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Parkinson S Disease

July 10, 2005
Regarding "Study Adds to Dispute Over Drug by Amgen," July 2: Amgen spokeswoman Andrea Rothschild stated that the ability of clinical trial participants with Parkinson's disease to perform day-to-day tasks did not improve when treated with GDNF. This statement is not only incorrect and misleading but also a threat to the public's health, given the crippling effects of Parkinson's disease. Multiple clinical trial participants who received GDNF reported significant physical functioning improvements, including substantial gains in the ability to walk, bathe and feed themselves.
July 2, 2005 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
An Amgen Inc. drug at the center of a dispute over its use by Parkinson's disease patients spurred growth of brain cells in one sufferer, suggesting that it might benefit others, according to research released Friday. The report, written by a team of British doctors and published in the journal Nature Medicine, marked the first time that the drug GDNF had been shown to stimulate cell growth in humans.
June 23, 2005 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
A second set of participants in an aborted clinical trial has filed a federal lawsuit against Amgen Inc., seeking access to an experimental Parkinson's disease drug. Amgen withdrew the drug in September, saying it was no better than a placebo and could be harmful. The patients said the drug GDNF had helped them. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Ky., by eight patients who were treated at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
June 8, 2005 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
A federal judge in New York has refused to order Amgen Inc. to provide an experimental and potentially risky drug to two Parkinson's disease patients who once received the medicine in a clinical trial. The patients plan to appeal U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel's decision, said Kristen Suthers, daughter of patient Robert Suthers. Castel, in a written ruling Monday, said patients Suthers and Niwana Martin were "courageous" to participate in the Amgen trial.
May 27, 2005 | From Associated Press
A judge said Thursday that he would soon decide whether to force Amgen Inc. to give two people with Parkinson's disease an experimental drug that the biotechnology company insisted could harm them. Amgen ended a clinical trial for GDNF last year after it "made the decision that the drug presented an unreasonable risk," the company's attorney, Mark Gately, told U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel at a hearing in Manhattan.
February 17, 2005 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Just days after Amgen Inc. said it would stop supplying patients an experimental drug for Parkinson's disease, a research team from the University of Kentucky reported in a medical journal that the medicine worked in a clinical trial. Don M. Gash, an author of the study, said he hoped Amgen would reconsider its decision and provide the trial drug to 48 patients who participated in company-supported studies.
February 12, 2005 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
As his condition worsened from Parkinson's disease two years ago, Roger Thacker gave up working his sheep farm in Troy, Ky. But everything changed when Thacker began taking an experimental drug from Amgen Inc. He became strong enough to hike through his fields and perform his old farm chores. "It was a miracle," said Thacker, now 65. But Amgen said Friday it would no longer provide the drug, called GDNF, to the 48 patients who had been receiving it.
January 22, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that is linked to about 5% of inherited cases of Parkinson's disease. The mutation in the recently discovered LRRK2 gene is one of five genetic defects linked to the progressive nervous system disorder and could lead to improved diagnosis and the development of a genetic test. The researchers' findings were reported in the international medical journal the Lancet.
March 10, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
A 75-year-old man who was reported missing over the weekend was found Tuesday when a homeowner in East Long Beach heard moans in his backyard, police said. Kenneth Charles Heilman, who has Parkinson's disease, left his home for a doctor's appointment Friday and disappeared.
March 9, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
Long Beach police are seeking the public's help in finding a 75-year-old man with Parkinson's disease who has been missing since Friday. Kenneth Charles Heilman left his home on Tevis Avenue for a 4 p.m. doctor's visit near Clark Avenue and Atherton Street. On Monday, police found his Saturn along the route to his doctor's office. Heilman is white, 5 feet 10, with a patch of gray hair and a mustache. He also has diabetes and needs medicine.
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