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Why Israel is Becoming a Hub for Parkinson’s Research

Why Israel is Becoming a Hub for Parkinson’s Research

April 5, 2021

Medical Research

Jewish News — Some 150 Israeli startups are developing technologies to help prevent, stop or even cure Parkinson’s.

“Parkinson’s disease is defined by degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons. That’s the pathological hallmark,” says Dr. Claude Brodski, a renowned Parkinson’s researcher at BGU.

“For many years, I’ve been interested in the embryonic development of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. My motivation was driven by the assumption that studying the origin and history of these cells will help us to better understand why dopamine-producing cells degenerate in Parkinson’s disease and how we can prevent it.”

Last November, his lab published a paper in the journal Brain demonstrating that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) prevent the degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons in Parkinson’s disease animal models. This indicates the possibility that BMPs could be novel Parkinson’s disease drug candidates.

“In Parkinson’s disease, there are many drugs that treat symptoms but no disease-modifying drug,” Brodski tells ISRAEL21c.

“Based on our findings in these animal models that BMPs could stop the progression of neurodegeneration, we’re working hard to bring it closer to the clinic.”

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