Gene Therapy in Parkinson's Disease

Ph Hantraye’ Conference at the Mediatheque of Fontenay aux Roses 

Philippe Hantraye is a Director of Research at the CNRS. He is the director of MIRCen, a research center dedicated to imaging and advanced therapies in neurodegenerative diseases.


Gene therapy is a way to treat the symptoms of many neurodegenerative diseases without cure to date. Years of research on Parkinson's disease at MIRCen led to the first clinical trial for gene therapy on 15 patients. It was thus shown that the treatment results in the reprogramming of neurons to produce the molecule whose concentration is severely reduced as the disease advances causing the well-known clinical symptoms. This conference provides an update on research in the field of gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

The left MRI image, indicates the anatomical areas in which the vector has been injected. The images in the center and to the right showing the MRI (gray) overlapped to the PET scan (color) of a patient, highlight the reprogramming of neurons through the viral vector to produce dopamine. In these images, the closer the scale is to the green color, the higher the level of dopamine produced by neurons in the striatum.