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PARKINSON'S DISEASE NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY 2016

 

31st July 2016 - News release

CANCER DRUG NILOTINIB ASSESSED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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The Michael J.Fox Foundation is assessing the clinical use and development of the cancer drug nilotinib for treating Parkinson's Disease by carrying out a full scale clinical trial. Nilotinib is a drug approved for chronic myelogenous leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, under the brand name Tasigna.  For more information go to the : Michael J.Fox Foundation

Previous studies have concerned the possible use of nilotinib and Parkinson's Disease. Their findings are summarised here. Nilotinib is a cAbl tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is normally used for the treatment of cancer. It is claimed to facilitate the degradation of alpha-synuclein. Efficacy has only been assessed concerning motor function in animals that did not have Parkinson's Disease. Doses of 150mg or 300mg for 6 months were claimed to be safe and well tolerated despite side effects. For more details of the previous studies concerning nilotinib and Parkinson's Disease go to : Nilotinib studies

Although alpha-synuclein is often claimed to cause and indicate Parkinson's Disease, alph-synuclein accumulates in a variety of neurological conditions and in people who do not have neurological disorders. Therefore, an accumulation of alpha-synuclein does not indicate that somebody has Parkinson's Disease. In Parkinson's Disease, the faulty formation of L-dopa causes the formation of the superoxide anion, which causes the aggregation of alpha-synuclein. So instead of alpha-synuclein accumulation being the cause of Parkinson's Disease, Parkinson's Disease causes an accumulation of alpha-synuclein. In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

30th July 2016 - New novel

SAY THAT AGAIN

Jane M.Cullen

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Publisher's description : Benedict Marshall is a charismatic, articulate, award winning playwright. At 62, his life is alteredPublisher's description : Benedict Marshall is a charismatic, articulate, award winning playwright. At 62, his life is altered in one week by two events - being diagnosed with Parkinsonís Disease and meeting Nell, a much younger, out of work actress.

They form an instant and unlikely close friendship. He shares his guilt and introspection about his past and the fear and isolation he feels in his own body with Nell and she confides in him the insecurities and challenges she faces in her profession. Benedict valiantly battles against his Parkinsonís Disease with black humour and charm, while trying to deny to his family and himself, his unspoken love for the young woman who everyone warns him can only be after his money. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books

 

20th July 2016 - New research

ULTRASOUND ELASTOGRAPHY - MEANS OF ASSESSING RIGIDITY IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Ultrasound elastography is a means of assessing the mechanical properties of tissue, by applying stress and detecting tissue displacement using ultrasound. It provides information on tissue stiffness. For more information go to : Ultrasound Elastography

Ultrasound shear wave elastography has been used to assess muscle stiffness in people with Parkinson's Disease. The assessments were made by assessing the biceps of people with Parkinson's Disease.Around Ultrasound shear wave elastography of the longitudinal biceps brachii was performed on 46 people with Parkinson's Disease and 31 healthy controls The mean Young's modulus was 59 kPa in remarkably symptomatic arms, 47 kPa in mildly symptomatic arms, and 24 kPa in healthy controls.

A significant difference was found between healthy controls and all people with Parkinson's Disease. The distinctiveness of the results enable Ultrasound shear wave elastography to be used as a quantitative assessment of muscle stiffness in people with Parkinson's Disease..

Reference : Clinical Imaging [2016] 40 (6) : 1075-1080 (L.J.Du, W.He, L.G. Cheng, S.Li, Y.S.Pan, J.Gao)   Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

16th July 2016 - News release

ONGENTYS - NEW COMT INHIBITOR FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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The European Commission has approved Ongentys (opicapone) for use alongside preparations of L-dopa and dopa decarboxylase inhibitors (such as Sinemet and Madopar) in people with Parkinson's Disease who have end-of-dose motor fluctuations, and who cannot be stabilised on those combinations. Opicapone is a new COMT inhibitor. COMT inhibitors aim to maintain dopamine levels for longer.

Two studies were carried out on people with Parkinson's Disease. In the first study, off periods were shortened by 117 minutes (nearly 2 hours) by taking Ongentys 50 mg, compared with 96 minutes (over 1 and a half hours) by taking the COMT inhibitor entacapone, and 56 minutes (less than 1 hour) by taking a placebo. In the second study, off periods were shortened by 119 minutes using Ongentys 50 mg, compared with 64 minutes in patients taking placebo. Therefore, Ongentys was found to be more effective than entacapone, which is presently the most widely used COMT inhibitor.

The most common adverse effects are disorders of the nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Among these, dyskinesia may affect around 2 in 10 people.

For more information go to the Ongentys page at the : European Medicines Agency Ongentys  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

10th July 2016 - New research

A POTENTIAL CASE OF REMISSION OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Researchers have presented the case of a 78-year-old male who, 16 years ago, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease by a neurologist. The patient initially presented with left-hand tremor, stooped posture, shuffling gait, and frequent falls, which eventually progressed to bilateral motor symptoms after 3 years.

However, since 2012, his symptoms and signs have almost completely remitted, and he has been off all pharmacotherapy for that time. The accuracy of the initial Parkinson's Disease diagnosis is supported by : an appropriate clinical presentation, history of positive response to Sinemet, and an abnormal SPECT DaT scan. This case therefore suggests the possibility of the remission of symptoms in some patients. The authors propose that the patient's long history of meditation may have been one of the contributing factors of his improvement because meditation has been shown to release dopamine. Parkinson's Disease is primarily due to insufficient dopamine.

There is a tendency for Parkinson's Disease symptoms to get gradually and progressively worse. However, dopamine levels, even in Parkinson's Disease, fluctuate continuously. There is therefore no reason why dopamine levels and therefore Parksinson's Disease can not improve.

Reference : Journal of Complementary Integrative Medicine [2016] [Epub ahead of print] (K.Smart, R.Durso, J.Morgan, P.McNamara)  Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

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