(NewsUSA) - People often believe the myth that Parkinson's disease only afflicts the elderly, but research indicates that a growing number of middle-aged adults are developing the neurodegenerative disorder. The National Parkinson Foundation reports that 10 percent of people with Parkinson's are diagnosed before age 40.
Although there are effective ways to deal with the symptoms of Parkinson's -- exercise, brain stimulation, dopamine replacement drugs -- diagnostic tests and curative treatments still have a long way to go.
"Existing approved therapies only treat the symptoms of Parkinson's," explains Gerald E. Commissiong, president and CEO of Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AMBS) -- a biotechnology company that focuses developing new treatments for neurodegenerative conditions. "A therapeutic protein called MANF (Mesencephalic Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor) has shown the potential to rejuvenate dying cells and protect the neurons that produce dopamine in rodents."
Parkinson's belongs to a group of conditions known as motor system disorders, in which the brain cells that generate dopamine start to die. Symptoms typically get progressively worse, including trembling in the limbs and face, stiffness in the torso, slowness of movement, depression, trouble speaking and chewing and poor balance and coordination.
According to Commissiong, the therapeutic MANF program from Amarantus may eventually prevent Parkinson's from getting worse and possibly restore some normal cell function. The ability to prevent cell death -- otherwise known as apoptosis -- is vital. It could be used to treat Alzheimer's, stroke and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Amarantus, a publicly traded company, also develops a diagnostic platform for Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease, breast cancer and Parkinson's.
To learn more about the therapeutic MANF program at Amarantus, visit www.amarantus.com.