Parkinson’s disease is a slow-progressing neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Early signs of shaking, loss of balance, and difficulty walking is accompanied by dementia, anxiety, sleep disorder and emotional problems in later stages. Parkinson’s disease is generally treated with L-DOPA (levodopa) or dopamine agonists to increase motor neuron function. Deep brain stimulation has been used to control involuntary movements. Parkinson’s disease affects more than 6 million people and causes more than 100,000 annual deaths worldwide. At present, there is no cure.
American Gene Technologies™ (AGT) collaborates with Ted Dawson, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to develop genetic medicines for treating and curing Parkinson’s disease. The focus of the Dawson Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University is to unravel the molecular basis of neurodegeneration and loss of specific brain neurons that underlie progression of this disease. Dr. Dawson’s team identified an important promoter of Parkinson’s disease and AGT developed genetic medicine strategies to inhibit the promoter. Together, we are testing the effectiveness of genetic medicines for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease to halt progression in adults.