Experimental drug may slow or stop Parkinson’s disease

Bound by love and battling a debilitating disease. A Southwest Florida couple are both battling Parkinson’s.

As they lean on each other for support, a new experimental drug is giving them hope.

“I thought my life was ending, and that was 20 years ago,” That’s how 67-year-old gail Nash says she felt when she was diagnosed with parkinson’s disease.

She’s married to 71-year-old Alex Nash, “As the disease progressed, I’m able to do less and less on my own,” Alex said.

Now he relies on Gail to take care of him. Even as the disease is taking over her nervous system as well.

Anthony is with Right at Home Senior Care, the agency helping the Nash’s get the care they need. He said, “A lot of times, caregivers are loved ones or family members that are 24/7… They’re on all the time.”

And they hope researchers with Johns Hopkins can continue developing a drug that could help the one million americans living with the disease.

“Just knowing that you’re helping someone in their time of need is very, very rewarding,” Sands said.

The drug being studied has protected brain cells in mice from degeneration from Parkinson’s and is expected to move into clinical trials this year.

And for this couple, that’s help that could extend their lives together.
Gail reiterates, “You’ve got to keep going.” Going on despite this devastating disease.

Johns Hopkins says if planned clinical trials for the new drug are successful in humans, it could be one of the first treatments to directly target the progression of Parkinson’s disease, not just the symptoms of the disorder.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
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