Exciting News!!

Imatinib in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Imatinib Mesylate, first marketed by Novartis as Gleevec, is a blockbuster drug due to its high potency in curing some forms of cancer, including Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). But the big news for Neurologists – and for acute ischemic stroke victims – is that Imatinib has shown promise in extending the time window for t-PA thrombolysis; in addition, it protects the Blood Brain Barrier in the acute stage, thereby helping to reduce edema, neuronal damage, and hemorrhagic transformation which are related to a direct of t-PA; Read this for a more detailed explanation of how this happens: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors as a New Therapy for Ischemic Stroke and other Neurologic Diseases: Is there any Hope for a Better Outcome?

 Stem Cell Therapy in Parkinson Disease

In what appears to be a major breakthrough, neurosurgeons in Kyoto University, Japan’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), have reported successfully transplanted induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS), which can be obtained from blood or skin, thereby avoiding the controversy surrounding Embryonic Stem Cells – into Monkey brains, and confirmed the findings using non-invasive techniques like MRI and PET – scanning. The importance of this breakthrough stems from the fact that with iPS, we are no longer limited as to the source of such cells; and by matching the monkeys for Major Histocompatibility Complex, the researchers were able to use much lower doses of immunosuppressive therapy to prevent rejection; in human studies, which are expected to start by end of next year, the scientists expect that HLA – matching would have a similar benefit; we may be a few short years from seeing clinical application of stem cell therapy in Parkinson Disease