New research: Parkinson’s disease on the rise, but cure could be near

Recent studies have revealed that the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease has been on the rise over the past 30 years in the United States – but British studies have said that a cure could be on the horizon.

Men have a 24 per cent higher chance of developing the condition than women, according to research from the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology.

JAMA has been monitoring the increasing number of Parkinson’s disease cases across the pond from 1976 to 2005 – and subsequently found that diagnoses are on the rise.

But researchers back in Britain believe that a cure for the condition could be on the cards for coming years – after Leicester University researchers discovered that Parkinson’s symptoms could, under some circumstances, be prevented.

The news comes after Medical Research Council (MRC) academics at the University found that poorly functioning mitochondria may not always be the cause of the condition.

Dr Miguel Martins, of the MRC, said: “This research challenges the current held belief the Parkinson’s disease is a result of malfunctioning mitochondria.

“By identifying and preventing ER stress in a model of the disease it was possible for us to prevent neurodegeneration. Lab experiments, like this, allow us to see what effect ER stress has on Parkinson’s disease.

“While the finding so far only applies to fruit flies, we believe further research could find that a similar intervention in people might help treat certain forms of Parkinson’s,” he said.