Maggie Kuhl talks with scientists on the potential role of the immune system and inflammation in Parkinson’s and how studying this connection could help us better define, measure, and treat disease.
Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of many diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases. As evidence grows that inflammation in the brain contributes to the development and progression of Parkinson’s.
Inflammation is more complicated than “good” or “bad.” It has important immune system functions, such as fighting off infection. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it can also damage brain cells. In Parkinson’s, evidence suggests that chronic inflammation appears early and continues throughout the disease course.
One study focussed on reducing inflammation was conducted at the University of Queensland and funded by Shake It Up Australia Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Through the success of the initial study, the drug is now being commercialised by a company called Inflazome.
Prof. Matt Cooper, Co-founder and CEO of Inflazome, commented: “We are indebted to The Michael J. Fox and Shake It Up Australia Foundations for supporting this work.
Phase 1 clinical trials with healthy volunteers are underway and expected to complete in Dec 2019, with phase 2 trials in Parkinson’s patients scheduled for 2020.