Q: Can The Stress Of The Covid
A: Stress can definitely increase PD symptoms. I have discussed the relationship between stress, anxiety and PD in general before, and COVID-19 has certainly created a very stressful environment for everyone. There can be stress related to contracting the virus as well as the anxiety and concern about returning to pre-pandemic activities now that life is starting to return to normal. The stress is being felt much more acutely by older adults and those with chronic medical issues, members of the population who have an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 infection. Many people with PD experience anxiety as a non-motor feature of their PD, and many are reporting that anxiety has increased since the pandemic began. To help minimize stress and normalize the current situation, be sure to establish daily routines, continue to exercise , and stay connected with family and friends in person if youre ready, or online or on the phone. Be patient with yourself and with others.
Question: How Worried Should We Be About Virus Variants Does That Level Of Worry Change If Weve Been Vaccinated
Dr Okun: Mutations are very common in coronaviruses. Sometimes the mutations are easier to treat and sometimes they’re harder to treat. The vaccine is still active, but the longer we give the virus to continue to mutate the worse chance we have of beating this thing. This is why its important for us to get our vaccines, put our masks on and distance. If we don’t do these things and we let this virus crawl back in, and keep mutating, eventually it could beat the vaccinations. That’s why it’s so important for us to continue masking even though we are vaccinating.
Plants As ‘mini Protein Factories’
Founded in 1999, Quebec Citys Medicago is a pioneer of plant-derived therapeutics.
Its tech takes the idea of traditional vaccine manufacturing based on using eggs to produce viruses and instead uses living plants as the bioreactor that produces a protein particle that mimics the target virus.
The first step is to create the required protein particle and introduce it into a plant-specific bacterial vector. This is then taken up by plants which multiplies the vector. It takes just four to six days for the mini-factories to produce the Virus-Like-Particles compared to around six months for egg-based production .
While initial experiments had used alfalfa , today the company uses N. benthamiana plants: a relative of tobacco which has a weakened immune system meaning genetic material can be hosted rather than rejected by the plant.
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Question: My Family Refuses To Get The Vaccine What Is The Best Argument I Can Use To Try To Convince Them To Get It
Dr Okun: We can convince more people to consider the vaccine by starting out on the right foot. We have to respect each others points of view.
It’s OK for people to be scared it’s OK to question whether the safety record is there. You should be doing that. We now know that people who are vaccinated very rarely die of COVID-19-related complications statistically close to zero. I think that’s a powerful fact.
Almost everybody wants the information. If you can share the information with them and have a positive dialogue and respect their points of view, I think more people will come around to the vaccine, particularly as the safety record continues to evolve. Sharing with people that you respect their decision and that you are grateful to have a dialogue will take us farther in overcoming vaccine hesitancy than shouting and fighting.
What Are The Differences Between Available Vaccines
Dr. Okun: Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are distributed in the U.S. and in other countries, with 94 and 95 percent effectiveness. Both require two dosages and need to be stored at incredibly low temperatures the Pfizer vaccine requiring an even lower storage temperature than the Moderna vaccine making distribution and storage a challenge. These two vaccines belong to a new treatment approach called messenger RNA vaccines, which create a COVID-19 defense system.
Other vaccines are in development around the world and most work more like a traditional vaccine . They send instructions through DNA, teaching the immune system how to respond to COVID-19. There are several vaccines in early development, but these have the most available information:
- OxfordAstraZeneca: distributed in the U.K. with ~70 percent effectiveness. It works in two dosages. The major benefit to this vaccine is that it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures. The vaccine may be more effective if a weakened first shot is followed a few weeks later by a standard dose.
- Sinovac and Sinopharm: created in China with ~78-80 percent effectiveness using two dosages. There is limited data on these vaccines. Sinovac is currently in late-stage trials in other countries.
- Sputnik V: distributed in Russia and works using two dosages. Early reports are of ~92 percent effectiveness. However, there is limited data on this vaccine.
Regulatory Process Under Way With Health Canada Fda And Mhra
Medicago started a rolling review for the candidate in April with Health Canada and will now seek regulatory approval imminently.
It has also initiated the regulatory filing process for the vaccine with the US FDA and UK MHRA while preliminary discussions are underway with the WHO in preparation of a submission to the organization.
Medicago has also initiated Phase 1/2 trial in Japan where it plans to submit for regulatory approval in combination with the Phase 2/3 global study results next spring.
What Is Required To Induce A Good Immunomodulating Therapy
We know that CD4+CD25+Foxp3 regulatory T cells inhibit autoimmunity and protect against tissue injury, in the case of PD, against neuronal death caused by the aggregation of -syn. Thus the best therapy for the treatment of PD appears to be the one that approaches enhancing Treg cell functions to restore tolerance to -syn and thereby protect the neurons against the detrimental chronic inflammatory response mounted by the immune system as a response to -syn toxicity. Tolerance still remains a fundamental concept of modern immunology and one has to consider that the induction of Treg could be coupled to therapeutic IgG production. B cells can also influence the T cell response indirectly by modulating DCs and both effects are probably mediated by IL-10 production. Alternatively, B cells could be directly involved in the generation of Tregs: Mann, et al., found that B cell deficiency resulted in a delay in the emergence of Foxp3 expressing Treg cells and IL-10 in the CNS during EAE, but not in the periphery, and that reconstitution with wild type B cells resulted in disease recovery and normalized IL-10 and Foxp3 expression.
