‘We may not find a cure but we will be closer because of this’


Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will announce $30 million in funding for the Parkinson’s Disease Mission, which combines clinical trials and genomics research led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Despite dedicated research since the 1960s, the causes of Parkinson’s are largely unknown and treatments only mask the symptoms. There is an urgent need to identify drugs that will slow or stop the disease, Mr Hunt said.

The mission’s first clinical trial will assign 300 patients to randomly receive existing drugs for diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, a supplement or placebo.

Lead researcher, neurologist Professor Simon Lewis said the trials should give patients “realistic hope, not hype”. But the beauty of the Parkinson’s Disease Mission was that it will combine clinical trials and “really clever science”, Professor Lewis said.

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