Though the treatment reduced Parkinson’s symptoms for at least a year, it was unclear how. To find out, the researchers have since used PET scans to compare the brains of 15 people who received the gene therapy with 20 who received a placebo.One year after treatment, the Dabbing Santa Cow Ugly Christmas Sweater people in the gene therapy group were found to have new brain connections that weren’t seen in the placebo group. Shutting down the disease-causing pathways between the subthalamic nucleus and the brain’s motor regions appeared to encourage alternative pathways to develop instead, says David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute, who led the study.
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These alternative pathways are not found in healthy people. This Dabbing Santa Cow Ugly Christmas Sweater suggests that gene therapy lets people with Parkinson’s form novel, compensatory brain circuits for controlling movement, says Eidelberg. “We call it adaptive rewiring.”
Another treatment for Parkinson’s disease – called deep brain stimulation – involves sticking electrodes into the Dabbing Santa Cow Ugly Christmas Sweater subthalamic nucleus and suppressing its activity using electrical pulses. However, Eidelberg and his colleagues found that this did not lead to the same adaptive rewiring.