Researchers from Imperial College London and Newcastle University believe they have found a potential new way to target cells of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease.

The new technique is relatively non-invasive and has worked to improve symptoms of the disease in rats.

Parkinson’s disease causes progressive problems with movement, posture and balance. It is currently treated with drugs, but these have severe side-effects and can become ineffective after around five years. The only treatment subsequently available to patients is deep brain stimulation, a surgical technique where an electrical current is used to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.

As well as being an invasive treatment, it has mixed results – some patients benefit while others experience no improvement or even deteriorate. Researchers believe this is because the treatment is imprecise, stimulating all types of nerve cells, not just the intended target.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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