Promising new treatment for Parkinson’s
For the first time, researchers seem to have found a treatment that can reverse the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The study using the treatment contained only five patients, but they all were in advanced stages of the disease and all showed strong improvement. One 64-year-old patient who was in constant pain and could hardly walk before the treatment is now able to walk several miles a day, eat his own food and go bowling.
During the study, researchers dripped a protein called GDNF into the area of the brain called the “putamen.” GDNF has been used in studies on mice and primates, which also showed improvement after the treatment.
The research is still in the early stages and needs to be tested on more human beings before it’s available to the general population.
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation; Nature, April 2003