BLOCKING A SPECIFIC PROTEIN MAY HELP PATIENTS WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Lark 2 (LRRK2) is a protein that is overactive in some patients with Parkinson’s disease. Johns Hopkins research led by Ted Dawson, a Parkinson’s expert, and colleagues, has shown that a couple of commercially available drugs can block the action of Lark 2 and preserve nerve cells in a mouse model of the disease.
DAWSON: About one to seven percent of Caucasians have mutations in Lark 2 that cause Parkinson’s disease. One of the questions that still has yet to be answered is whether Lark 2 can cause sporadic Parkinson’s. If Lark 2 is also linked to sporadic, more general common Parkinson’s disease, then developing inhibitors to Lark 2 could be beneficial to almost all patients with Parkinson’s disease. :29
Dawson says that since these drugs are already commercially available, clinical trials to assess their effects could be underway shortly. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.