Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder, affecting > 10 million people, caused by gradual loss of dopamine neurons leading to involuntary tremors, stiffness, and balance problems. There are drugs to treat symptoms, however no drugs exist to slow progression of the disease.
University College Cork researchers found neurotrophic factor,(GDF5) has protective effects on dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s. Next study will be what stage of the disease is best to deliver GDF5 to the brain to slow the disease’s progression.
These are promising results and mean that the search for a new therapy for Parkinson’s focusing on neurotrophic factors should continue.