Sunday, Mar 03 2024
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The greatest rail adventure in the world, the Trans-Siberian train journey'

Siberian scientists on brink of Parkinson’s cure

By 0 and 0 and 0
17 November 2014


'Our substance helps to restore the balance of neurotransmitters and is mild and works without major side effects.' Picture:

Siberian scientists are spearheading the global fight against Parkinson’s disease with tests about to begin on a possible cure. Researchers at the Vorozhtsov Institute of Organic Chemistry, in Novosibirsk, have already completed trials on animals using a new substance derived from turpentine.

There is hope the chemical, which is mild and could be the first to work without any major side effects, could hold the key to eradicating the debilitating condition.

Physicians around the world are keeping a close eye on developments in Siberia, particularly as no cure yet exists to help the 10 million people with the illness globally. If trials begin next year, a medication could be available to use before 2019.

'Our substance helps to restore the balance of neurotransmitters and is mild and works without major side effects,' said head chemist Konstantin Volcho. 'Currently the tests on animals are nearing completion so the next stage would be to test on human volunteers. Sufferers are telling the scientists to hurry up – they’re calling and writing to the project manager asking us to accelerate the research.'

Bottles with turpentine

Creating the medicine

In the laboratory

'Currently the tests on animals are nearing completion so the next stage would be to test on human volunteers. Sufferers are telling the scientists to hurry up.' Picture:

It is thought as many as 523,000 people in Russia suffer from Parkinson’s, a debilitating condition in which part of the brain slowly becomes more damaged over many years. Russian chess grandmaster Leonid Shamkovich, who died in 2005, was among the famous people afflicted by the disease.

The main symptoms are tremors or shaking of parts of the body, particularly the hands, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. However, sufferers can also experience other problems including depression, constipation, insomnia and memory loss.

Currently there is no cure for the illness, which is caused by a loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This, in turn, leads to a reduction in the brain in the amount of a chemical called dopamine, which regulates movement.

Scientists are still undecided about what causes the condition, although the majority believe it is a combination of genetic and environmental reasons. The research team in Novosibirsk has been working with a complex formula of turpentine in their possible cure.

Physicians have long known that turpentine baths soothe nervous patients, with some clinics in Russia already using them to dampen down the symptoms of Parkinson’s. In preparation for clinical trials on people, a company in Tomsk is already compiling a list of volunteers to take part.

Konstantin Volcho

Nariman Salakhutdinov

Konstantin Volcho, Chief Researcher of the Novosibirsk Institute of Organic Chemistry (top). Nariman Salakhutdinov, Head of Department of Medical Chemistry, Novosibirsk Institute of Organic Chemistry (bottom). Picture: SB RAS,

Nariman Salakhutdinov, the head of the medical chemistry department at the institute, said he had been inundated with requests for the drug, even though it has not been fully tested.

He said: 'Somehow they managed to find my mobile phone number, and they have been calling from all over the world. But it’s not a medication yet, it’s only a chemical agent so, of course, I can’t give it to anyone.

'The only thing I can advise to all the patients getting in touch with me is that the company Innovative Pharmacology Research (IPHAR) in Tomsk is creating a database of people ready to volunteer for the clinical tests.'

Turpentine is obtained by the distillation of resin from pine trees, and it is most commonly used as paint thinner. However, has had medicinal uses as far back as the 15th century, when seamen navigating the globe used it to treat cuts and wounds, or as a treatment for hair lice. Mixed with animal fat it is also used as a chest rub or inhaler for nasal and throat ailments.

Clinical trials with people for the Parkinson’s cure will only begin next year if the Russian government continues to foot the multi-million-rouble research bill.

Comments (17)

i have been using turp for years with my patients... GOD BLESS YOU ALL.... this is a great brake thru for mankind.... DOC MIKE WITORT, R,FMD.
doc mike witort,r,fmd, oakbrook il...usa
02/03/2019 22:46
we are in 2018, any update for this cure news ?
william, UK
28/03/2018 21:26
I would have hped for a refresher on the article... it was fisrt aired, or at least the first post was on4/12/2014
Jim Smith, Southampton UK
25/12/2017 07:09
Dear Inventors,

I am currently studying in BU, would love to know the result this might help millions of people.


Thank you
Marius Student Nurse at BU, Bournemouth United Kingdom
09/11/2017 20:09
Hi.. I am just 20 years old from india.. I am very scared as i am facing tremors and mild stiffness.. I used to go to the gym be physically active as possible, lift heavy weights.. Dont know why this happened.. I am very sad and depressed as i am so young to get this dreadful disease.. I have my entire career left.. I hope they cure this nasty disease.. As soon as possible.. Atleast before i die.
Tirthankar, India
21/11/2016 12:59
Hi, the Russian translation is inaccurate. Actually, the drug is a molecule called polyprenol extracted from pine needle ( hence association with turpentine ) and the technology belongs to an Australian biotech company called Solagran. Polyprenol/Dolichol plays a major role in cell metabolism.
Soong Ling, Australia
10/01/2016 06:17
Any update on when human trials will start for possible cure
Max, Kansas City United States
27/11/2015 03:03
i have MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) , Will this cure Multiple System Atrophy as well?
max, kansas city USA
31/10/2015 18:08
Congratulations to Russsian Researchers and the Russian Government for their humane support of this project. I have lived with this illness for 30 years;. my sister since High School. She dedicated herself to helping others as a nurse.
Vicky Perry, Apple Valley, MN U.S.A.
24/08/2015 19:42
I am scared to be hopeful....I am sick of hearing about all the near finished tests and encouraging treatments that never arrive......I am just very unbelieving that a drug company that makes so much profit out of our illness will deliberately reduce their profits by finding a cure for parkinson's Disease. They even produce meds that mean you have to take more meds for the side effects of the meds...They make money out of our suffering why would they want to cure us??? there is no sentiment in big bussiness

margaret Chorley, Pocklington UK
24/08/2015 04:51
I am excited to read this and would value any information about the current state of research! Thank You so much
linda, düsseldorf
13/08/2015 04:19
Hi, I was wondering if there are any Dr's in the U.S. using this? If so would you please forward me the information as my mom suffered from Parkinson's.
Thank you
Alba Pennisi, North Caldwell, N.J. Unit States of America
17/07/2015 05:29
Parkinson's as so many diseases affects the victim and their family. When my medication is not as effective as usual I become restless, anxious and afraid. I see my wife's smile fade and it makes me feel ashamed of what is happening to her during these times. It is difficult enough to fight each day with the symptoms but, when I see my wife's pain I wish to God that a cure is found. I wish all success to your research.
Paul Cook, Batam, Indonesia
26/02/2015 15:39
Such wonderful news for so many people. I wish they could find a cure for Tourette Syndrome which can also be very debilitating and originates deep within the brain. My grandfather had Parkinson's and my son has a severe case of Tourette.
Deb, Hart, Michigan
04/02/2015 03:22
Thank you for providing a summary about the research and what remains to be done. It seems very exciting, and the whole world should be not only watching, but should this bear the results that I think we all want, then you should be recognized and rewarded appropriately. We are all in this together, as fellow citizens, and brothers of the human race. I applaud you.
Dan Johnson, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
26/12/2014 13:20

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy



Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory



The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies