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Your Parkinson's News Update for the Week of 5.18.20

Monday May 18, 2020
Novel Treatment Using Patient's Own Cells
Opens New Possibilities to Treat Parkinson's
New England Journal of Medicine via Science Daily
"Current drugs and surgical treatments for Parkinson's are intended to address symptoms that result from the loss of dopaminergic neurons, but our strategy attempts to go further by directly replacing those neurons," says senior author Kwang-Soo Kim, PhD, director of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at McLean Hospital, the largest clinical neuroscience and psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
"This is a first step in developing this therapy. Parkinson's patients should understand that this therapy is not currently available and there is a lot of work still required to prove this is an effective treatment."
Ethics Questions Swirl around Historic Parkinson’s Experiment
When an individual with Parkinson's approached researchers with funding, the authors of the above study — stem cell biologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons — did everything by the book. Some medical ethicists were left uneasy, however, about four aspects of the pioneering work: scientific integrity; informed consent; bending science to a rich person's will; and secrecy.
"Other researchers have resisted the temptation to raise money from patients in return for access to an experimental therapy.
'We seriously thought about it,' said Loring, chief scientific officer of Aspen Neuroscience, which is aiming to commercialize a personalized stem-cell therapy for Parkinson’s. 'There are people we’d like to treat sooner rather than later, but [a one-person experiment underwritten by the patient] could distract from a real clinical trial.'”
Impact of OFF Periods in Caregivers of those With Parkinson's, Preferred On-Demand Treatments
American Journal of Managed Care
This article details the results of people with Parkinson's OFF periods as they affected their caregiver/partner. Researchers also outline the greatest impact between the OFF periods themselves and the costs required to treat frequent OFF periods. They illustrate the wide-ranging web of life with Parkinson's and effectively demonstrate the need for affordable access to care for everyone impacted by Parkinson's.