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The research, funded by Parkinson's UK, reveals that an experimental drug, tasquinimod, originally developed for prostate cancer, may have the potential to treat Parkinson's disease.

Parkinsons stem cell 2
Image taken by the team of Parkinson’s stem cell-derived neurons growing

The Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre team, in a study led by Professor Richard Wade-Martins and Professor Caleb Webber, have found compelling evidence that an experimental cancer drug may have the potential to treat Parkinson's disease.

Their research, funded by Parkinson's UK, suggests that tasquinimod, a drug not yet on the market, works by interacting with a key protein inside brain cells called HDAC4. This interaction controls the activity of genes that may be critical in the development of Parkinson's. 

The team are using pioneering stem cell techniques to grow brain cells from skin cell samples, donated by both people with and without the condition.

 

More information is available on the Parkinson's UK website and the Parkinson's UK Research Blog

More detail is also available on The University of Oxford website.

Read the full Cell Stem Cell paper here.