Cure for Parkinson's disease?

Scientists in the U.S. say they have discovered a drug that slows and might even stop the progression of Parkinson's disease.

A team of researchers at Northwestern University have found in a new study that the blood pressure drug isradipine slowed down the progress of Parkinson's disease in genetically altered lab mice, and in some cases prevented it from occurring.

Isradipine is commonly prescribed to patients to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and to prevent a stroke.

The researchers, led by Professor D. James Surmeier, found the drug rejuvenates aging dopamine cells, whose death in the brain causes the symptoms of the disease; dopamine is a critical chemical messenger in the brain that affects a person's ability to direct his movements.

Parkinson's disease is fatal and there is at present no cure for it.

Dr. Surmeier says they hope the drug will protect dopamine neurons, so that if taken early enough, it will prevent Parkinson's disease, even in those at risk.

Surmeier says isradipine could be taken in much the same way as aspirin is taken to protect the heart and might also significantly benefit people who already have Parkinson's disease.

Surmeier's team found that the drug protected dopamine neurons from toxins that would normally kill them by restoring the neurons to a younger state in which they are less vulnerable.

Further research plans to test the drug on humans.

Parkinson's disease is the second leading degenerative brain disease in the United States, effecting more than 1 million people.

Dr. D. James Surmeier is the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair of physiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study is published in the online edition of the journal Nature.


  1. srini srini India says:

    Hi, my dad has a symptoms of early Parkinson's diseases for the past couple of years. Adding to it he is now taking Ropark 0.5mg, Syndopa and Selegine 0.5mg on a day to day basis, where in now he is having some shivering and when consulted the Neurologist he suggested us to start Physiotherapy and things was getting fine and it was continued for a month and after the shiverring of hands is getting more and more.

    Can you please help me what has to be done from here.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Warm Regards,

  2. Kunal Kalbande Kunal Kalbande India says:

    Hi Srini, My dad has the same problem, instead of shivering he has slow movements and faces problems with the mobility. Even he takes Syndopa Plus (half tab) twice a day. I was about to start Physiotherapy for him as well but after reading your blog I started thinking about. May be I will have to go to my Dr back and consult him for any other and proper options. So far I could not find any cure or treatment on the Internet and not from my Dr. either. May be small exercise could help!!!!! My dad got a mild stroke 10 years ago which has become a major cause of Parkinson's. Diabetics and Hypertension are the other major reasons!!!!!

  3. Rajendra khadpe Rajendra khadpe India says:

    Hi, my mother is suffering from Parkinson's, she is 69 years old takes every day Entacom plus 100 &Epitrill but still she feels tiredness quickly. We need help to cure her. Rajendra, Cell 9987239082

  4. emz emz United Kingdom says:

    Cures for Parkinsons are being developed, but there is nothing official as yet. In 10 years time hopefully it will be a positive outcome for Parkinson's sufferer's. In Wales and the Uk researchers are working on a drug containing an extract from Daffodils, they claim it will reverse the effects of Parkinson's by 5 - 6 years, but there is so many legal issues regarding its production. My dad has Parkinson's Disease and I have accepted that his condition will worsen over time - may be months or years, he could also have Alzheimer's as well, he doesn't now but he could get it as it effects the same part of the brain. I think his case is hereditory due to his sisters getting Alzheimer's. Be positive people and make the most of the time you have with your friends and family, sometimes looking for a cure only leads to upset, if it's going to happen it'll happen. Smile

  5. Tom Hennessy Tom Hennessy Canada says:

    This is the result in a problem which closely resembles Parkinson's.

    "We report the results of iron chelating treatment with deferiprone in a 61-year-old woman with signs and symptoms of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA). After 6 months of therapy the patient's gait had improved and a reduction in the incidence of choreic dyskinesias was observed. Her gait returned to normal after an additional 2 months of therapy, at which time there was a further reduction in involuntary movements and a partial resolution of the blepharospasm."

  6. rahul khanna rahul khanna India says:

    Hi all, I am only 24 years old and suffering from Parkinson's disease. I have all the symptoms of that disease, it's genetic, my mom also had PD and died of it at age of 42. Please help me if there is any cure for PD please let me know.

