Clinatec Endowment Fund investigating new treatments for Parkinson’s

Categorie(s) : Events, Innovation & Society, MINATEC, Research

Published : 4 February 2022

Deep brain stimulation and infrared illumination appear to be effective at treating Parkinson’s disease. But why? The Clinatec Endowment Fund, through a new research project called Astropark, is looking for insights the cellular mechanisms at play in neurons and astrocytes.

Deep brain stimulation, shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, has been used on tens of thousands of Parkinson’s patients since it was invented 30 years ago by Professor Alim-Louis Benabid.
Another more recently developed Parkinson’s treatment—infrared illumination—effectively slowed neurodegeneration in a preclinical trial at Clinatec that paved the way toward the world’s first clinical trial of the treatment.
Two patients have been implanted with the infrared illumination device at Clinatec since the trial started in 2021.

Astropark project backed by three donors
The Astropark project, backed by donors AG2R La Mondiale, Fondation Neurona, and Apicil, is probing the currently unexplained biological phenomena at work in the two treatments.
Specifically, the researchers are studying neurons and astrocytes (glial cells). The role these cells play in the brain is unclear but could be major in the case of neurodegenerative diseases.
CEA-Leti and Clinatec will contribute their know-how, supporting the Astropark project team on the study of the effects of infrared illumination at various wavelengths and enhancements to the illumination strategies used.
Other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, will also be addressed.


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