KMSP FOX 9 reported on a local story about a new treatment that the University of Minnesota is working on that may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Physicians and researchers are monitoring brain chemistry of people actively living with Parkinson’s. These professionals are detecting and tracking changes in the brain antioxidant level of glutathione while individuals are undergoing treatment with n-acetylcysteine (NAC).

How it works

The drug is administered intravenously and the brain is monitored with specialized highly sensitive MRI scanners. Once it is in the bloodstream, NAC gets converted into glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant that is also made by the body.

Those who are conducting the treatments are hoping that the antioxidants will slow pathological processes that cause or advance the course of Parkinson’s disease.

How effective is the treatment?

Very preliminary findings from this study show that they are able to determine an individual’s antioxidant level of glutathione before, during and after treatment with NAC. University of Minnesota researchers believe that by using high doses of NAC, they are able to alter brain glutathione levels, which may ultimately affect the course of disease. Overall, the findings of the project look promising.

The project has two phases:

Phase 1: Prove that it can be charted in the brain

Phase 2: Chart effect of oral doses in patients

FOX 9 Reporter Dawn Stevens spoke with Paul Blom, NPFM board president, about the new treatment as well.

“We do research on national level to help prevent falls, but to have scientific ability to come up with treatment that is going to advance people’s life and quality of life, it’s pretty amazing,” said Blom.

We will be sure to share any updates and findings from this new treatment. To hear more about what is happening with Parkinson’s disease research, check out the NPFM Medical blog postings here on our News Blog.

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