Parkinson’s disease affects more than 4.6 million people worldwide and this number is set to double by 2030 as the population ages. While the symptoms of this movement disorder can be alleviated, there is currently no way to stop it from progressing.

Researchers investigating better ways to treat Parkinson’s have implanted dopamine-producing cells into patients’ brains. Small studies conducted since the 1980s have shown promise: some patients do very well, but others have suffered from side effects without clinical benefits.

‘Cell transplantation has been shown to work for some patients and we wanted to further optimise the protocols,’ said Natalie Valle Guzman at the Cambridge University Brain Repair Centre, in the UK.

By enabling early and more specific diagnosis of the disease, patients can be given treatment earlier thereby improving quality of life, symptom-free time and the cost for society will also be lower," said Dr Gunilla Osswald. "The development of the biomarker assay would also facilitate the development of effective disease-modifying treatments benefiting all patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease."

Read the full article by Gary Finnegan about Parkinson's Disease Treatment from The University of Cambridge