Michael J Fox Foundation CEO Todd Sherer analyses the development of Parkinson’s treatment in a piece for US journal the ‘Scientific American’, published to mark 200 years since the condition’s discovery
Welcome to Our Parkinson's Place
I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where updated news is in one place. That is why I began this blog.
I am not responsible for it's contents, I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish. This is for you to read and to always keep an open mind.
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Saturday, May 13, 2017
Joe McAweaney11 May 2017
Neurological disorders don't receive the attention they deserve. They get overshadowed by cancers and heart disease, even though they affect millions worldwide. These are the diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system affecting the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles; and the disorders include epilepsy, alzheimer's disease, dementia, stroke, migraine among other headache disorders, along with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease.
According to WHO, more than six million people die of stroke each year, over 50 million have epilepsy, 47.5 million people have dementia (Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia) and the prevalence of migraine is more than 10 per cent worldwide.
Compared to other therapeutic fields, neurological diseases are under-researched. However, thanks to the revolution in our understanding of the human genome, the grasp over the way the brain functions, and also the overwhelming complexity of illnesses that afflict the brain, is getting better every day. The fact that the need is so dire is making more scientists and companies dip their hands into the fresh science.
For example, 'Humanity' based in Cambridge is one such startup working in the field. They are using yeast, the microbes to study how misfolded proteins in the brain cause Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease and Parkinson's, and to create drugs based on that knowledge.
The industry is in midst of a dramatic reversal, with investors willing to pour money into firms that are developing drugs for psychiatric illnesses. Looking at the ongoing work, it seems that new medicines for severe depression, psychosis and schizophrenia could reach the market within the next few years.
Transformational work is already underway. For example, in 2004 researchers at the National Institutes of Health found out that a brain receptor called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), which is key to forming memories, was also involved in depression. Around the same time, a researcher at Yale found that ketamine, a widely used anesthetic, can block NMDA.
Extensive work is on to translate this knowledge into an effective drug. A nose-spray derivative of the drug is now entering late-stage trials; a pill is also being worked on. Similarly, an experimental drug, Sage-547, that blocks haywire electrical signals from jumping across nerve synapses in the brain and central nervous system, is being viewed as a great hope for controlling seizures in people.
However, all these are just a start to the changes scientists and pharma companies hope to bring about in the way we battle brain related disease. The intent is to end the hit-and-miss approach that is generally followed while prescribing medicines for similar conditions, and to move to a system that is based on what is biologically wrong with the patient.
May 13, 2017 Carole Stephen Smith, Special to The Desert Sun
The impressive Heckmann estate on Clancy Lane, owned by Dick and Wendy Heckmann was the site of a fundraiser for the Parkinson's Resource Organization (PRO) headed by Jo Rozen. She and radio personality Dan Ball pulled it together in just 40 days and drew over 350 people.
Rosen spoke passionately about her life's cause to find a cure for this devastating disease. One youthful guest, whose disease is now in its 14th year, spoke haltingly but bravely about what the organization has done for her and her care-taker family, both financially and emotionally.
There was not a dry eye in the entire place including Dan Ball who had to bounce back to the stage as MC still wiping away his tears. Ball's comedy and professionalism was clearly the highlight of the evening. He has now teamed up with Rozen as the Parkinson's director of development. For this event, Ball was accompanied by his mother and other supporters.
The evening's huge buffet was created by Lulu's with dessert by Brandini Toffee and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Other features were strolling models in beautiful fashions, a photo booth, pin ball machines, a comedian and a DJ playing music throughout the event.
One of the many volunteers said she volunteered for these events because of Jo Rozen's dedication which she finds inspiring.
For more information phone 760-773-5628 or visit ParkinsonsResource.org.
Friday, May 12, 2017
NEUROSCIENCE NEWS MAY 12, 2017
May 12, 2017 Suzanne Elvidge
- Adamas Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with HealthCare Royalty Partners (HCR) in an effort to get some quick cash so that it can continue development of its pipeline.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Adamas will get $35 million upfront and then another $65 million when the Food and Drug Administration approves Parkinson's drug ADS-5102 and gives it orphan Drug exclusivity. The drug is currently under review and has a user fee action date of August 24.
- Adamas will use the proceeds from the royalty deal to pay for general
- expenses, as well as the commercialization of ADS-5102.
Adamas Pharmaceuticals currently has all its eggs in three baskets – its two marketed drugs Namenda XR (memantine extended-release capsules) and Namzaric (memantine/donepezil extended-release capsules) licensed from Forest Laboratories, part of Allergan, and ADS-5102 (amantadine extended-release capsules).
