This is the strongest evidence we have so far that a drug could do more than provide symptom relief for Parkinson’s diseaseProfessor Tom Foltynie, lead investigator of the exenatide programme
A lot of research on potential neuroprotective approaches for Parkinson’s has focused on the field of nerve growth factors, or neurotrophic factors. These are naturally produced proteins that support and stimulate growth in neurons.
Since our inception, Cure Parkinson’s has been supporting research centred around a neurotrophic factor called glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (or GDNF). Preclinical data demonstrated that this molecule has potent protective properties on dopamine neurons, and those results led to a large Cure Parkinson’s co-funded clinical trial being conducted in Bristol.
That trial did not achieve a positive result based on predetermined measures, but it did demonstrate evidence of the biological effect, and Cure Parkinson’s has been exploring how to take research of other neurotrophic factors forward.