Use of Sprr1 A-like Protein as a Neurorestorative and Neuroprotective Agent against Neurodegeneration in Parkinson's Disease


Executive Summary


Although the precise causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) remain unclear, it has been long observed that those afflicted with the disease show widespread neurodegeneration of the central nervous system accompanied by a striking loss of dopamine producing neurons in the brain. Recent research suggests axonal degeneration of dopamine neurons may be a critical event in the early stages of PD.  Researchers at MSU have developed a novel gene therapy approach for promoting regeneration of dopamine neurons in the central nervous system, which may be the key to a more robust and successful treatment option for PD patients.


Description of Technology


SPRR1A is a gene known to facilitate axonal regeneration of sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system and to reduce the damage that ensues from neuron insults. This gene was found to play an important role in the degeneration of dopamine neurons in the brain of a PD animal model. Gene therapy-mediated manipulation of SPRR1A expression in brain regions undergoing degeneration could be used to prevent degeneration of dopamine neurons and perhaps stimulate regeneration. This approach might be useful for treating PD as well as other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or ALS.


Key Benefits

  • Disease modifying: MSU's neurorestorative therapy shows promise for both preventing degeneration of dopamine neurons as well as regenerating lost neurons, helping to alter Parkinson’s disease progression
  • Versatile: may be useful to treat a variety of neurological disorders



  • Treatment for Parkinson’s disease
  • Treatment for other neurological disorders


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Patent Status: 


Patent application published, publication number WO2016033318 


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Nicholas M. Kanaan, Jack W. Lipton, Timothy J. Collier


Tech ID: TEC2013-0022


Alternative contact due to temporary leave:


Nina (Isi) Davis, Technology Marketing Manager, email:, phone (direct): (517)884-1829. 


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Anupam Jhingran
Technology Manager
Michigan State University