This much-needed cash isn't coming cheap; Adamas will pay 11% interest on the outstanding principal on a quarterly basis until it has paid back 200% of the principal. Interest and principal will be payable through a 12.5% royalty on the sales of ADS-5102, as well as up to $15 million annually of Adamas' royalties from Allergan from the sales of Namzaric until May 2020. The royalty rate on ADS-5102 would drop to 6.25% once the principal has been paid. On the flip side, the royalty rate increases to 22.5% in the event that Adamas doesn't keep up with payments.
In Adamas' Pharmaceuticals first quarter results, the company announced a net loss of $16.0 million, with an almost 40% increase in general and administrative expenses, including increased headcount for the hoped-for launch of ADS-5102.
"We are thrilled to partner with HCR in this transaction, providing us with the resources to advance our business and commercialize ADS-5102, which we believe will create significant and sustainable value for all Adamas stakeholders." said Gregory T. Went, chair and CEO of Adamas Pharmaceuticals.
Adamas' stock value swooped down and then up on the day its earnings results came up, closing stable, but has fallen 5% on the news of the HealthCare Royalty Partners deal.
Touted earlier this year as a potential acquisition target, if it gains Food and Drug Administration approval, ADS-5102 could be the first drug for Parkinson's patients with levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
Elto Pharma, a spinout from Amarantus BioPharma, is developing its Phase 2 drug eltoprazine, for a number of indications, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease.
Adamas has one other drug in clinical development in its rather sparse pipeline, ADS-4101 (lacosamide), for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in epilepsy. This is a timed-release (chrono-synchronous) formulation of an existing drug, Vimpat, and has completed a Phase 1 trial.
May 12, 2017 By Tim Carpenter
Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a conservative Republican member of the House, said he would end his service in “several days,” leaving more than 18 months in an unexpired term. (2016 file photo/The Associated Press)
May 11, 2017
Khalifa University holds exhibition to showcase solutions developed by students to help society
The projects that were developed were wide ranging covering a number of areas including health, clean energy
Abu Dhabi: Freshman engineering students at Khalifa University showcased their skills and talent at an exhibition hosted by the institution on Wednesday, with the students developing innovative projects intended to help society.
The exhibition saw the participation of 240 engineering students who were challenged to come up with ideas and solutions to community challenges. The projects that were developed were wide ranging covering a number of areas including health, clean energy and recycling.
One of the projects on display was the Smart Stethoscope, which saw the development of a device to help monitor breathing and heart rates to improve the diagnosis for pneumonia.
“Our project is designed mainly for poor countries and hospitals that cannot afford the proper equipment to help diagnose patients. When you buy a stethoscope, you probably spend more than Dh200, and our goal is to provide a device that costs less,” said Kenan Al Aqeel, a Syrian student involved in designing the device.
“The device that we built has a sound detector sensor, and a covering with rubber material to get the vibration from the heart sounds. When the device gets the heart sound, it can start giving you the heart rate, thanks to a coding process we developed.
“So, for example, when we are monitoring the heart rate for one minute, it shows you the beats and after that you get the accurate heart rate, for instance, a measurement of 110 beats,” he added.
Al Aqeel said the device can be attached to the patient’s chest, and that their device should cost only Dh30, providing a big boost to poorer patients.
“The device provides a system that manages to monitor the breathing rate which can hopefully improve the diagnosis of pneumonia and save lives.
“The goal is to help poor people and provide a solution. In Africa, people sometimes use their bare hands to measure the heart beat, and this is not a very accurate way to measure the beats, it can lead to an insufficient analysis which doesn’t help with coming up with a suitable diagnosis,” he added.
Another innovative project on display was Tremor Free Me, a device intended to limit the tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.
“The device took us around six weeks to make. It can predict the speed of the shakes caused by the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease,” said Hassan Odeh from Jordan, and one of the team’s participating students.
“So if a person’s hands shake, the device detects this shake and sends a voltage to the motors and changes the frequency of the motors to match the person’s hand frequency. When the motor interacts with the shake of the hand, it causes a destructive interference which will cancel the shake of the hand.
“The device is very light, it can be worn as a bracelet or a strap, and as soon as they get a tremor, the device will be able to detect it and apply the opposite oscillations to cancel it,” he added.
Odeh said the device would be a benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease as it could limit their uncontrolled body movements.
“The range of a shake caused by Parkinson’s disease is between 3.5 to 7 hertz. The motor can vibrate in an opposite oscillation frequency which will cancel the shake of a person’s hand so they can write clearly without much shaking.
“The device may not fully reduce all of the shaking, but it can help minimise it to some degree,” Odeh added.
May 11, 2017 | Marla Paul and Megan Fellman