Friday, November 30, 2007

Parkinson's Disease Revisited: This is a Downer.

I just finished reading an article on Parkinson's Disease(PD) entitled "Beating a Dead Horse." The author's focus was on the untreatable symptoms of PD. His premise is that the focus on dopamine replacement in PD and its success has obsured the true nature of PD as a progressive brain disease that begins in the brain stem.

If he is correct, and I believe he may be, then a cure for PD is much more complicated than replacement of the dopamine generating cells in the brain. His theory puts PD in the same category as Alzheimer's and other progressive brain diseases. His theory also explains the intractable symptoms of PD that develop after many years.

So a reality check. A break through in stem cell research will alleviate some of the symtoms of the disease, but will not stop its progression. What we need is an understanding of the cause and how the disease progresses. We are a long way from a cure. More research is imperative. Our government needs to focus on health not war.

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