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New therapeutics for Parkinson's

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded research programme

(European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, MSCA grant agreement No 890290)

BMPARK is studying the therapeutic potential of Neurotrophic factors in Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1% of people over the age of 65 years. This amounts to 1.2 million people in Europe and this number is expected to double by 2030. The progressive loss of dopamine producing neurons in the midbrain leads to the characteristic motor symptoms of Parkinson's. Unfortunately, there are no therapies that stop the progressive loss of these neurons.

BMPARK investigates the neuroprotective therapeutic potential of a neurotrophic factor called BMP2. Neurotrophic factors are naturally secreted proteins that play critical roles during nervous system development and in neuronal survival and axon maintenance in the adult brain. As such, application of neurotrophic factors to the Parkinson brain has the potential to slow down or halt the on-going neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease. 

Recent work from BDRG has shown that BMP2 treatment promoted neurite growth in the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line, a model of human midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and in primary cultures of rat dopaminergic neurons. BMP2 also promoted neurite growth in these models treated with neurotoxins 6-OHDA or MPP+, that are commonly used to produce pre-clinical models of Parkinson's Disease; and in cells overexpressing the protein α-synuclein, whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of Parkinson's Disease.

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