Two new experimental treatments for Parkinson's could stop the progress of the devastating disease and allay its symptoms, researchers say. A new study shows gene therapy was successful in boosting production of an enzyme that calms overactive neurons, reducing the jittery effects of the brain disorder.
In a separate study, a new drug shielded fruit-fly neurons from a destructive Parkinson's enzyme. Researchers say the gene therapy had no side effects and staved off symptoms for as long as four years. Neither treatment is a cure, however, and both are a long way from FDA approval: Docs only tested gene therapy on 11 patients, while the drug hasn't been given to a single human.