Junming Wang, PhDAssociate Professor of PathologyAdjunct Assistant Professor of PsychiatryAdjunct Assistant Professor Pharmacology and ToxicologyView profile
Michael J. Fox Foundation Nearly one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a devastating movement disorder with 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year. While the restorative/protective therapies using transplanted exogenous neural stem/progenitor cells obtained some positive results, there are several drawbacks to this strategy including: the complexity of surgery, immune response, low rate of cell survival, low functional differentiation, risk of overgrowth, adverse effects such as dyskinesia, and ethical issues regarding the use of transplanted exogenous cells. This project is designed to test allopregnanolone (3Î±-hydroxy-5Î±-pregnan-20-one), a neurogenic steroid able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, as a novel therapeutic strategy to promote the generation of endogenous dopaminergic neurons to slow or reverse the symptoms of PD. The current data support that this study may qualify as a preclinical translational investigation to generate proof of concept evidence for human trials.
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