The news that Alzheimer's could well be beaten within the next 10 years is welcome indeed. Could Parkinson's be far behind? Don't hold your breath.
It's always interesting to read about research progress. I agree with you that the progress in understanding Alzheimer's is good news. Anything that improves our understanding of neurodegeneration has to be a good thing. The only thing that is really clear is that more research is needed if we are to defeat Parkinson's, dementia, MS, Huntington's etc
Regardless of the underlying cause, the aggregation of proteins, in the case of PD it is alpha-synuclein, appears to play a part in the progression of many neuro-degenerative diseases. Given this lead, as someone 10 years post diagnosis and unlikely to benefit from a full cure, I would prefer the main body of effort to be put into easy to develop therapies that slow the aggregation.
I'd imagine the issue is trying to fathom why the aggregations occur, and whether indeed they are a cause or effect in their own right.
If alpha-synuclein clumps were able to be controlled, what if they are clumping to protect us from something far worse?
Fascinating to see how research will progress in this area, but not a near-term solution I'd wager.
Drewster, thank you for your reply. You are right in saying that we don't know for sure whether anti-aggregation strategies are safe. But, being 10 years post-diagnosis, I don't have the luxury of waiting for research to progress entirely safely; and, even then, possibly to find that the therapy is made so expensive that it cannot be accessed.
In vitro experiments show that nicotine, caffeine, curcumin and cumin slow the fibrillation of alpha-synuclein. There is epidemiological evidence that these substances are associated with a lower prevalence of PD. (But a course of treatment that lowers prevalence does not necessarily mean that it would slow progression).
The case for nicotine in the treatment of PD is described by Barreto et al..
 Front. Aging Neurosci., 09 January 2015 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00340
Beneficial effects of nicotine, cotinine and its metabolites as potential agents for Parkinson’s disease
George Barreto et al.
I concur ... we are all, effectively, our own living breathing medical experiment.
Coconut oil, Vitamin D, Wellman 70+, Inosine, Turmeric and Cumin all feature in my daily dietary intake.
Waiting for the verdict on any/all of them doesn't fit with my timeline either ;-)