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Parkinson's Disease

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 26 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will now report on the methods of Dr. Voeller, of Kassel, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease; and on the advisability of his methods being adopted in this country.

This investigation is not yet complete, but I will make the results known as soon as they can be assessed, which will not be for some months yet.

While recognising the possibility of some reports of these cures being exaggerated, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that when these cases of cures are reported they are followed up by his Department in great detail?

We arranged for eight patients to go to Germany. Only four have yet returned. I am informed that it is necessary for six months to elapse before a judgment can be made.

Apart from any action which my right hon. Friend has taken in this case, can he say whether there is any department of his Ministry the duty of which is to check up on the claims that are made in America and Switzerland of successful treatment in cases of Parkinson's disease and disseminated sclerosis; and will such a department investigate them, and find out if they are really working?

This is one of the investigations which has been put in hand. Investigations are taking place all the time when there are definite lines of research to be followed.

Can the Minister say whether there are any obstacles against these methods of treatment being carried out on an experimental scale in this country?

No. It was first suggested that there was a person in Germany about whom it was alleged that he had a cure for this disease. We are now testing that claim. I hope that no unnecessary publicity will be given to the claims until we have assessed their worth.