Parkinson's study launched
Glasgow University has just announced the largest Parkinson’s study in the world is to begin (see here). This disease affects 130,000 people in the UK alone, and is very debilitating. Currently, there is no cure, and the cause is not fully understood. However, considerable research is being done towards therapeutic treatments, as this report highlights. The medications today have limited effectiveness and require a very strict drug regime. The role of specialist nurses is very important in managing this, and thus treatment is very resource-intensive. There are however, a number of new compounds in the pipeline as this report details so the benefits of the extensive research into Parkinson’s is being seen.
This new trial aims to find a biomarker that can form the basis for a simple diagnostic test for Parkinson’s – something which does not currently exist, making the journey that much more difficult for the patient as diagnosis can take a very long time. Early diagnosis is especially important regarding drug treatment, as there is a greater response to medications early on. This pressure for early diagnosis is not unique to Parkinson’s disease, and similar large scale studies have been used to address the same biomarker issue in other diseases. Biomarkers are molecules that indicate a particular physiological state that can relate to a disease status. If measurable, they can form the basis of diagnostic tests, and guide therapeutics.
For the latest news on this trial and other Parkinson’s diseases, visit the Parkinson’s Channel.