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Parkinson's patch to replace pills

4th August 2005

Parkinson's sufferers may soon be able to control their illness through a small patch on their body, if research in to the new medication proves successful.

The patch would replace the traditional method of taking medication through pills and would help those who currently have difficulty in swallowing or properly digesting the drugs.

Research is being carried out by scientists at the University of Bath, who are experimenting with electric fields to find a way of passing the medicine directly in to the bloodstream.

The relevant technology, known as iontophoresis, has been used to similar effect for diabetics in the US.

"We will be looking at the chemical composition of the six most commonly used drugs in the treatment of Parkinson's to see if we might be able to use iontophoresis to deliver drugs into patients," Dr Begona Delgado-Charro, from the University of Bath, told BBC News.

Funding is being provided by the Parkinson's Disease Society, which hopes that the patch could provide a much easier and efficient means of medication for sufferers of the irreversible brain condition.