Novel gene therapy hints at improvement

The first dozen Parkinson’s patients to have holes drilled in their skulls for a novel gene therapy attempt weren’t harmed — and hints at some improvement have researchers embarking on a larger study to see if the treatment really may work.

Doctors reported initial results of the closely watched experiment at a neurology meeting Monday, but cautioned that it’s far too soon to raise hopes.

At issue: Using a nerve growth factor to try to rescue dying brain cells.

The new approach uses gene therapy — injecting a virus that carries a gene that in turn produces the growth factor neurturin — to try to get the protective protein right where it’s needed.

Source:  Associated Press

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