According to the news release, the research could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease and could help explain previous findings that the drug nilotinib, a leukemia drug, was linked to a reduction in movement problems and an increase in quality of life in Parkinson’s patients.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that the body’s blood-brain barrier potentially offers a target for the treatment for Parkinson’s disease,” Moussa said.
The new discovery comes from a clinical trial that featured comprehensive genome analysis of 75 patients with severe Parkinson’s disease. The results were compared before and after receiving off-label treatment with nilotinib or a placebo.
“Not only does nilotinib flip on the brain’s garbage disposal system to eliminate bad toxic proteins, but it appears to also repair the blood-brain barrier to allow this toxic waste to leave the brain and to allow nutrients in,” Moussa said.
“Parkinson’s disease is generally believed to involve mitochondrial or energy deficits that can be caused by environmental toxins or by toxic protein accumulation. It has never been identified as a vascular disease,” he added.
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