Several new and innovative research projects are underway or recently completed. For example:
An international study led by Dr. Michael Schlossmacher, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Parkinson’s disease at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, has provided the first link between the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s and the hallmark accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein within the brains of people with Parkinson’s. This study provides important new insights into Parkinson’s and paves the way for new avenues for clinical trials. Dr. Schlossmacher is a neurologist at The Ottawa Hospital and a member of the Parkinson Research Consortium. See Study provides first link between two major Parkinson’s genes.
Recruitment is underway in Quebec City, Gatineau, Ottawa, London, Saskatoon and Edmonton, for 60 men and women between 35 and 75 years old who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the last two years, to participate in a phase II clinical trial to test the efficacy, safety and tolerability of CoganeTM (PYM50028) in treating early-stage Parkinson’s. Cogane is a new compound that modulates proteins in the brain that help the survival, development and function of nerve cells. The research will study whether Cogane could slow down or modify the progression of Parkinson’s. If successful, Cogane could represent a new approach to treating Parkinson’s. The study, sponsored by Phytopharm plc in the United Kingdom, is recruiting 400 participants worldwide. For more information, see Clinical Trials: Studies Seeking Participants.
At the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, clinical research scientist Dr. Isabelle Boileau is seeking 60 men and women with Parkinson’s over the age of 40 in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding communities who are taking levodopa (Sinemet or generic), to participate in a brain imaging study using PET scan and MRI to understand better the relationship between long-term levodopa treatment and treatment-induced side-effects. The study is funded by Parkinson Society Canada, Ontario Mental Health Foundation and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. For more information, see Clinical Trials: Studies Seeking Participants