  7. Sanjay Kumar Sanjay Kumar India says:

    Hi I am Sanjay kumar and my Aunty is suffering from Parkinson Disease last more than 7 years. I have shown her to nerulogist Dr.Ish Anand in Gangaram hospital Delhi. He had given Ropark, Syndopa,etc. She is under treatment and observation of Dr.last 2 months .
    I need a support is there any other medicine which will recover her short time period. She had completed 60 years.
    My Contact no-9312087547

  8. Jose N. Pecina Jose N. Pecina United States says:

    I wonder if the treatment with isradipine is cover by Medicare and/or Blue Cross Blue Shield?

    Best regards,

    Jose N Pecina

  9. dave dave United States says:

    Im 38 and just got parkinson this year.It seems to be spreading quickly.I dont have money or benifits.Is it really worth seeing a doctor it seems nothing can be done anyway.Does anyone have any "at home" advice that might help that doesnt cost much? If so please email [email protected]. Thanks alot Dave

  10. rajeev rajeev India says:

    I am 46 years of age & have trembling of hands since the age of 18 years.Is this called Parkinson's?
    Now my elder daughter is also showing same symptoms. She is 20 years  old. plz suggest

    • Tess Benet Tess Benet United States says:

      trembling hands can be something else. PD starts in the little finger with a twitch. then trembles and slow gait. it gets much worse over time, til you cannot walk. do not worry you most likely do not have PD.

  11. dave dave United States says:

    hi rajeev,many people have tremor in there hands not always parkinson.Theres many other symptoms to look for.usually parkinson starts on one side at a time,your knee or elbow will have pain.Your affected arm usually wont "swing" when you walk.Youll find yourself more "tounge tied".You will probably have depression ,anxiety,and find yourself forgetful.I also have restless limbs and poor sese of smell,plus you will feel off balanced.I hope this helps anybody reading,Im not a doctor but read alot since my father had it and I also do.

  12. Joe e Farnum jr Joe e Farnum jr United States says:

    My Grandpal has it and his in the last stage will it work for  him and how long does it take to get system and start working

  13. ali ali Romania says:

    i want to knew the latest treatment for parkinson

    • Henry Hatchell Henry Hatchell United States says:

      I've was born and lived in the US all my life. I've traveled the world in my work and find that this is by far the best place to live. Contraindication is:  When it comes to malpractice in the medical arena, the US has a strong propensity to place $$$ above cures and remedies for all forms of desease.  Greed is definately profound in my beloved country.  I have had symptoms of PD for 5 years and it is getting worse by the year.  ISRADIPINE is a drug which has been used for 10 years or so for hypertension.  It has been shown to reduce symptoms of PD in mice. The Isradipine CR has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect in preclinical models of parkinsonism (see reference: Simuni T, Martel A, Zadikoff C, Videnovic A, Vainio L, Weaver F, Williams K, Surmeier DJ.  Safety and tolerability of isradipine, a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, in patients with early Parkinson’s disease
      The research is being conducted at Northwestern University.
      While these studies are beneficial, they leave thousands of us to shake on and die.  I have high blood pressure and I am going to switch to Isradipine asap. Write/call your gov. reps and tell them what you feel about all this red tape involving the FDA.  Ask them if they have a relative or friend with PD. You see, we have lost approx. 50% of our dopamine producing cells back before our symptoms surfaced so we are playing catch up at best.
      Please feel free to copy my post and send with your comments to your reps and the FDA.  May God bless us as we rely on our slow medical research system to function.

  14. navneet kaur navneet kaur India says:

    My dad is suffering from this disease for 5 years. Situation is getting worse as tine passes. Facing problems like hand and head shaking. Even he could not write. Is there any cure for him?

  15. Rob Roy Rob Roy Canada says:

    what i found most disturbing in this story and thread is that the line in the story "Parkinson's disease is fatal and there is at present no cure for it." was left unchallenged. Parkinson's is NOT fatal.  You die WITH Parkinson's you don't die OF Parkinson's.  And  the impression from some of these comments that claim to have Parkinson's don't actually have Parkinson's. I was diagnosed 4 years ago and have been on Sinomet since then (levodopa) and recently Azilect and Stalevo as agonists for the Sinomet.  Due to the inaccuracies in the original story and questionable content in the posts my suggestion would to look for your information elsewhere. I have done enough research to enable me to discuss and suggest potential treatments with both my general neurologist as well as my movement disorder neurologist who is a member of a multinational study goup on Parkinson's.  I also present news stories to family doctor so that he can be as up to date as i am when discuss my care.  Do your research and you can realize that Parkinson's is not that scary Smile

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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