PARKINSON'S DISEASE NEWS
29th May 2009 - New research
THE EFFECT OF DBS ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry  80 (5) : 484-488 (Bannier S, Montaurier C, Derost PP, Ulla M, Lemaire JJ, Boirie Y, Morio B, Durif F.) Complete abstract
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry  May 21 [Epub ahead of print] (Smeding HM, Speelman JD, Huizenga HM, Schuurman PR, Schmand B.) Complete abstract
The effects on people with Parkinson's Disease has been assessed after they have undergone DBS (Deep brain stimulation). Deep brain stimulation is a method of treating Parkinson's Disease that involves the use of electrodes implanted into the brain. Three months after surgery, DBS had caused an improvement in Parkinson's Disease symptoms by 60%, and an improvement of more than 80% in motor complications such as dyskinesia. No patient was underweight before surgery, and half were overweight before surgery.
By contrast, 68% were overweight 3 months after surgery, and 82% were overweight after 16 months. This weight gain was mainly secondary to an increase in fat mass in both men and women. The researchers suggested the need to counter weight increase due to DBS by providing diet management a physical training schedule for people with Parkinson's Disease. A second study found that there was a 41% improvement in motor function, a 32% improvement in the quality of life, but a 36% decline in intellectual functions. Mood improved in some but declined in others. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
28th May 2009 - New book
WITH SHAKING HANDS - AGING WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE IN AMERICA'S HEARTLAND
23rd May 2009 - New research
ESTROGEN AND THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Movement Disorders  May 7
[ahead of print] (Simon KC, Chen H, Gao X, Schwarzschild MA, Ascherio A.)
22nd May 2009 - New book
PARKINSONIAN DISORDERS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE
Anthony Schapira (Editor),
Andreas Hartmann (Editor), Yves Agid (Editor)
20th May 2009 - New research
ANTI-DEPRESSANTS PRECEDE PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry  80 (6) : 671-674 (Alonso A, Rodríguez LA, Logroscino G, Hernán MA.) Complete abstract
Those people taking anti-depressants were found to be nearly two times (1.85 times) more likely to develop Parkinson's Disease. The association became more than twice as likely (2.19 times) during the first two years after initiation of anti-depressant use. More than two years later, previous anti-depressant use increased the likelihood of Parkinson's Disease only slightly.
Results were similar for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic anti-depressants separately. It is uncertain as to whether it is the anti-depressants or depression that caused this association. Individuals with depression have a higher risk of developing Parkinson's Disease but the timing of the association is unknown. They often coincide because depression is also a potential symptom of the insufficient dopamine that occurs in Parkinson's Disease. The researchers suggest that depressive symptoms could be an early manifestation of Parkinson's Disease that precedes muscular symptoms. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
19th May 2009 - News release
BASKETBALL STAR DEVELOPS PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Former NBA basketball star Brian Grant has been diagnosed with "young onset" Parkinson's Disease in January whilst still only 36, after he began having tremors in his left hand last summer. He consulted two other well-known Parkinson's Disease sufferers, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali, and quickly implemented several lifestyle changes. For the full details and a video interview, go to the Complete article. He played for Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns in the NBA. For more information go to Brian Grant. He is starting a web site devoted to Parkinson's Disease, and has his own official web site. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
17th May 2009 - News release
NEW METHOD OF DIAGNOSING PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Transgenomic and Power3 Medical have announced the introduction of a new blood test for Parkinson's Disease called NuroPro® PD. The NuroPro PD test can help clinicians distinguish patients with Parkinson’s diseases from those that don't have Parkinson's Disease, and those people with other neurological disorders. The tests are a panel of blood serum protein biomarkers that are evaluated to predict the probability that somebody has Parkinson's Disease.
The results showed that NuroPro PD was able to discriminate between Parkinson’s Disease patients and age-matched control subjects with a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 96%. Samples from Parkinson’s Disease patients were correctly identified with 100% sensitivity when tested. The aim is to market NuroPro PD in the near future. For more information go to the Press release. As many as 25% of people with Parkinson's Disease are wrongly diagnosed. So a method of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease that was far more accurate than symptom questionnaires, and much cheaper than the relatively expensive scanning methods, would be a major development. For current methods of diagnosis, go to Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
15th May 2009 - New book
LIFE WITH A BATTERY-OPERATED BRAIN : A PATIENT'S GUIDE TO DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION SURGERY FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Jackie Hunt Christensen
Publisher's description : Why would anyone say “Let’s stick wires into someone’s brain, run voltage through it, and see what happens!” ? Author Christensen answers this question and more in her unique and comprehensive book, as she has firsthand knowledge of the procedure commonly referred to as DBS. She herself lived with Parkinson’s disease for more than seven years before electing to be evaluated for DBS surgery. Parkinson’s disease, the author is quick to point out, does not end, but DBS is meant to be a long-term treatment. Jackie Hunt Christensen offers a step-by-step look at her own journey, as well as offering information on a typical evaluation process, medical statistics, questions to ask neurosurgeons, opinions from other DBS patients, the programming process for DBS, and much more. For more details click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
13th May 2009 - New research
THE PREVALENCE OF
ANXIETY IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
This high prevalence of anxiety disorders suggested to the researchers that anxiety in Parkinson's Disease is both underdiagnosed and undertreated. The main biochemical fault in Parkinson's Disease is insufficient dopamine. Low dopamine does not cause anxiety itself. So anxiety is not an inevitable part of Parkinson's Disease. L-dopa can end up as noradrenaline, which causes anxiety. So the high prevalence of anxiety in Parkinson's Disease may be largely due to the side effects of certain Parkinson's Disease drugs. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
11th May 2009 - New research
ALUMINIUM AND THE RISK
OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
This was accompanied by a decrease in the activity of some antioxidant enzymes (chemicals that protect the cells against damage). However, studies confirmed the inability of aluminium to affect the activity of those antioxidant enzymes. Aluminium also enhanced the ability of a known neurotoxin, to cause oxidative stress and neuro-degeneration in the dopaminergic neurons (the cells involved in Parkinson's Disease). The authors conclude that aluminium is a risk factor for developing Parkinson's Disease. Contrary to their claims, severe aluminium poisoning has never been shown to cause Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
6th May 2009 - New research
RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN
Even after adjusting for all possible factors, American-Americans still had less than half the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease. The reason for this racial difference in Parkinson's Disease is unknown. Observed racial differences in the incidence of Parkinson's Disease are not explained at all by differences in age, sex, income, insurance or healthcare utilization. The country with the lowest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease - Ethiopia - is also African, as are other countries with a low prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. However, Latin American countries, such as Colombia and Bolivia also have a low prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to the Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
3rd May 2009 - New research
However, the results show that the effect of Pramipexole was little better than the effect of a placebo : depression (reduced by -5.9 v -4.0), geriatric depression (improved by 2.5 v 1.7), Parkinson's Disease symptoms (reduced by -4.4 v -2), daily living (improved by -2.4 v -1.2). Those taking only a placebo improved on all the scales as well, thereby reducing the actual benefit of Pramipexole. The placebo achieved a similar effect without the widespread side effects of Pramipexole. For more information go to the News release.
Previous research by the same author also showed that Pramipexole was not not much more effective for Parkinson's Disease depression than a placebo. For more information go to the Complete abstract. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.