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JULY 2015

 

25th July 2015 - New research

DIABETIC DRUG REDUCES THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Glitazones, which are diabetic drugs, have been found to be associated with a 28% reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease. Glitazones are peroxisome proliferation activated receptor gamma agonists. For more information go to : Glitazones

Diabetics, who did not have Parkinson's Disease, who were prescribed Glitazones, were compared with people taking other diabetic drugs. Their progress was recorded until they received a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. The incidence of Parkinson's Disease was 6.4 per 100,000 in those taking Glitazones and 8.8 in those taking other diabetic drugs. This is the equivalent of a 28% reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease when taking Glitazones. However, the authors point out that glitazones have been associated with some serious side effects.

Another diabetic drug, Exenatide was previously found to improve Parkinson's Disease. As with Glitazones, the authors did not suggest how this diabetes drug can have effect in Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to : Exenatide

Reference : PLoS Medicine [2015] 12(7) : e1001854 (R.Brauer, K.Bhaskaran, N.Chaturvedi, D.T.Dexter, L.Smeeth, I.Douglas)  Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here       

 

18th July 2015 - New research

DRY POWDER INHALER FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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A dry powder inhaler has been found to be a viable means of administering L-dopa. Because of its rapid onset of action, pulmonary administration of L-dopa is a possible alternative to the oral administration of L-dopa in Parkinson's Disease patients in an off period. Its means of administration could enable a very quick therapeutic effect. Researchers studied the ability of people with Parkinson's Disease to operate a dry powder inhaler (DPI) correctly during an off period.

They used an instrumented test inhaler with three different resistances to air flow. The volumes inhaled varied from 1.2 litres to 3.5 litres. Total inhalation time and the time to peak inspiratory flow rate both decreased with decreasing inhaler resistance. Nearly all of the patients could hold their breath for at least five seconds after inhalation and most of them could extend this time to ten seconds. The data from this study indicate that patients with Parkinson's disease will be able to use a dry powder inhaler during an off period and they provide an adequate starting point for the development of an L-dopa powder inhaler.

An L-dopa inhaler using L-dopa in liquid form instead of a dry form, that takes only 10 minutes to start having effect, is already undergoing clinical trials in Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to : L-dopa inhaler

Reference : PLoS One [2015] 10 (7) : e0132714 (M.Luinstra, A.W.Rutgers, H.Dijkstra, F. Grasmeijer, P.Hagedoorn, J.M.Vogelzang, H.W.Frijlink, A.H.de Boer) Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here       

 

14th July 2015 - New research

YERBA MATE REDUCES THE LIKELIHOOD OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Yerba Mate has been found to reduce the likelihood of Parkinson's Disease by more than a third. Yerba Mate is a very common beverage in some countries of South America. It is a herb, that is dried and chopped, before pouring hot water over it to make a drink. For more information go to : Yerba Mate

A study of hospital records was conducted in order to investigate the association between Parkinson's Disease and yerba mate intake. Coffee and tea intake were also assessed. The likelihood of Parkinson's Disease was reduced to 63% for those drinking yerba mate, which was down to 60% for those drinking tea, and was only 51% for those drinking coffeee. Yerba mate contains three xanthines : caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine, which is primarily how it has its stimulatory effect. Tea contains more caffeine than yerba mate. Coffee contains more caffeine than tea. Caffeine occurs to a lesser extent in cola drinks, cocoa, and chocolate.

Although the researchers detail the reduced likelihood of Parkinson's Disease because of drinking yerba mate, the reduced likelihood of Parkinson's Disease is even greater when drinking tea, and even more so when drinking coffee. The effect appears to be directly related to the caffeine intake. Caffeine is a naturally occurring adenosine antagonist. The Adenosine antagonist drugs Tozadenant, Preladenant, and Istradefylline are presently being assessed for their use in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease.

