A drug has been found to halt the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice and is now being tested on humans, scientists have said.
Research published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that the drug phenylbutyrate switches on a gene which is able to protect dopamine neurons in people with Parkinson's disease.
Senior author Curt Freed of the University of Colorado School of Medicine said the findings could mean Parkinson's patients will one day be able to take a pill which will stop the progression of the condition.
"Drugs currently used to treat Parkinson's disease just treat symptoms; they do not stop the disease from getting worse," he explained.
"If we can say to someone that as of today we can stop your disease from getting worse, that would be a truly significant achievement."
This comes after scientists at Stanford University successfully replicated the key features of Parkinson's disease in a dish, potentially furthering research possibilities.