Prof. Antonio Cuadrado, a world leading neuroscientist from Madrid, is Chairman of the European COST Action CA20121 entitled “Bench to bedside transition for pharmacological regulation of NRF2 in non-communicable diseases (NCDs)." This is a Network of the world's leading researchers, specialists in the Nrf2 transcription pathway, funded by the European Commission and dedicated to exploring the science and medical applications involving activating or de-activating the transcription factor Nrf2 to combat NCDs. Among these NCDs, four neurodegenerative diseases have been identified as having a common mechanism involving Nrf2. These are Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntingdon's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (motor neuron disease). Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate that can be made from broccoli seeds and is one of the most potent and most studied natural activators of Nrf2, although all isothiocyanates found in the Brassicaceae family (cruciferous vegetables), activate Nrf2 to some degree. For more than 30 months I have been developing and testing an infusion containing isothiocyanates including sulforaphane to activate Nrf2 in order to slow or reverse the progression of my own Parkinson's disease. This research led me to write a presentation article (hopefully easier to understand than a scientific paper and more fun to read), which I distributed in early July to a few leading researchers in the field in. This document outlines why I chose this line of research, how the infusion has affected my Parkinson's disease and my analysis of where I believe this therapy breaks the chain of events causing Parkinson's disease progression. It also brings to light the remarkable achievements of the fundamental research community to identify and validate the potential of the Nrf2 pathway as a target to slow or reverse neurodegenerative diseases and the utter (and most-likely deliberate) failure of the Pharmaceutical industry to recognise this pathway. Following from this, I was contacted by Prof Cuadrado who asked my permission to publish "Reflections of a Scientist with Parkinson's disease" as an "Invited Article" in his Newsletter on Nrf2 circulated to all the scientists signed up to “Bench to bedside transition for pharmacological regulation of NRF2 in non-communicable diseases (NCDs)" .
His introduction to the article is given below.
For those of you interested in the science, I would encourage you to read more about this initiative by consulting the earlier Newsletters as well as the articles on the website itself : benbedphar.org/about-benbed...
In January 2020, I was approached by Dr. Albert Wright. He is a retired British researcher based in Grenoble, France, that had been suffering from with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for more than 2 years at that time. He was looking for ways to slow or reverse his disease and, based on the available literature on the NRF2 activator sulforaphane and PD, he started to take an infusion of broccoli seeds, rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. A careful self-analysis of his disease led him to conclude that the sulforaphane-rich tea improved several PD symptoms. Unfortunately, he could not engage clinicians in the analysis of his disease progression and, due to lack of a highly controlled trial, based in school pharmacology and medicine, our letter correspondence cooled down. Recently, Albert contacted me again, as well as Dr. Albena Dinkova-Kostova, world expert in NRF2-related pharmacology, and Dr. Jed Fahey, expert in extraction of sulforaphane from Cruciferous vegetables at John Hopkins University. In these years he had organized a support group with several PD patients that were also taking a sulforaphane-rich infusion. While a carefully controlled trial is still necessary, Albert’s essay depicts a crucial problem in the NRF2 field, which is that most NRF2 activators are of natural origin and difficult to be protected with strong patents by biopharmaceutical companies. This fact represents a significant restrain in development of NRF2-related therapeutics in diseases such as PD. In other words, pharmacological research is not always focused on patients but on investors.
Chair of COST Action 20121, BenBedPhar
Autonomous University of Madrid
The link below takes you to the newsletter but not directly to the introduction to the article. On a PC, you can see the contents page and and can click on the entry labelled INVITED ARTICLE. Otherwise, scroll down the pages to find it.
A direct link to "Reflections ...." can also be found here ...
You will no doubt notice that my analysis and the final comment in Prof Cuadrado's introduction are in perfect agreement with the conclusions of the recent book entitled "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It" written by John Abramson.
I posted about this on HU last month:
In short, pharmacological research has focused on generating the maximum return for investors rather than finding a cure for Parkinson's disease.