Preview – The Parkinson’s Drug Trial: a Miracle Cure?

The Parkinson's Drug Trial
Picture Shows: A head-frame is fixed to volunteer Tom Isaacs’ skull during surgery. Image Credit: BBC/Passionate Productions.

In what appears to be one of the longest documentary series to make, this two-part series looks at new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, filmed over a period of six years.

In 2012, Prof. Steven Gill and a team from Bristol recruited 42 volunteers to test glial-cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a naturally occurring protein found in the brain. In order to do this however, the patients needed to be implanted with a device in their skulls to deliver the drug. Having to undergo brain surgery in order to test the effectiveness of the drug is obviously a risky business, but people are willing to take it.

The Parkinson’s Drug Trial: a Miracle Cure? is on BBC Two at 21.00.