News - 17 August 2021

Advances in Parkinson treatment?

Scientists from the Australian National University, in collaboration with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, have developed a hydrogel that could be used as a one-time therapy to treat Parkinson’s disease. Clinical trials may begin within the next five years, after the gel proves safe for human use. Nearly 100,000 people suffering from Parkinson’s disease currently live in Poland. 


The hydrogel is based on amino acids that can be injected into the brain – when shaken it turns into a liquid, making the insertion easier, and then returns to its solid form, filling voids and thus safely transports the surrogate stem cells to the damaged parts of the brain. The real breakthrough, however, is that it is a one-time procedure. The clinical trials may begin within the next five years, after the gel proves safe for human use – so far it only been tested in animals and has proven effective in combating movement disorders in Parkinson’s disease in rats. Another benefit is that it is relatively cheap, and once the materials are approved for clinical use, it can be adapted for mass production and also be used to help people who have suffered from other neurological conditions such as strokes.

Parkinson’s disease in Poland

It is estimated that today approximately 100,000 Poles live with Parkinson’s disease, while there are over 10 million cases worldwide. There is no cure for this disease. The advanced form of the disease at various stages occurs in about 70% of cases, which is characterized primarily by the fact that it is more difficult to compensate for it with traditional pharmacological treatment. Patients then have to take higher doses of drugs more often, and sometimes such compensation is impossible, according to Dr. hab. Dariusz Koziorowski from the Department of Neurology of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Medical University of Warsaw.


In such cases, more advanced treatment is used, which includes the so-called infusion methods, available in Poland for four years now. At the same time, the advanced treatments for the disease include a total of three solutions. The first is DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation), a simulator-implant that silences the work of excessively active areas of the brain, while the remaining two are infusion methods. One of these is duodopa – enteral treatment with levodopa / carbidopa, or subcutaneous apomorphine given by a pump. In Poland, duodopa was used for treatment of more than 100 patients, during these four years, while apomorphine slightly less – some 50 patietns. DBS, instead is used annually for 300 patients, according to Wojciech Machajek, vice president of the Brain Disease Foundation.

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