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Gene Therapy Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson`s Patient Given Gene Therapy

15 years, 11 months ago

1867  0
Posted on Aug 31, 2003, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A 55-year-old man with Parkinson's disease has become the world's first person to be given gene therapy to treat the condition. Dr Michael Kaplitt of Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues inserted a small tube into Nathan Klein's skull, which was used to deliver billions of copies of a gene into an area of the brain known as the subthalamic nucleus.

A 55-year-old man with Parkinson's disease has become the world's first person to be given gene therapy to treat the condition. Dr Michael Kaplitt of Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues inserted a small tube into Nathan Klein's skull, which was used to deliver billions of copies of a gene into an area of the brain known as the subthalamic nucleus. Mr Klein was awake throughout the procedure, and in a telephone interview conducted just a few hours later he said he was "felling fine." If all goes well the genes should start producing the neurotransmitter GABA. Parkinson's sufferers have depleted levels of GABA, thus it is hoped that the gene therapy will help to raise GABA levels and therefore lessen the symptoms of the disease. The researchers behind the study warn that it could take several months before any effect from the treatment may be noticeable. Mr Klein is the first of 12 Parkinson's sufferers who are set to receive the treatment.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.ap.org on the 19th August 2003.

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