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Milestone in Parkinson's Treatment

UNMC Touts Test Results
Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 23, 2017

Experts at UNMC are calling it a milestone.  It's a drug that affects the immune system, already being used in bone marrow transplant patients.  It now appears to be effective in treating Parkinson's disease. 

Researchers found that by injecting the drug, Sargramostim, into roughly twenty subjects, it sparked an immune transformation of diseased white blood cells into cells that protect and defend against brain injury.  Dr. Howard Gendleman explained it in a slide presentation.  His colleague, neurologist Dr. Pamela Santamaria, told 3NewsNow, " It's new. It's innovative.  We've not seen anything like this before.  It's going to be known global wide."

The FDA has already approved the drug but not yet for Parkinson's patients.  The brain disease leaves sufferers with tremors.  It is more common in the Midwest.  Exposure to pesticides can triple the risk.  For sufferers like Bob Riley of Omaha, this treatment offers new hope.  He said, " It's very exciting.  It sounds like the answer might be coming a lot quicker than we expected. " 

The next step is phase two of this study.  It will include more people involved who will likely take the drug in pill form.