A drug that has already been approved to treat leukemia has been found to also dramatically reduce symptoms of Parkinson's and dementia.
Small doses of nilotinib were given to 12 patients in a small pilot study, reports NPR. Researchers found that movement and cognitive function improved in all of the 11 patients who completed the six-month trial. Some of the patients saw dramatic improvements, to the point where one woman was even able to feed herself again, and another man was able to stop using a walker, NPR reports.
If the drug is proven effective in a larger, placebo-controlled study, it could become the first drug treatment that interrupts the killing-off of brain cells that is common in Parkinson's and dementia.