UK Researchers First In The Nation To Test New Parkinson's Treatment

Nov 18, 2013

A first-of-its-kind clinical trial that could reshape treatment for Parkinson’s disease will be conducted at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Craig van Horne, principle investigator in the UK clinical trial.
Dr. Craig van Horne, principle investigator in the UK clinical trial.
Credit kyneurosurgery.com

If successful, researchers say the trial could even lead to therapies that put a stop to or reverse brain degeneration in patients.

Dr. Craig van Horne, a relatively recent addition to the College of Medicine, is principle investigator for the trial. He along with his team is set to investigate a treatment option that builds on what’s called deep brain stimulation, or DBS, by supplementing it with a nerve graft of patients’ own peripheral nerves. While nerves in the brain do not regenerate, nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord do – and it's that capacity researchers hope to harness.

Van Horne has been able to advance the trial quickly in part because it did not require additional FDA approval, as it works in conjunction with a procedure that’s already been approved.

The patients involved in phase one will be observed over the course of a year.