The Mouse Stopped Shaking: Now You Try
According to an article in the August 22 issue of Nature Medicine, researchers are moving closer to finding a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
No treatment has yet been proven to stop the well known neurodegenerative disorder but recent genetic findings have provided an interesting lead.
Now that lead seems to be paying off.
By using newly discovered drugs to block the so-called LRRK2 protein, shown to be overactive in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the researchers at the John Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering have managed to protect the nerve cells in mice against the disease’s harmful effects.
Now the next step is to transfer the treatment to humans by finding drugs that will work on human neurons and not just on the furry white test pilots.
“We’re curing Parkinson’s disease in a mouse and now we have to discover drugs that actually work in human neurons,” says Professor Ted Dawson in a John Hopkins press release.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at least 500,000 Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease. On a yearly basis, Parkinson’s disease is estimated to cost the US $6 billion.