Health

OHSU takes 'different approach' to treating Parkinson's

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- More than 1.5 million people in the US are affected by Parkinson's disease, but a new study from OHSU shows a new immunotherapy treatment may stop it from progressing.

The results of a clinical trial were just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology. In their release, OHSU said: "The initial study included 80 participants given intravenous infusions every four weeks and then monitored over 24 weeks. It found that participants safely tolerated the therapy and that it was effective in targeting the alpha-synuclein proteins."

"It's newsworthy because it's a different approach to Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Joe Quinn, a professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine. "I'm optimistic. Yeah, I am."

There are 3 phases of the clinical trial, Quinn explained.

Phase 1 of the clinical trial is over, Phase 2 is actively recruiting patients, and whether Phase 3 gets underway depends on how patients respond to the treatment during Phase 2 of the trial, Quinn said.

One of the patients who took part in the Phase 1 trial was Dr. Tolman, a 59-year-old neurologist whose Parkinson's disease diagnosis in 2013 ended his career.

Quinn said neither he nor Tolman know whether he got the treatment or the placebo during his treatment, "but we're both anxious to find out."

OHSU and other medical centers across the US is now looking for people who have an early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease to take part in Phase 2.

Quinn would like those people to call OHSU directly at 503.418.4387.


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