Reference : Journal of Neurological Science [2015] Jun 24 [Epub ahead of print] (E.M.Gatto, C.Melcon, V.L.Parisi, L.Bartoloni, C.D.Gonzalez)  Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here       

 

10th July 2015 - New research

COMBINED METHODS OF DIAGNOSING PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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The method of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease using DATSCAN has been found to be more accurate when combined with the additional use of olfactory testing (using B-SIT, which involves a smell identification test). DATSCAN is used in the SPECT scan.

A SPECT scan is a type of nuclear imaging test, which means it uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create three-dimensional images that show how the organs work. Before the scan, patients receive a radioactive substance through an injection or through an intravenous (IV) infusion into a vein in the arm. For more information concerning SPECT scan go to :  SPECT scan

A reduced risk of ParPeople with Parkinson's Disease were assessed using DATSCAN, which is used in SPECT scans, and the Brief 12-item The visual assessment of DaTSCAN had a higher sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy than olfactory testing. Smell Identification Test (B-SIT). scores were significantly lower for people with Parkinson's Disease, but were not significantly different between Atypical Parkinsonian Syndrome and people without Parkinsonism.

However, the combined use of DaTSCAN and B-SIT (olfactory testing) led to a higher rate of correctly diagnosed Parkinson's Disease, thereby suggesting their combined use instead of using a SPECT scan alone.

Reference : Journal of Neurology [2015] Jun 30 [Epub ahead of print] (C.Georgiopoulos, A. Davidsson, M.Engström, E.M.Larsson, H.Zachrisson, N.Dizdar) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here       

 

5th July 2015 - New research

ARTISTS HAVE A GREATLY REDUCED RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Artists have been found to have a greatly reduced risk of Parkinson's Disease that is way below that known for any other occupation.

These new results are consistent with those famous people known to have had Parkinson's Disease. Of those, the only famous artist was the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí (1904-1989). Even then, his diagnosis is dubious because his near-senile wife had allegedly been giving him a dangerous cocktail of unprescribed medicines that damaged his nervous system.

A reduced risk of Parkinson's Disease was found for men with an artistic occupation late in life that was only 14% of normal. However, being an artist as a first occupation made the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease far more likely than that but at 72% still less likely than normal. Conventional occupations showed no increased likelihood of Parkinson's Disease apart from farming, in which Parkinson's Disease was 2.7 times more likely, most probably because of pesticide use. Although artistic occupations late in life are associated with a greatly reduced risk it is probable that because higher dopamine levels are required for visual creativity, that people whose dopamine levels are low, as they are in Parkinson's Disease, would be less inclined to be artistic visually.

Reference : Journal of Neurology [2015] Jul 3 [Epub ahead of print] (C.A.Haaxma, G.F. Borm, D.van der Linden, A.C.Kappelle, B.R.Bloem) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here                           

 

2nd July 2015 - New research

ANTI-EPILEPTIC IMPROVES WEARING-OFF IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Zonisamide, despite being an anti-epileptic, reduced "off" time in Parkinson's Disease during clinical trials. Zonisamide is presently being assessed for use in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Zonisamide activates dopamine biosynthesis by increasing the level of mRNA of tyrosine hydroxylase, which is the enzyme responsible for dopamine formation. For more information on zonisamide go to :  Zonisamide

To determine the efficacy of zonisamide for the treatment of "off" time in Parkinson's Disease, people with Parkinson's Disease who had wearing-off received a placebo for 4 weeks and were then treated for 12 weeks with either 25mg per day zonisamide, 50 mg per day zonisamide, or placebo, in addition to their previous therapy. The "off" time significantly reduced by 45 minutes when taking 50mg zonisamide per day. Although the incidence of somnolence was just a bit higher for zonisamide, the incidences of other adverse events, including dyskinesia or hallucinations, for zonisamide were comparable to those of only a placebo.

The study provides evidence that confirms the efficacy of zonisamide 50 mg per day for reduction in "off" time in people with Parkinson's Disease with wearing-off phenomena.

Reference : Movement Disorders [2015] Jun 12 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Murata, K. Hasegawa, I.Kanazawa, J.Fukasaka, K.Kochi, R.Shimazu) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

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