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Temporal and spatial control of drugs for improved treatment of brain disorders

27 months
Approved budget:
Professor John Reynolds
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Explorer Grant
Lay summary
Our vision is to revolutionise treatment for neurological diseases, using a novel system we have designed to mimic normal neuro-chemical signalling in the brain. In this proof-of-concept study, we will reinstate the missing dopamine signal in Parkinson's disease (PD) by activating the release of dopamine-like drugs from biological carriers ('liposomes') in targeted brain areas at natural timing. We aim to restore movement to an animal PD model without the debilitating side effects associated with current dopamine-replacement therapies. L-DOPA, the mainstay in PD therapy, induces abnormal movements ('dyskinesias') in up to 50-80% of people within 3-5 years of commencing treatment. In addition, other dopamine-like drugs induce aberrant behaviours, such as pathological gambling, in 3-10% of people. Our system holds the promise of lifelong PD treatment without these side effects, because dopamine replacement can be customised to mimic the natural dopamine signal in targeted brain areas.