Molecule could reverse Parkinson's

Finnish researchers at the University of Helsinki say they have found and tested a new molecule that can help slow or reverse the symptoms of Parkinson's. The protein protects and repairs cells that produce dopamine, which the body needs for movement and balance. In animal tests, the protein protected 96 percent of the nerve cells in the brains of rats. The molecule is called conserved dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF), marking a new focus. Earlier research focused on GDNF as a potential new therapy for Parkinson's. The Finnish team's molecule is also a growth factor, which hopefully won't raise the same safety issues posed by GDNF.

"What is interesting is that the protein shows similar neuro-protective actions to GDNF which indicates that this general type of drug may be useful in the future for developing new therapies for treating Parkinson's," said Dr. Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society.

- here's the article from the BBC

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