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JUNE 2010

                                                                                                                                                     

30th June 2010 - News release

MICROCHIPS TO CONTROL PARKINSON'S DISEASE

A Tel Aviv University team is aiming to create a microchip that can help doctors wire computer applications and sensors to the brain. Using Deep Brain Stimulation to stimulate certain areas of the brain, the effects of medical disorders such as Parkinson's Disease can be reduced. However, because controlling that stimulation currently lacks precision, some of its therapeutic benefits are lost over time. The team's method is to record activity using electrodes
implanted in diseased areas of the brain. Based on an analysis of this activity, they develop algorithms to simulate healthy neuronal activity which are programmed into a microchip and fed back into the brain. For now, the chip, called the Rehabilitation Nano Chip (ReNaChip), is hooked up to tiny electrodes which are implanted in the brain. But as chips become smaller, the ReNaChip could be made small enough to be "etched" right onto the electrodes themselves. For more information go to the complete news release. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

24th June 2010 - New research

THE CAUSE OF DEATH IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2010] May 28. [Epub ahead of print] (Pennington S, Snell K, Lee M, Walker R.)
Complete abstract

The current literature provides little data concerning the causes of death in Parkinson's Disease. Death certificate documentation is inadequate in one third of certificates, making research difficult. Less than two thirds of people with Parkinson's Disease actually had Parkinson's Disease recorded on their death certificates. When thoroughly assessed it was found that the most common cause of death in people with Parkinson's Disease was Pneumonia, which was the cause of death in 45% of people. For more information concerning Pneumonia. However, people with Parkinson's Disease less likely to die of Cancer or Heart Disease than the rest of the population. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


                                                                                                                                                                              
18th June 2010 - New research

TREMOR WRONGLY DIAGNOSED AS PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of Neurological  Neurosurgical Psychiatry [2010] Jun 14 [Epub ahead of print] (N.P.Bajaj, V.Gontu, J.Birchall, J.Patterson, D.G.Grosset, A.J.Lees) Complete abstract

Tremor is often wrongly assumed to be Parkinson's Disease. This is despite tremor occurring in a wide variety of medical disorders besides Parkinson's Disease, and failing to occur in nearly a third of people who do have Parkinson's Disease.  This contributes to a quarter of people diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease being wrongly diagnosed, and consequently treated for a medical disorder that they do not even have. This study examined the
clinical accuracy of movement disorder specialists in distinguishing tremor dominant Parkinson's Disease from other medical disorders in which tremor occurred. As many as a quarter of those patients assessed were diagnosed as having Parkinson's Disease when they did not even have it.  As many as a fifth of the patients that did have Parkinson's Disease were wrongly claimed not to have it. This study demonstrated the inadequacy of assessing Parkinson's Disease solely according to symptoms instead of using biochemical means. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

15th June 2010 - New book

PARKINSON'S DISEASE AND MOVEMENT DISORDERS

Charles H.Adler, J.Eric Ahlskog (Editors)

Publisher's description : Highly experienced clinician-researchers distill the new information now available about movement disorders to create a practice-oriented tutorial for all physicians treating movement disorders. Their book helps physicians distinguish each disorder, providing a basic understanding of both the test and treatment options needed in active practices, as well as the effective use of the therapeutic recommendations. The first half of the book is devoted to Parkinson's disease and conditions masquerading as parkinsonism, while the remainder details the recognition and treatment of tremor, dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, tics, gait disorders, the ataxias, conditions resulting in spasms, and restless legs syndrome. It provides sufficient background so that even relatively inexperienced clinicians can master the diagnosis and treatment.  Click here for more details, and for the official web site. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.

 

10th June 2010 - New resource

A CLOSER LOOK AT STEM CELL TREATMENTS

The International Society for Stem Cell Research has published an online report that aims to educate those who might be tempted, by providing criteria for people to evaluate claims made by clinics around the world that offer stem cell treatments. For the full details go to A closer look at stem cell treatments. The International Society for Stem Cell Research Society is assessing stem cell clinics, and asking them to provide evidence in support of their claims of efficacy. Stem cell therapy clinics can now be found in China, Central America, Russia, Europe and the United States.

According to the head of Canada's Stem Cell Network "It's irresponsible and despicable" that many overseas clinics are purporting to offer stem cell treatments for people with illnesses without any scientific evidence". "Around the world, really the only proven treatments relating to stem cells are for blood - using blood stem cells to treat various blood disorders, predominantly various types of cancer - and some wound healing with some skin treatments, and there's been some work done with the cornea," said Drew Lyall of the Stem Cell Network. "If you go to the websites of many of these companies you'll see that they're claiming to cure Parkinson's Disease and there's just no scientific evidence for that." For more information go to the complete news report.

It is often claimed that there is a massive loss of the cells involved in Parkinson's Disease, and that stem cell therapy is necessary in order to replace the lost cells. However, not a single study has ever actually shown that there is massive cell loss in Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

5th June 2010 - New research

DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION - A COMPARISON OF THE TWO TYPES

New England Journal of Medicine [2010] 362 (22) : 2077-2091 (Follett KA, Weaver FM, Stern M, Hur K, Harris CL, Luo P, Marks WJ Jr, Rothlind J, Sagher O, Moy C, Pahwa R, Burchiel K, Hogarth P, Lai EC, Duda JE, Holloway K, Samii A, Horn S, Bronstein JM, Stoner G, Starr PA, Simpson R, Baltuch G, De Salles A, Huang GD, Reda DJ) PMID: 20519680  Complete abstract

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is the main surgical procedure for people with advanced Parkinson's Disease.
DBS involves the use of electrodes that are implanted into the brain and connected to a small electrical device called a pulse generator that can be externally programmed. For more information go to Deep brain stimulation. The globus pallidus interna and the subthalamic nucleus are accepted targets for this procedure. Researchers compared the outcomes for patients who had undergone these two types of DBS : bilateral stimulation of the globus pallidus interna (pallidal stimulation), and subthalamic nucleus (subthalamic stimulation). The average outcome did not differ between the two methods. There was also no significant difference in self-reported function. However, patients undergoing subthalamic stimulation : required a lower dose of dopaminergic drugs than did those undergoing pallidal stimulation, had slightly more serious adverse events than those undergoing pallidal stimulation, and their depression worsened in contrast to an improvement in people undergoing pallidal stimulation. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

              

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