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I'm not sure anyone would know what he's doing for himself unless he chooses to make it public. Obviously he's donating money for research. The specific gene mutation he has (in a gene called LRRK2) gives him about a 75% chance of developing Parkinson's by age 75; so far drug studies addressing that gene have not yielded usable treatments.

Parkinson's is a medically treatable disease and many patients do quite well with medication for a long time, but in some patients it’s devastating, and medication does not provide a cure, just an amelioration of symptoms. Surgically implanted deep brain stimulators are an effective treatment for the symptoms in a select group of patients but this also does not slow or cure the disease.

Transplantation of human fetal brain tissue has been tried in the past with mixed results and many ethical concerns, but is still under study in Europe TRANSEURO | Home.

Ultimately this is a disease where the use of stem cells to create replacement neurons for those which have failed (midbrain dopaminergic neurons) holds promise. Note that using stem cells to create neurons in the laboratory for placement into the brain is NOT the same as injecting stem cells into the brain! Sergey Brin’s stem cells and any neurons made from them would still have the defective gene, but making “fresh” neurons might reset the clock—it’s not clear whether the deterioration is intrinsic to the dopaminergic neurons, is caused by the environment in the brain around them or both (in some of the patients who received fetal tissue, that tissue eventually developed signs of Parkinson's too in a portion of the donor cells: http://m.pnas.org/content/113/23...) Cells made from a donor without the disease may require lifelong immunosuppression like any other transplant recipient, a less than ideal situation. Eventually, perhaps, the rapidly evolving field of gene editing will allow “repair” of the defect in stem cell lines made from someone like Mr Brin, that can then be used to produce normal dopaminergic neurons for reimplantation.

That's where I'd pin my hopes as of today—speaking as a Parkinson's surgeon who’s done hundreds of deep brain stimulation surgeries. Coincidentally, and ironically, my own DNA, tested with that same company belonging to Mr Brin’s ex, shows that I have a different mutation that elevates my risk for Parkinson's to about 4x the general population risk (still far less than his). While I don't lie awake worrying about the 5–6% chance that I'll develop the disease, it's certainly enough that I keep my eyes and ears open for legitimate progress in this field. I'm cautiously optimistic.