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Parkinson’s Treatment Shows Positive Results In Clinical Testing
Researchers from the University of Florida and 14 additional medical centers reported results today in the online version of The Lancet Neurology journal indicating that deep brain stimulation also known as DBS is effective at improving motor symptoms and quality of life in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
The study, sponsored by St. Jude Medical Inc., tested the safety and effectiveness of a constant current DBS device developed by St. Jude Medical to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The device aimed to reduce tremors, improve the slowness of movement, decrease the motor disability of the disease and reduce involuntary movements called dyskinesia, which are a common side effect of Parkinson’s drugs.
After treatment, analysis of 136 patient diaries revealed longer periods of effective symptom control known as “on time” without involuntary movements. “On time” for patients who received stimulation increased by an average of 4.27 hours compared with an increase of 1.77 hours in the group without stimulation. Patients also noted overall improvements in the quality of their daily activities, mobility, emotional state, social support and physical comfort.
Today’s voltage-controlled DBS devices deliver pulses of current that vary slightly with surrounding tissue changes. The DBS devices tested in this study are intended to provide more accurate delivery and control of the electrical pulses.
Therapeutic Immunization Protects Dopaminergic Neurons In A Mouse Model Of Parkinson’s Disease
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Q: I Received The Covid
A: The vaccine is certainly able to cause short term side effects of fatigue, aches and even fever. There isnt extensive data yet on how it affects PD symptoms, just anecdotal data. For some people, PD symptoms are worse in the short term. This does not mean that your PD has progressed, and I would expect that you will return to your previous baseline in the next few days. I would talk with your neurologist about your worsened tremor as well.
Is It More Difficult To Recover From Covid
Stay up to date with Parkinson’s and COVID-19 information at Parkinson.org/COVID19.
Dr. Okun: Data suggests that having Parkinsons means a more difficult COVID-19 recovery. Since this virus is still actively spreading, we are collecting tons of data on COVID-19 patients. A study from The Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence, showed that people with Parkinsons who contracted COVID-19 had a 30 percent increased risk of mortality from the virus.
What Are The Most Common Covid
Dr. Okun: We are just starting to get the information on clinical Parkinsons symptoms and COVID-19. One study in Milan, Italy, reported that motor and non-motor symptoms seemed to worsen with COVID-19, and that medication adjustments were required in a third of people with PD and COVID-19. Researchers hypothesized that the COVID-19 infection, the Parkinsons medications, and the immune system, together create a perfect storm to worsen Parkinsons symptoms. The most common symptoms encountered were urinary issues, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and confusion. We are seeing many patients who survive COVID-19 and require that their PD medications be adjusted. Similarly, we are also finding that in the hospital, a neurologist with expertise in Parkinsons can help in decision making for those with COVID-19.
Affiris Michael J Fox Foundation Report Positive Results On Pd01a Parkinson’s Vaccine
By Cyndi Root
AFFiRiS announced in a press release that a study on PD01A, a Parkinsons disease vaccine, has shown positive results. The research, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research , met its primary endpoint as two different doses of PD01A were well tolerated and safe. AFFiRiS and MJFF intend to conduct a follow-up study in Vienna, Austria starting in September on the immunological and clinical effects of a boost vaccination, and then proceed to Phase II trials.
Walter Schmidt, PhD, Co-founder and CEO of AFFiRiS, said, “The safety and tolerability observed in this study, especially in a protein such as alpha-synuclein where we do not yet know its normal function, are encouraging. We are grateful for the continued support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation as we progress in clinical development.”
AFFiRiS’ proprietary therapeutic vaccine, PD01A, was evaluated in the AFF008 trial. PD01A is an immunotherapy vaccine against Parkinsons disease that targets the protein alpha-synuclein. The agent produces alpha-synuclein-specific antibodies that are measurable in serum samples and cerebrospinal fluid. MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD., said of the study results, “A treatment that could slow or stop Parkinsons progression would be a game changer for the five million worldwide living with this disease and the many more who will become at risk as our population ages.
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Ac Immune Announces Strategic Acquisition Of Industry
All stock acquisition & PIPE maintains and enhances AC Immune’s strong cash position.
