Researchers at the University of Leeds are one step closer to developing a new treatment for Parkinson’s, thanks to a £150,000 research grant from Parkinson’s UK.
This new research will allow Dr James Duce and his team to investigate whether a drug known as PBT434 that targets iron may have potential as a new and better Parkinson’s drug. Higher levels of iron have been found inside certain parts of the brain of people with Parkinson’s.
The researchers say PBT434 prevents alpha synuclein from aggregating and also prevents the toxic consequences of iron combining with dopamine. Dr Duce has published extensively on the role of iron in both the healthy and diseased brain. The funds will be used over 18 months to study the mechanism of action of PBT434 in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian syndromes. In particular the ability of PBT434 to reduce the elevated iron levels in the Parkinsonian brain, attenuate oxidative stress and alter the function or abundance of iron regulated proteins.