This page covers some of the Treatments aimed at Nurturing The Neurones. The aim may be specific, for example focused on the mechanism that charges the internal batteries of neurones. It may be more general, seeking to replicate a natural process.
In the normal course of events cells die. We continuously shed dead skin cells. The same is true within the brain, and it is obvious that the processes for getting rid of dead cells are a lot more complex. The most widely held view at present of the cause of Parkinson’s is that by not Removing The Rubbish, the accumulation of dead material suffocates the neurones.
Nurturing the neurones and removing the rubbish are treatments intended to slow down and preferably stop the progress of Parkinson’s. More radical treatments seek to refresh or rejuvenate the neurone population, thereby restoring normal brain function.
The Bristol GDNF Trial
GDNF is a compound that is designed to replicate a naturally produced “factor” that is known to look after the neurones that are specific to Parkinson’s.
- For the Parkinson’s UK take, read a carefully worded blog by Claire Bale
- Scroll down this list of the key findings
- Nearly three years ago the preceeding Phase 2 clinical trial in Bristol “failed to meet the primary efficacy end point”, meaning the drug appeared not to have worked. It is unusual for a clinical trial to continue in the face of such a verdict, but the conviction of the treatment team and the commitment of the participants convinced the funders
- The report from the extension of the Phase2 clinical trial says“The results from the trial are not clearcut, but offer promising signs that it may be possible to restore the cells damaged in Parkinson’s”. The close proximity of the word “promising” to “may” is somewhat confusing
- The full story in Brain and the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. Both of these are downloads
- The entire story in one article by Simon Stott.
- The BBC Documentary in two parts is on BBC iPlayer.
I am stunned that a treatment that brought such visible improvement to the lives of all but 4 of 41 people was judged ineffective. It apparently missed the target “by a country mile”. Some target.