This last week saw the annual International Congress of Parkinson's and Movement Disorders which was held in Nice, France (September 22nd-26th). This is one of the largest gatherings of Parkinson's and movement disorder specialists each year, and it is an opportunity to get together and share new data and ideas related to Parkinson's and associated conditions.

At the meeting, Professor Michael Schwarzschild (Harvard Medical School) gave a lecture presentation on the current state of clinical trials for disease modification in Parkinson's. In his talk, Prof. Schwarzschild gave special emphasis to The Cure Parkinson's Trust's (CPT) Linked Clinical Trials initiative (Prof. Schwarzschild is a committee member). This is a clinical trial programme, run in partnership with the Van Andel Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan) which currently has 16 drugs in 17 clinical trials for disease modification in Parkinson's.

Another researcher at the conference, Dr Ziv Gan-Or (McGill University in Canada), discussed CPT's Ambroxol clinical trial in his lecture. Dr Gan-Or's talk provided an overview of a specific subtype of Parkinson's - called GBA-associated Parkinson's - that is linked with a genetic risk factor. The genetic mutation causes problems with a protein called GCase, which is involved in breaking down waste in cells. Ambroxol (a respiratory medication) has been shown to correct this GCase activity, and this drug is now being re-purposed for Parkinson's in an ongoing clinical trial programme.

The meeting was also welcomed opportunity for the research team at CPT to catch up with the scientists who are conducting our ongoing clinical trials and to organise and plan future trials of drugs that were prioritised in the 2019 Linked Clinical Trials meeting last month.

Find out more about the LCT programme.