Cancer drug can reverse Parkinson’s, dementia

Washington D.C: A groundbreaking new study has found that a drug that is typically used to battle leukemia could help Parkinson’s or dementia patients.

The FDA-approved drug for leukemia improved cognition, motor skills and non-motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia in a small phase I clinical trial, report researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington.

In addition, the drug, nilotinib (Tasigna by Novartis), led to statistically significant and encouraging changes in toxic proteins linked to disease progression (biomarkers).

Researcher Fernando Pagan said that this study represents the first time a therapy appears to reverse, to a greater or lesser degree depending on stage of disease, cognitive and motor decline in patients with these neurodegenerative disorders, but it is critical to conduct larger and more comprehensive studies before determining the drug’s true impact.

Complete data has been presented at Neuroscience 2015, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Chicago.