42 patients underwent complex brain surgery and months of infusions via a port embedded into the side of their skull. In this deeply moving documentary, Professor Gill and Dr Alan Whone performed surgery to implant a device which enables the successful delivery of drugs deep into the brain.
Filmed over 6 years, the producer of this film followed a group of 9 volunteers with Parkinson’s in a ground-breaking medical trial, testing a drug called GDNF which can regenerate the dying neurones in the brain. Tom Isaacs, was one of the trial’s most severely-affected volunteers. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 27! His benevolent determination and self-effacing humour was reflected in this recent BBC documentary about these pioneering and brave participants and their journeys through this trial.
Can this clinical trial give hope to the estimated 10 million affected by Parkinson’s?
According to Steven Gill, “This trial has shown that we can safely and repeatedly infuse drugs directly into patients’ brains over months or years. This is a significant breakthrough and now gives us the ability to treat neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s.” and Dr Whone says, “It’s essential to continue research exploring this treatment further – GDNF continues to hold potential to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”
‘The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’
In 2005, Tom Isaacs co-founded ‘The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’ (CPT), and led the charity until his untimely death in 2017. He remained resolute that a cure for Parkinson’s could be found, with the collaboration of excellent science and those living with the condition.
I have seen first hand the devastating effects of Parkinson’s, indeed we have provided care for many. What struck me the most in this film, was how close the scientists are getting to producing a cure! I know the producer personally and agree with her that these trials must continue, making this drug available to all sufferers.
If you have time, please watch this amazing documentary on BBC iPlayer, and donate what you can. Thank you.
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The Cure Parkinson’s Trust
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