by: ABC 33/40
ABC 33/40′ spoke with two people who live with the disease about new findings from Purdue University researchers.
Published in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, the researchers say they have pinpointed an important compound in the development of Parkinson’s disease in the brain.
Their work could be significant because it may impact how we treat the disease in several ways: like better therapies, new drugs and earlier diagnoses or preventative care.
Two men gave reporter Patrick Thomas a glimpse into what new treatments in their lives could do.
Whether he stands or sits, with shaky hands and trembling feet, Parkinson’s is life for Wayne Cook for the last ten years. “The things that you, used to take for granted,” Cook says as he tries to raise his left hand to his chest but can’t hold it still. “The fine motor skills are difficult.”
The same goes for Ken Cater over the last nearly 13 years of his life. “But you know it’s tough. Right now I’m dealing with a progressive disease,” says Cater.
Which Purdue University researchers say when they located the compound called Acrolein, it may lead to discoveries that alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s. Cook tries to explain how it affects his speech. “You get something here (points to his brain) and then you know what you want to say, but it just stops right here. It won’t come out all the way.”
Cater explains what he thinks most fighting the disease want right now. Cater says, “The Holy Grail that we are looking for right now is something that can slow or stop the progression of the disease.”
Right now the research includes work that has been tested in animal models and cells, not humans.
Cook says he is even willing to be a part of any research that may eventually include human testing. “I’m anxious for it to happen. If they have got a study and they need volunteers I raise my hand,” says Cook.
But through the research, scientists say they lessened and reversed effects of Parkinson’s using the drug Hydralazine
Since it’s still only pre-clinical research Cater says he will wait and see. “I’m hopeful for a cure in the near future if not at least better treatments,” he says.
If you have questions about living with Parkinson’s as a patient or caretaker, the Parkinson Association of Alabama may be able to help.