The first trial to test the effect of a growth-factor compound in humans with Parkinson’s disease has shown promising results. A report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation raises the hope that one day we will see regenerative treatments for Parkinson’s disease that use the brain’s own protective mechanisms to halt the loss of brain cells and restore dopamine levels.

Research into the effects of platelet-derived growth factor or PDGF started over 10 years ago with studies in animals. These found that the growth factor reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s, improves motor skills, and restores levels of dopamine in the brain. They also suggest PDGF repairs neurons and nerve fibers.

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