infertility. The results are published in the journal Cell.

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Reactions: use of erectile dysfunction drugs associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's in men

Drugs to treat erectile dysfunction may be associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to an observational study of nearly 270,000 men, published in Neurology. The research does not prove that these drugs reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, but only shows an association.

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Reactions: five cases of Alzheimer's described that may have been transmitted by growth hormone treatments from cadavers

Researchers have described five cases of people in the UK who developed Alzheimer's-like dementia after being treated as children with growth hormone from cadavers. The treatment was administered between 60 and 40 years ago. This suggests that the disease could be transmitted. However, the authors point out that this is a very rare occurrence and could have been caused by repeated exposure to a type of hormone that is no longer used. The results are published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Reactions to the study associating hearing loss with a higher risk of dementia

A Danish study involving over half a million individuals aged 50 and above, tracked for an average of nearly nine years, reveals that hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of dementia, particularly among those who do not use hearing aids. According to the authors, whose research is published in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, this suggests that hearing aids may prevent or delay the onset and progression of dementia.

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Reactions: blood test can measure organ age

A study of more than 5,000 patients has developed a method to predict the biological age of our organs. They have analysed more than 4,000 proteins present in the blood and used machine learning models adapted to 11 different organs. According to the authors, almost 20 % of the population has accelerated organ ageing, which in many cases is associated with an increased risk of mortality of between 20 and 50 %. The results are published in the journal Nature.

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Reaction: an early-phase trial with stem cells yields positive results against progressive multiple sclerosis.

The injection of a type of stem cell into the brains of patients living with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is safe, well-tolerated, and has a lasting effect that appears to protect the brain against further damage, according to an early-phase trial published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

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Reaction: neuroprosthesis helps Parkinson's patient to walk

A neuroprosthesis that electrically stimulates an area of the spinal cord of a man with Parkinson's disease improved his mobility and balance, according to results presented in Nature Medicine. The 62-year-old patient had severe difficulties walking and frequent falls, despite trying other treatments. After trials in non-human primates, this is the first time this technology has been tested in a human being, who has now been using the neuroprosthesis about eight hours a day for two years. 

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