Gene therapy offers great potential for Parkinson's disease and many other brain disorders. With gene therapy, viruses are engineered to deliver genes that increase the supply of dopamine, prevent cell death, or promote regeneration of neurons.
Although gene therapy is a promising approach to treating Parkinson's, researchers need to develop efficient and safe means of delivering genes to brain cells in order for gene therapy to be used in humans. Many researchers are working to develop better viral vectors -- viruses that can carry genes into the targeted cells -- and to find ways of improving the transfer of these vectors to the brain.
As researchers accumulate more information about the safety and efficacy of different delivery systems, research on gene therapy for Parkinson's disease can move forward.