GDNF may provide hope
for Parkinson's disease
July 2nd 2005
The Human Brain
PINON HILLS, CA - The
experimental drug glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (or GDNF)
may give hope to those suffering from Parkinsonís disease. Parkinsonís
is a degenerative brain disease.
It appears the drug is
able to re-grow brain tissue when pumped into the damaged part of the
brain. Dramatic improved mobility has been reported by patients after
It was a startling
finding. When Professor Seth Love, Steven S.
Gill and colleagues at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England
examined the brain of a 62 year-old patient who had been using GDNF he
discovered that the dopamine-containing nerve fibers had sprouted back.
It was thought that GDNF protected the dopamine-producing cells.
The patient had
suffered from Parkinsonís disease for five years before taking GDNF. He
showed a 75% improvement in his ability to perform daily tasks while on
the drug for nearly four years. His brain was examined after he died of
a heart attack.
Other patients in the
trial in Britain experienced dramatic improvements in their ability to
perform day-to-day tasks, like walking and writing, their motor skills,
verbal memory, facial expressions and motivation. The study will be
published in the journal Nature Medicine Monday.
Amgen Inc (Thousand Oaks,
CA), the maker of the drug, discontinued clinical trials in the US last
year after some monkeys on high doses of the drug suffered brain damage.
The company said it could not justify subjecting patients to more risk
because there was no evidence the drug was effective. In fact, the
company said it was no more effective than a placebo.
Some of those patients in
the trial sued Amgen to get continued supplies of the drug. They were
turned down by a federal judge in New York in June. A second suit is
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: parkinsons disese
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