GVs Tom Isaacs (Parkinson’s sufferer) playing with his dog in the garden
c.u. dog with frisby
mid – Tom Isaacs
wide – Tom & dog
Tom Isaacs suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. Diagnosed 12 years ago, Tom is evidence of the fact that, although Parkinson’s is seen as a disease of old age, it can occur in much younger sections of the population.
This year marks the 190th
anniversary of James Parkinson’s seminal “Essay on the Shaking Palsy”, identifying the disease that came to bear his name.
So, what exactly is Parkinson’s Disease?
00:24 SOT: Ray Chaudhuri, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Movement Disorders, King’s College London
– “Parkinson’s Disease is a condition whereby there is a slowly progressive loss of cells in certain areas of the brain which contains mainly a chemical called dopamine but there are other chemicals also affected. Clinically this leads to a condition which is characterised by slowness of movement, stiffness of joints, a tremor, difficulty in turning and difficulty in mobility. It also affects other parts of living for instance speech, writing, bladder and bowel function and so on”.
00:58 SOT: Tom Isaacs, MD Movers & Shakers (Parkinson’s related charity) and a Parkinson’s Disease patient
– “Parkinson’s is all consuming, it affects you 24/7. It’s a disease which takes hold of your life and is really with you every moment of every day and it affects your control over your life and having no control over your life is quite difficult to deal with….it’s… Parkinson’s is something that changes throughout the day so that your physical symptoms are constantly changing so you don’t know how you’re going to be at any certain time”.
Exteriors, King’s College London
c.u. KCL sign
wide – students on campus
c.u plaque commemorating Princess of Wales visit
Interior, Laboratory and researcher at work
Here at King’s College London, researchers have long been in the vanguard of the fight against this debilitating disease. Their spinout company, Proximagen Neuroscience, has been internationally recognised for its innovative work; developing novel approaches to treatment and testing to relieve the most severe symptoms and side-effects of this neurodegenerative condition.
01:55 SOT: Peter Jenner, Professor of Pharmacology, King’s College London
and Chief Scientific Officer for Proximagen– “We established a spin out company called Proximagen at King’s College in London because we had intellectual property that we felt was not being exploited and that could be used to produce new drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.
c.u. researcher at microscope
c.u. adjusting microscope
wide – microscope & data on computer
Now they’ve received significant funding from the Michael J Fox Foundation, an organisation set up by the Hollywood actor, diagnosed with Parkinson’s while still in his early thirties.
It’s Proximagen’s PRX-4 programme that has attracted the funding.
02:24 SOT: Peter Jenner
– “What we’ve done is to discover a protein in the brain that seems to be an endogenous neuroprotectant and which is deficient in Parkinson’s Disease and we’ve shown that fragments of this protein are highly protective against cell death and we’ve some very interesting data both in vitro and in vivo showing that these protein fragments in fact are highly potent in stopping the death of dopaminergic cells and we’re very optimistic that they may be useful in Parkinson’s Disease and, in fact, very recently we’ve gained a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to try and put the gene for this protein into a viral-vector and deliver that viral-vector directly into the brain and to produce the protein osteo-pointing within the brain and to utilise its neuroprotective effects in Parkinson’s Disease but there is also in fact a chance that the same protein might be used in Althzeimers disease, motor-neuron disease multiple sclerosis and also for a stroke so this is really quite a wide spread programme
wide. - Tom Isaacs showing hand tremor
c.u. – hand tremor
GVs – researcher in laboratory
Wide – Professor Jenner with researcher
c.u. - “ “ “ “
c.u. info on computer screen
GVs L Dopa patch production (pictures provided by Schwarz Pharma Ltd)
c.u. L Dopa patch (pictures provided by Schwarz Pharma Ltd)
Parkinson’s Disease affects one in 500 of the general population – but may be as high as one in twenty among those over 80. In the UK some 120,000 people have Parkinson’s at any one time; in the USA there will be up to a million sufferers.
Though it is increasingly recognised that it can affect younger people it is primarily a disease of the old; with increasingly aging populations in many countries, Parkinson’s is set to become a major health issue - experts predicting anything up to a trebling of those affected!
The work at King’s College London and Proximagen is a key component in fighting the disease. Professor Jenner and his team have been instrumental in improving the delivery of L Dopa, widely acknowledged as the best drug for treating Parkinson’s Disease. They’ve been able to produce a derivative which is much longer lasting and avoids many of the common side effects currently experienced by patients.
They’ve also been at the forefront of the development of non oral treatments for the disease – but with all this innovation and targeted research are we any closer to a cure for this terrible illness?
04:27 SOT: Peter Jenner
– “There’s been a lot of progress in understanding what causes the disease, we are moving forward with treatments which we hope will protect against the progression of the illness, if they don’t stop it then certainly we hope we will slow it. We found new ways of treating Parkinson’s Disease, the use of gene therapies viral vectors included is one way of doing that and of course we all have great hopes that in the future and I think it will be in the quite distant future that stem cell therapies also might become available and then they too could become utilised in controlling Parkinson’s Disease. None of the neuro-degenerative diseases is easy, they are very complex diseases but I think we are really making progress in going forward”.
05:10 End of cut item
SOT: Tom Isaacs – “I think we can beat Parkinson’s, people define the word cure in different ways and for me a cure would be to live independently for the rest of my life, that would be cure enough for me and I think there is a real prospect of that.”
SOT: Ray Choudrey - “King’s College has been a leader in motor disorders from way back and certainly the work in Professor Jenner’s department has lead the way in terms of pharmacological discoveries and breaking barriers in that field. Work in our own group has also lead the way in non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s and how that can be measured and thereafter treatment initiated so I would like to think that the research and the clinical material that we’re producing here is actually defining new boundaries for Parkinson’s Disease
Additional shots – Tom Isaacs and dog