Blood Cancer Drug Giving Hopes For Parkinson's Patients

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A short-term trial of blood cancer drug Nilotinib in patients with Parkinson's disease with dementia recorded dramatic improvement in memory and limb movements. It also helped in checking tremor and neuromotor freezing in Parkinson's patients with Lewy body dementia, a type of progressive memory loss.

Scientists at the Georgetown University Centre in Washington believe that the drug would be useful in removing neurotoxic proteins in the brain, blood and spinal fluid.

The six-month safety trial in 12 patients was too short for a conclusion and there was no comparison with placebo. However, the researchers are excited to continue with the studies using the Novartis drug.

Nilotinib or Tasigna is a kinase inhibitor capsules for oral use, and is indicated for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in adult patients.

In vitro studies and trial in transgenic mice paralyzed by Parkinson's disease have shown that the drug in small quantities helped in rescuing the brain from unwanted proteins. The Phase 1 study was presented at the Neuroscience 2015, the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago.

More than 10 million people around the globe are found to be suffering from Parkinson's disease.

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