All eyes were on Perry Cohen when he froze at the microphone. His voice failed him. He couldn’t read his notes. Eventually, the once-powerful Parkinson’s disease speaker had to be helped off the stage halfway through his speech.
“It was the adrenaline and the pressure of speaking — it drained all the dopamine out,” Cohen says, referring to the brain chemical that is found lacking in the neurodegenerative disorder. When Cohen learned he had Parkinson’s disease 17 years ago his symptoms were subtle. In the past couple years, however, the deterioration of his nervous system has become increasingly obvious, ultimately threatening to silence one of the most prominent voices in the Parkinson’s patient community.
Read the full article here: NIH Begins Gene Therapy Trial for Parkinson’s Disease