How close are we to a cure for Parkinson's?
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s.
We're pushing to deliver new treatments for Parkinson's in years, not decades. And we're determined to develop a cure in the shortest possible time.
We've already made vital discoveries that have improved our understanding of Parkinson's and the brain.
What we know so far
- We've uncovered clues to the causes and genetic involvement in Parkinson's.
- We're figuring out the chain of events that leads to the damage and loss of brain cells.
- We're working to advance new treatments and therapies.
- We're exploring repurposing drugs to help manage some of the more distressing symptoms, like hallucinations and falls.
- And we know that, although people with Parkinson's share symptoms, each person's experience of the condition and response to treatment is different.
Now's the time to keep the momentum going.
Research takes time but if you have Parkinson’s, you need better treatments now. That’s why we’ve launched the Parkinson's Virtual Biotech. We’re working with national and international partners to speed up the most promising potential treatments. The more we can invest, the sooner we'll get there.
What will a cure for Parkinson's look like?
Parkinson's varies so much from person to person. There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s. Tremor. Pain. Hallucinations. Everyone’s experience is different.
Because of this, there may not be a single 'cure'.
Instead, we may need a range of different therapies to meet the needs of the individual and their specific form of the condition.
This mix may include treatments, therapies and strategies that can:
- slow or stop the progression of the condition
- replace or repair lost or damaged brain cells
- control and manage particular symptoms
- diagnose Parkinson's at the earliest possible stage.
And this could involve medical treatments, such as drugs and surgical approaches, as well as lifestyle changes, for example to diet and exercise.
What new treatments are being developed?
Thanks to the progress we've already made, there are many different treatments available for Parkinson's. And today new treatments are being tested in clinical trials that have the potential to slow, stop or even reverse Parkinson's.
- Stem cell therapies. These aim to use healthy, living cells to replace or repair the damage in the brains of people with Parkinson's.
- Gene therapies. These use the power of genetics to reprogramme cells and change their behaviour to help them stay healthy and work better for longer.
- Growth factors (like GDNF). These are naturally occurring molecules that support the growth, development and survival of brain cells.
How we're speeding up the search for a cure
We believe that new and better treatments are possible in years, not decades. We have a clear strategy for making this happen. This includes:
- Backing the best and brightest minds to unlock scientific discoveries that will lead to new treatments and a cure. Read more about our current research projects.
- Accelerating the development and testing of new treatments through our Virtual Biotech.
- Collaborating internationally to make clinical trials faster, cheaper and more likely to succeed through the Critical Path for Parkinson's.
- Tracking down drugs for other conditions which have untapped potential for Parkinson's.
We know that the more we're able to invest, the faster we'll be able to deliver. So we're working hard to raise the funds we need to drive things forward faster.