Our original article highlighting the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s interest in NRF2 activation solutions for Parkinson’s disease met with a lot of interest, so we decided to do a follow up piece highlighting an additional study that is currently underway.

This time, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has provided a grant in its search for a Parkinson’s Disease (PD) cure to Dr. Martin Martinov, PhD. His research project is entitled “Identification of Nrf2 Activators Using an In Silico Modeling Platform, Followed by Evaluation of These Compounds in an Alpha-Synuclein Model of PD”.

As demonstrated in numerous medical studies, Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the advancement of many disease conditions. This includes Parkinson’s disease (PD). The aim of this study is to determine whether the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2) induces antioxidant protection and phase II detoxification enzymes. Numerous studies have been published on Pubmed which suggests protection to vulnerable neurons through the NRF2/ARE pathway. This neuronal Nrf2 up-regulation study is considered an attractive therapeutic strategy for PD by the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Project Description:
Gradient Biomodeling, LLC claims to have identified two new potent non-toxic Nrf2 pathway activators. Their approach claims to have higher modulators than two other NRF2 activators, BHQ and Sulforaphane. Their preliminary experiments show evidence of blood brain barrier penetration.. The main objective is to determine whether these Nrf2 activators will result in neuroprotection in  pre-clinical Parkinson’s disease conditions.

Progress Report:
Thus far the experiments prove that blood brain barrier penetration takes place. Furthermore, the compounds offer protection of dopaminergic neurons in vitro. The researchers are continuing to explore methods to improve solubility of GB822 in the gut, or to bypass the gut via alternative delivery of the compound.

Nrf2 Research Moving Forward:
Nrf2 research studies will continue to be the topic of study not just for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, but also for the other hundreds of diseases associated with Oxidative Stress as well. The recent FDA’s approval of the NRF2 activator, Tecfidera for the treatment of MS symptoms will further the interest in using NRF2 activators to treat disease conditions. It is estimated that more than 4 million people have Parkinson’s Disease. Those impacted by the disease including patients, families, care providers and medical practitioners are interested in finding a solution to slow down or eradicate the disease.

This article is educational purposes only, consult with a medical professional to discuss your own medical conditions.

Visit the Michael J Fox Foundation for more information or to become more involved in finding a cure for Parkinson’s. The NRF2 Study details are on the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s web site.


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