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AUGUST 2012

                                                                                                                                                 

23rd August 2012 - New research

THE PREVALENCE OF NON-MOTOR SYMPTOMS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery [2012] Aug 16 [Epub ahead of print] (E.M.Khedr, N.A.El Fetoh, H.Khalifa, M.A.Ahmed, K.M.El Beh) Complete abstract

The primary symptom of Parkinson's Disease is excessive muscle contraction. That leads to the characteristic symptoms such as rigidity, tremor, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). However, muscles are involved in physiological functions throughout the body. The dopamine deficiency that causes Parkinson's Disease also directly affects the emotions. Consequently, non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are very common.

The non-motor symptoms that were found to most prevalent in Parkinson's Disease were : disturbance of mood and cognition (87%), sleep disturbance and fatigue (78%), gastrointestinal (76%), urinary (76%), sexual dysfunction (73%), cardiovascular (70%). Perceptual problems and hallucinations are infrequent (10%) and are usually due to Parkinson's Disease drugs, especially dopamine agonists, rather than Parkinson's Disease itself. Dementia, which was found to be mostly mild, occurred in around 22% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Although dementia often eventually occurs in Parkinson's Disease, it has an entirely different biochemistry from Parkinson's Disease. It is therefore not a Parkinson's Disease symptom or inevitable in Parkinson's Disease.  For a printable version of this article click here.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

19th August 2012 - New research

DIAGNOSIS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE USING SPEECH

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering [2012] 59 (5) : 1264-1271 (A.Tsanas, M.A.Little, P.E.McSharry, J. Spielman, L.O.Ramig) Complete abstract

There has been a lot of recent research into the connection between Parkinson's Disease and speech impairment. Consequently, a wide range of speech signal processing algorithms (dysphonia measures) aiming to predict Parkinson's Disease severity using speech signals have been introduced. Dysphonia is an impairment in the ability to produce vocal sounds. For more information, go to Dysphonia.

Researchers assessed how accurately such measures can be in discriminating people with Parkinson's Disease from people who do not have it. In total, the researchers computed 132 measures of dysphonia measures from sustained vowels. They then used a large database of vocal samples from different people. The researchers demonstrated that these measures of dysphonia can outperform standard methods of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease by reaching almost 99% overall classification accuracy. They achieved this by using only ten features of dysphonia. For a printable version of this article click here.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

16th August 2012 - New research

PARKINSON'S DISEASE IS PREVALENT AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS

Movement Disorders [2012] Aug 14 [Epub ahead of print] (P.H.Gordon, J.M.Mehal, R.C.Holman, A.S.Rowland, J.E.Cheek) Complete abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease among American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. Alaska Natives include Eskimos and Athabascan. Athabascan languages are spoken in Alaska and across north western Canada, and are quite distinct from American Indians.

The age adjusted prevalence of Parkinson's Disease was found to be 355 people per 100,000. This makes it the highest in North America, even beyond the 329 per 100,000 found in Nebraska, which was previously thought to have the highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in North America. The prevalence amongst Native Americans increased with age up until 84 years old, and was greater amongst men rather than women. For more concerning the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease go to the Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this article click here.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

10th August 2012 - News report

BOB HOSKINS DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The British Hollywood actor Bob Hoskins has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Consequently he is completely retiring from acting. He appeared in films such as The Long Good Friday (1980), The Cotton Club (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), Hook (1991), and Neverland (2011). He claimed rarely to watch any of his own films, despite making more than 80 of them, remarking : Ill be watching a film on television at home and then realise with a shock that Im in it. For more information, go to the News report. In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

8th August 2012 - New book

PARKINSON'S HUMOR - FUNNY STORIES ABOUT MY LIFE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Beverly Robaudo

Publisher's description : I have Parkinson's Disease and a sense of humor! This is a collection of 100 funny stories about my life with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease. I also share some helpful advice for surviving this disease. Come learn and laugh with me! Laughter is the best medicine. Have a Happy Parkie Day !

Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease has been published as a Kindle on Amazon. It is text to speech enabled.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.

 

2nd August 2012 - New research

CAFFEINE REDUCES PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Neurology [2012] Aug 1 [Epub ahead of print] (Postuma RB, Lang AE, Munhoz RP, Charland K, Pelletier A, Moscovich M, Filla L, Zanatta D, Romenets SR, Altman R, Chuang R, Shah B.) Complete abstract

Neurology [2012] Aug 1 [Epub ahead of print] (Schwarzschild MA.) Complete abstract

Caffeine was found to reduce Parkinson's Disease symptom scores using the standard scale for Parkinson's Disease, which is the UPDRS. There were no changes in quality of life, depression or sleep quality. The amount of coffee assessed was  2 to 4 cups of coffee per day. The trial lasted for 6 weeks. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, and to a lesser extent in tea, cola drinks, cocoa, and chocolate. Studies had consistently linked caffeine, a non-selective adenosine antagonist, to a lower risk of Parkinson's Disease. However, the effects on the symptoms of people who already had Parkinson's Disease had not previously been adequately evaluated.

The researcher described it as "a modest improvement, but may be enough to provide benefit to patients". He pointed out that the study was short and that the effects of caffeine may lessen over time. Previous studies that used much higher quantities (about 8 cups of coffee per day) resulted in no improvement in symptoms, and instead caused an increase in dyskinesia, restlessness and insomnia. For a printable version of this article click here.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

 

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