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APRIL 2014

 30th April 2014 - New book

ALTER YOUR COURSE : PARKINSON'S - THE EARLY YEARS 

Monique L.Giroux, Sierra M.Farris

Publisher's description : This book is not intended to be filled with facts about the disease; there are many books that cover these topics. Instead we have focused on 2 questions, “Does PD present an opportunity in disguise ? What information, actions or attitudes are most helpful early in the disease to set the stage for living your best now and into the future?” Alter Your Course tells a different story -one that is emerging within you -the person with PD. Your story can be filled with hope, inspiration, empowerment, resiliency and strength. Each chapter concludes with helpful advice designed to help you take control of your PD journey and alter your course. The last chapter is filled with advice; from people like you-living with PD. Click here for more details  For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to go Parkinson's Disease books

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24th  April 2014 - New research

CLINICAL TRIAL OF GENE THERAPY FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Lancet [2014] 383 (9923) : 1138-1146 (S.Palfi, J.M.Gurruchaga, G.S.Ralph, H.Lepetit, S.Lavisse, P.C.Buttery, C. Watts, J.Miskin, M.Kelleher, S.Deeley, et al)  Complete abstract

ProSavin (NLX-P101) uses LentiVector gene delivery technology to deliver genes for three enzymes they suggest are required for the formation of dopamine. The product is administered locally to the relevant region of the brain in order to increase the brain's own capacity for the formation of dopamine. For more information go to Prosavin

In a clinical trial of Prosavin, 15 patients received ProSavin, with three people taking a low dose, six taking a mid dose, and six taking a high dose. During the first 12 months 54 drug-related adverse events were reported (51 mild and 3 moderate). The most reported were increased dyskinesias, and on-off phenomena. No serious adverse events related to the drug or the surgical procedure were reported. A moderate improvement in mean Parkinson's Disease symptom scores was recorded in all patients tested at 6 months and 12 months.

In a previous clinical trial the degree of efficacy was quite moderate, with an average 27% improvement after 3 months, peaking at 31% after 6 months, and declining to 23% after 2 years. In the long term stimulating gene and enzyme levels artificially reduces a person's own formation of those genes and enzymes. In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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15th  April 2014 - New research

GOOGLE GLASS BEING TESTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Newcastle University are investigating Google Glass as an assistive aid in order to help people with Parkinson's Disease retain their independence for longer.

Glass is a wearable computer being developed by Google. At first glance Glass appears to be no more than a pair of designer glasses. However, the system works like a hands-free smartphone that displays visual information on the lens of the Glass.

The technology is voice-operated and is also linked to the internet. It is not currently available outside the USA. For more information go to a review of Google Glass

Researchers have been working with a group of Parkinson's Disease volunteers aged between 46-70 years. They are working on the next stage of the project, using the technology to provide discreet prompts linked to key behaviours typical of Parkinson's Disease, such as reminding the individual to speak up or to swallow to prevent drooling. Glass can also be used as a personal reminder for things such as taking medication and making appointments. Glass is connected to the internet so that the wearer can link it to computers and mobile phones. So if the wearer is alone they just have to look through the Glass so that carers or relatives will be able to see exactly where they are. The wearer can also tell it to call someone and it rings them. For more information go to Newcastle University  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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7th  April 2014 - New research

THE NAZI DISCOVERER OF L-DOPA FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 2014 Apr 3 [Epub ahead of print] (H.Czech, L.A. Zeidman) Complete abstract

Walther Birkmayer, an Austrian neurologist, co-discovered the effectiveness of L-dopa for Parkinson's Disease in 1961. However, Birkmayer was a member of SS and a member of the Nazi party. Little has been previously published regarding Birkmayer's ties to Naziism.

Researchers have determined that Birkmayer was not only an early illegal member of the SS and the Nazi party but also took part in "de-Jewification". He also was a leader in the Nazi racial policy office and was praised for his dedication and fanaticism despite being forced to later resign from the SS. He sought support from leading Viennese Nazis and was able to maintain his professional status for the war's remainder. Postwar, he succeeded at reintegration personally and professionally into Austrian society, all but erasing any obvious ties to his Nazi past.

In 1960 Dr. Hornykiewicz demonstrated that dopamine levels were below normal in the brains of people who died of Parkinson's Disease. He and Dr. Arvid Carlsson, believed that L-dopa, a precursor in the biosynthesis of dopamine, could treat Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Hornykiewicz and Dr. Birkmayer began to treat patients with L-dopa. They noticed marked short-term improvements. They published their findings in 1961, which eventually led to L-dopa being the most widely used treatment for Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Walther Birkmayer  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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2nd April 2014 - New clinical trial

ISRADIPINE BEING TESTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

After proving relatively safe in a study funded by The Michael J.Fox Foundation, Isradipine is moving to Phase III testing of its effect on Parkinson's Disease thanks to a $23 million grant from the National Institute of Health. They hope to enrol more than 300 participants at 56 clinical sites throughout North America. For more information go to The Michael J.Fox Foundation

Isradipine is a calcium channel blocker that is marketed as Dynacirc. Dynacirc is a drug that is prescribed to treat high blood pressure. For more information concerning Dynacirc go to Medline Plus

The basis for the clinical trial is that data from large studies found that there was a lower incidence of Parkinson's Disease among those people who took Isradipine.

However, when Isradipine was tested in Phase II clinical trials in people who had Parkinson's Disease Isradipine caused side effects. The most common adverse events were peripheral edema and dizziness. Isradipine also failed to have any significant effect on Parkinson's Disease symptoms. For more information go to the Phase II clinical trial

In order to effectively treat Parkinson's Disease effectively dopamine formation must be increased but, even in theory, calcium channel blockers can not do that.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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