This medical video focuses on the new advances being made in Parkinson's treatment.
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Jennifer Mathews: Fourteen years ago, Greg Moore was diagnosed with Parkinson's. The medication he takes for the disease can only do so much. Greg Moore: Turning over in bed is very difficult for me to do. Going through a stack of papers is a very difficult thing to do. Jennifer Mathews: Two months ago, Greg became the first person in the U.S. to join an experimental study on Parkinson's. Kim J. Burchiel: This is the catheter that's placed in the brain. Jennifer Mathews: Doctor Kim Burchiel placed two catheters under Greg's skin that run down his chest and attach to pumps implanted in his abdomen. For some patients in the study, the pumps deliver a placebo. For others, it's a substance called glial derived neurotrophic factor or GDNF. John G. Nutt: In animal models, GDNF seems to be very good at reversing or, I don't want to use the word cure, but correcting Parkinsonism. Jennifer Mathews: The drug seems to coax dying dopamine nerve cells back into production. In a small trial in England, patients reported dramatic improvement in movement and coordination. John G. Nutt: They got to the point where they were having much less problems with their Parkinsonism. Some have reduced their drugs markedly as well. Jennifer Mathews: Greg doesn't know yet if he received the real drug, but he's hopeful. Greg Moore: It's nothing more than a possibility right now, but it's very exciting to me. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.