Gold nanocrystals rescue brain deficits in Parkinson’s disease and MS in phase 2 study

A daily dose of gold nanocrystals suspended in water led to improvements in patients with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), according to results from phase two clinical trials. The treatment targets an energy imbalance that occurs in the brain, and previous animal and human studies have suggested that it could help slow neurological decline and perhaps even cause partial recovery for these patients.

“We are cautiously optimistic that we can prevent or even reverse a number of neurological disabilities with this strategy,” said Dr. Peter Sguigna, assistant professor of neurology and researcher at the Peter O’Donnell Jr. University of Texas Brain Institute. Southwest, in a statement.

If this vision were to become a reality, it would have the potential to be a game changer for thousands of people affected by neurodegeneration.

The Parkinson Foundation estimates that nearly one million people in the US suffer from Parkinson’s disease, making it the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. A similar story applies to MS. The National MS Society recently revised its estimates of the disease’s prevalence based on new data, finding that nearly one million U.S. citizens are living with MS.

One of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s and MS is a more rapid and severe decline in energy metabolism in the brain. A healthy brain requires a continuous supply of the body’s energy molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As we age, cellular activities slow down and there is less ATP available for the brain to use – and in Parkinson’s and MS this happens even faster.

Brain energy metabolism can be measured by looking at the ratio between the reduced and oxidized forms of the molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH and NAD+respectively). These are both vital components in the Krebs cycle, the multi-step cellular reaction that generates energy in the form of ATP.

Studies in cell models, animals, and human patients have suggested that this balance of NAD needs to be addressed+ and NADH could be the key to improving symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases. That’s where the gold nanocrystals come in: they can act as a catalyst to boost energy metabolism and increase NAD+/NADH ratio.

Sguigna and colleagues worked with the biopharmaceutical company Clene Nanomedicine, which was developing a gold nanoparticle treatment that could be administered orally. The experimental treatment later used in the clinical trials was called CNM-Au8.

A total of twenty-four patients were recruited: 11 with relapsing MS were enrolled in a phase two trial called REPAIR-MS, and 13 with Parkinson’s disease were enrolled in a phase two trial called REPAIR-PD. After baseline scans to assess their NAD+/NADH ratios and other indicators of brain energy metabolism, they took a daily dose of CNM-Au8 for 12 weeks.

Collectively, the patients saw an average increase of 10.4 percent in their NAD by the end of the trial+/NADH ratios, showing that the treatment had the intended effect. The levels of ATP also normalized. The Parkinson’s patients also reported improvements in some of the motor symptoms associated with the disease, suggesting that CNM-Au8 could have a real impact on their quality of life.

Importantly, none of the participants reported serious side effects.

Sguigna described the results as encouraging, but cautioned that more research is needed. The REPAIR-MS study will continue to recruit participants to see if the findings can be replicated in people with the progressive form of MS.

Drinking a brew containing real gold every day may sound like something reserved for ancient warlords or eccentric monarchs – but if further testing continues to yield promising results, there’s a real chance we’ll see these types of treatments in the near future. will see clinical use. future.

The study has been published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology.

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