Since the death of his wife, Josephine Hart, to ovarian cancer, Lord Saatchi has campaigned to change current practices in law, so that, with consent, doctors can treat patients with cancer and other critical illnesses with new and innovative treatments, instead of being shackled to current medical dogma and procedures. There has been a public consultation and more than 40 medical professionals are also publicly backing the Bill which is being debated in the House of Lords.

What impact will this have on the treatment of Parkinson’s?
There are a number of interesting points this Bill raises when considering treating people with Parkinson’s. Given that there has been little innovation in Parkinson’s treatments for over 50 years, there is a desperate need for new therapies. Everyone with Parkinson’s has a different set of symptoms and priorities, and it is therefore extremely unlikely that one drug will suit everyone. The Saatchi Bill, if passed, will open the door to new and innovative treatments. That being said, such treatments must have robust clinical safety data available before they are prescribable.

We know that with new biochemical understanding and thinking, some treatments that are used for other disease areas may now be proved relevant for use in Parkinson’s. This is the thinking behind our Linked Clinical Trials programme. The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is driving forward trials on a number of these potentially life changing medications through conducting several studies around the world to assess the effectiveness and safety of some exciting prospective target therapies for Parkinson's.