In a major boost to a possible treatment for Parkinson's disease, a British woman was able to write for the first time in 15 years after undergoing a radical gene therapy.
Sheila Roy was diagnosed with Parkinson's more than 17 years ago and has struggled to perform even simple activities such as writing. She was chosen to be one of only 15 patients diagnosed with Parkinson's to undergo a radical treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.
The doctors injected the patients with a modified virus carrying genes that contained coded instructions for proteins needed to make dopamine, which is necessary for proper control of movement. Known as ProSavin therapy, the treatment has been developed by Oxford BioMedica and requires just one treatment without the need for repetition.
Stating that the treatment allows her to function more normally, Mrs Roy said, "The ProSavin experience has restored my confidence, enabled better motor function and has given me hope. I can function more normally and, for the first time in 15 years, I can write."