UPDATE: April 12, 2012. As reported by Sky News in the UK, researchers report what they believe is a potential breakthrough in Parkinson’s disease treatment. This is a single-injection futuristic gene therapy treatment. A team of scientists at Oxford, Sky News reports, just completed an early gene trial with 15 people in Cambridge, UK and France.
The treatment, a medicine scientists call ProSavin, is essentially a virus that, when injected into the stratium area of the brain, helps to reprogram cells so they create more of the chemical dopamine. A lack of dopamine — and the death of brain cells that produce Dopamine — is at the heart of Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorder. Without sufficient dopamine and dopamine-producing cells, those with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty moving, a situation that worsens over time.
The treatment — still early in the clinical trials — looks extremely promising, according to Dr. Philip Buttery of The Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair. Said Stuart Naylor of Oxford BioMedica: “Rather than popping lots of tablets, the idea of a single shot therapy, single shot treatment … single shot placement .. of a gene therapy that provides that long term therapeutic correction is something that hasn’t ever been experienced before in medicine.
Researchers in San Francisco reported another major finding for Parkinson’s Disease treatment in early February. See below.
Gladstone-UCSF researchers report a major “breakthrough” in Parkinson’s disease research.
They’ve identified a protein that “exacerbates” Parkinson’s symptoms and say it will “one day lead to new treatments for people who suffer fom this devastating neurodegenerative illness.”
Discovery of the protein could lead to dramatically improved Parkinson’s therapy, with medications not involving dopamine replacement but blocking the protein that worsens the ailment.
Parkinson’s Disease afflicts 5 to ten million people worldwide.
The announcement came from Gladstone Institutes, an institution affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco medical school and research facility here in San Francisco. In its release, Gladstone reps said:
Our discovery that RGS4 may play a role in the development of Parkinson’s symptoms helps us lay the groundwork for a new therapeutic strategy — independent of dopamine.