Posted by Betty D.
on September 10, 2000 at 16:21:35:
I took my husband to Birmingham, Monday, to see Dr. Paul Atchison, PD and Movement Disorder Spec. He gave me the Winter 2000 Magazine, "Parkinson's Disease, Living Well". In it, is this interesting article on What's on the Horizon in PD Therapy:
"In addition to new treatment approaches with existing drugs, several important lines of research are revealing potential new therapies for PD. A class of agents called neurotrophic growth factors is being studied in an attempt to actually protect the nerve cells in the brain from destruction. The big discovery is going to be the cause of cells dying and the mechanism of cell death, according to Dr. Donald Calne, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancover, who predicted that neuroprotection will be the second big breakthrough in PD after levodopa.
Other monoamine oxidase inhibitors are also being studied as neuroprotective agents, including rasagiline(which may be up to five times stronger than selegiline). The potential role of the immune system to cell death related to PD has led some experts to believe that drugs that modulate the immune system may be useful in inhibiting glutamate, which is believed to be cytotoxic (in other words, it may kill cells in the brain).
On the surgical front, in addition to the already used pallidotomy and deep-brain stimulation, grafting of fetal cellls from humans and pigs is being studied in patients with more advanced PD. Some researchers are exploring the possibility of implanting dopamine-producing cells from the retina of the human eye into the brain. Finally, the findings of a potential genetic basis for PD has led researchers from Northwestern Univ. to study the use of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, which promotes the growth of dopamine-producing glia cells.
Although PD management remains a challenge, new discoveries are bringing hope to patients, providers, and caregivers. While laboratory investigators strive for a cure. these medical therapies are improving quality of life to an extent never dreamed possible only a few decades ago.
EVERYONE ! HANG TIGHT, WE GONNA GET THERE!!