Scientists at Swansea University say they have identified molecules than play an important role in the survival and production of nerve cells in the brain - and and may be significant in the long-term for treating several diseases, such as Parkinson's.
This finding opens the possibility of using steroid-type molecules in future regenerative medicine, since new dopamine-producing cells created in the laboratory could be used for transplantation to patients with Parkinson's Disease.
– Dr Yuqin Wang at Swansea University’s Institute of Mass Spectrometry
Their research is being done in collaboration with the Karolinka Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Jenni McCabe from Newport needs five different drugs per day to help with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. She hopes a new campaign will improve understanding of the disease, and help sufferers be more accepted.
These findings underline what we've been hearing from people with Parkinson's across the UK - that the general public simply don't understand their condition.
Disturbingly, because Parkinson's is so poorly understood, those with the condition tell us all too often that they are on the receiving end of these embarrassed and uncomfortable looks.
This woeful lack of knowledge means people with Parkinson's have been arrested simply for not smiling at a sporting event, or refused service by taxi firms because people have mistaken speech problems - a common symptom of the condition - for drunkenness.
– Steve Ford, Chief Executive of Parkinson's UK
The charity Parkinson's UK says people with Parkinson's 'desperately need' more understanding, as the condition makes simple day-to-day tasks 'almost impossible for some.'
Parkinson's is degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.
These days I can't turn over in bed which makes me very stiff when I wake up - so getting out of my bed is the first challenge of every day. Until I've taken my five tablets in the morning, it takes about an hour to get get going.
I do some things around the house but I have to have a cleaning lady because I can't acheive anywhere near as much as I used to before the Parkinson's.
Even getting up the stairs is difficult - I'm tired when I reach the top and end up staggering into the bedroom for a rest.