Iowans who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease may soon be able to take part in the testing of a promising new vaccine. Researchers say the vaccine would not cure Parkinson’s but could reverse the neurological damage. Dr. Howard Gendleman, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says hopes the vaccine will be safe to test on humans soon.
Gendleman says, “We’re hoping that within the year to a year and a half, the screening of these patients will be completed and then, we’ll be able to move what we call a phase one clinical trial forward.” It’s hoped the vaccine will bring some relief for those who currently suffer from P-D and for those who may develop the illness. Gendleman says the vaccine is not a cure-all for Parkinson’s.
“This is not a vaccine that will cure it,” he says. “This is a vaccine that will halt its progression.” It’s estimated that one-million people in the U.S. currently suffer from P-D.
“Most of the nerve cells are damaged and not yet destroyed and we can reverse that damage,” he says. “Do we know for sure? No. Do we hope? Yes.” Symptoms of Parkinson’s include impairment of movement, stiffness or balance problems and uncontrollable shaking. For more information, visit the Iowa chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association at “www.apdaiowa.org”. Details on the UNMC study can be found here.