ACIU moves to the forefront of Parkinson’s drug development
All-stock transaction maintains AC Immunes strong cash position
USD 25 million private placement led by premier investor Athos Service GmbH
Transactions expand and accelerate AC Immunes therapeutic development in Parkinsons disease
AC Immune to immediately launch clinical development of acquired vaccineinto an adaptive, biomarker-based Phase 2 study in Parkinsons disease
Conference call scheduled today at 8:30 am ET / 2:30 pm CET
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 27, 2021 — AC Immune SA , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that it is acquiring Affiris portfolio of therapeutics targeting alpha-synuclein , notably Affiris PD01, a clinically-validated active vaccine candidate for the treatment of Parkinsons disease, as well as cash. The all-stock asset acquisition is valued at USD 58.7 million. AC Immunes cash position, as well as the Companys investor base, is also being strengthened by a total of USD 30 million in gross proceeds stemming from the asset acquisition and a parallel financing that are adding Athos Service GmbH , First Capital Partner GmbH 1 and MIG Fonds2, the lead investors in Covid-19 vaccine innovator BioNTech SE, as new AC Immune shareholders.
Figures accompanying this announcement are available at:
Immunotherapeutic Strategies For Pd
During the last decade the study of the access of immune cells, such T-cells, into the CNS has been extensively developed . Pioneering work from several researchers is now being exploited to design novel therapies aiming at T-cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
The current PD immunoregulatory therapies based on vaccine design can be divided into 2 strategies: One is based on generating antibodies against -syn,,, and the other one aims at the induction of a particular T cell response to modulate the neuroinflammatory response.,,,,- The first strategy has as primary goal the removal of -syn aggregates, as it is has been shown that this will modify the course of the disease.,, The second strategy targets microglia, as neuroinflammation has long been recognized to exacerbate the disease . A summary of all the recently designed immunotherapies used in experimental animal PD models is presented in .
Table 3. Immunotherapeutical strategies used in PD animal models
Abbreviations: DA, dopamine -syn, -synuclein DAT, dopamine transporter SN, Substantia nigra Tg, transgenic Ab, antibodies ko, knock out VIP, vasoactive intestinal peptide GM-CSF, Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor TH, Thyrosin Hydroxylasa N.A., not applicable.
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Question: The Parkinsons Foundation Recently Posted A Covid
Dr. Okun: The highest COVID-19 mortality rates are among the elderly, so many countries including the United States, Europe and the Netherlands have prioritized vaccinations in people over 65. Many of the elderly population reside in nursing homes. The vaccine makes a lot of sense for most cases of elderly people and for people at nursing homes.
The Dutch study is specifically referring to handful of rare exceptions extremely frail or terminally ill people, or those who dont want their lives prolonged. There are also a group of people who cannot consent due to memory loss and dementia.
Its important to talk to your doctor. Its also important to have the conversation: What do you think this person would want us to do if they had capacity to consent? If the goal is prolonging life and preventing COVID-19, the vaccination might be the answer. For people who are terminally ill, very frail and at the end of life, you could make an argument that you should talk about it before administering a vaccine that could prolong their life.
What Do People With Parkinsons Need To Bring With Them For Their Vaccine Appointment
Dr. Okun: Take your personal information and medication list. If you are prone to fainting, let the nurse know. For the second shot, bring the card issued to you on the first shot, so that the vaccine administration can be documented. Take a picture of the card once you have both shots so that you always have a copy.
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Question: When Should I Get The Vaccine If I Tested Positive For Covid
Dr. Okun: We don’t have the exact answer to that question, but we’re starting to get some clarity. If you had COVID-19 you should still be vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control is looking at this question. We dont know how long its safe to not be vaccinated after youve recovered from COVID-19 or how long does the protection last. We are assessing whether an unvaccinated previously affected person can be with someone who’s vaccinated and for how long they may get protection from having had the actual COVID-19 virus.
We have seen people with COVID-19 infection who do not have antibodies a few months down the road. The CDC is examining this issue but in general we recommend that people with Parkinsons who had COVID-19 get vaccinated 6-8 weeks after the infection. This may change with more guidance from the CDC.
Things are evolving quickly in the field and we want to make sure that we get you as much information as we can in-real time, so be sure to frequently check Parkinson.org/COVID19 for updates on the COVID-19 vaccination.
April 2020 World Parkinsons Day: Affiris Developing Pd01 To Treat Parkinson’s Disease A Major Unmet Medical Need
World Parkinsons Day: AFFiRiS developing PD01 to treat Parkinsons disease, a major unmet medical need
Vienna, Austria, April 9, 2020 AFFiRiS, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel disease-modifying specific active immunotherapies for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, joins people around the world to raise awareness of Parkinsons disease and the need to increase the efforts in the development of innovative treatment options.
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disease that results from a progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain. A diagnosis of PD is life-changing for patients, as increasingly debilitating and distressing problems with movement and mental function can develop. As the disease progresses, patients may require assistance for most activities of daily living, which places a profound emotional and physical strain on family members. An estimated 710 million people worldwide live with Parkinsons disease.
James Parkinson first described the disease in 1817 as the Shaking Palsy. Since 1997, World Parkinsons Day has been recognized annually on Parkinsons birthday, April 11th, and April has been designated as Parkinsons Awareness Month.
Currently available treatments aim to control the symptoms, not stop or reverse disease progression. Parkinsons disease as well as some other neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the accumulation of the protein alpha-synuclein in neuronal or non-neuronal cells of the brain.
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