RVC and UCL to pioneer research into Parkinson's disease
A pioneering study into the causes and progression of Parkinson's disease is to be carried out by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in collaboration with University College London (UCL).
The news follows a $7 million grant from Aligning Science Across Parkinson's (ASAP), an initiative that fosters collaboration and resources to better understand the underlying causes of this debilitating disease.
Researchers will use the funding to explore the possibilities of future prevention and treatment of Parkinson's. Specifically, the team will investigate the role of the LRRK2 gene - one of the most common genetic causes of the disease and a priority drug target.
Dr Patrick Lewis, Professor of Neuroscience at the RVC, said: “The Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s foundation grants represents a new way of approaching research into Parkinson’s, with the clear goal of accelerating progress in our understanding of this disorder. It is a real privilege to be involved in this initiative.”
Parkinson's is a progressive brain disorder that causes slowness, stiffness, tremors and walking and balance problems. The condition affects more than 130,000 people in the UK alone, and the only current available treatments help to alleviate symptoms, but not slow progression of the disease.
Professor Jonathan Elliott, vice-principal (Research and Innovation) at the RVC, said: “The RVC is delighted to be part of this large collaborative effort to advance treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. Neurodegenerative conditions significantly impact on the quality of life of our ageing human population in the UK and Professor Lewis’ role in this collaboration is exciting in its potential to uncover new drug targets to slow progressive loss of functioning neurons."