Drug development for neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common form, needs to focus on patients early in the disease, not those where brain damage has already occurred.
Diagnosing and treating patients more effectively earlier will, even if you aren’t able to instigate a cure, offer the ability to modify the disease progression and slow or delay when brain damage occurs. In the case of Alzheimer’s, once the amyloid plaques (tangles of misshapen proteins) have accumulated in nervous tissue, it has so far been impossible to untangle or remove them.
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Yesterday, I posted the first part of my interview with Dr Todd Sherer, Chief Program Officer at the Michael J Fox Foundation.
Next week, I will be posting the second part of the interview that discusses the significant research the foundation is funding on biomarkers that can help the diagnosis of the disease and monitor its progression.
If you are interested in learning more about the latest developments around Parkinson’s disease biomarkers, then you may wish to consider the April 27, 2011 webinar from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on the “Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease: The Challenges and Potential of New Biomarkers.”
Moderated by Dr Todd Sherer, the webinar will discuss the only FDA approved biomarker, DaTscan that provides for imaging of dopamine transporters at dopaminergic nerve terminals in the nigrostriatal pathway. It will also discuss the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) that the foundation is funding.
Today is the deadline to take advantage of the early bird discounts on offer for this webinar.