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OCTOBER 2009

                                                                                                                                                     

24th October 2009 - New research

GAUCHER'S DISEASE AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE

New England Journal of Medicine [2009] 361 (17) : 1651-1661 (Sidransky et al) Complete abstract

Gaucher's Disease has been found to make Parkinson's Disease five times more likely.  Gaucher's Disease is an inherited metabolic disorder in which harmful quantities of a substance called glucocerebroside can accumulate in the spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow, and the brain. Glucocerebroside accumulates because
glucocerebrosidase (the chemical that breaks it down) is deficient in Gaucher's Disease.

It is named after the French doctor Philippe Gaucher, who originally described it. For more information go to Gaucher's Disease. A lot of people are carriers for Gaucher's Disease without realising it. Around 1 in 100 people are a carrier for Gaucher's Disease. In Ashkenazi Jews as many as 1 in 15 are a carrier. Those people that had Gaucher's Disease and Parkinson's Disease developed Parkinson's Disease at an earlier age, were more likely to have affected relatives, and were more likely to have atypical clinical manifestations. Although it is known what causes Gaucher's Disease, it is not known how that can also cause the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

23rd October 2009 - New book

DEEP WITHIN THE BRAIN : LIVING WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Helmut Dubiel, Hubert H. Fernandez

Publisher's description : At the age of forty-six, philosopher and university professor Helmut Dubiel was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In the early stages of his sickness, fearing censure and ostracism, Dubiel did his utmost to conceal his condition. But when his symptoms became too obvious to camouflage, he was obliged to admit defeat and decided to undergo deep brain stimulation surgery. In this fascinating book, Dubiel describes his illness with a philosopher's aplomb, ennobling his personal experience with flair and scientific insight as he makes connections between his own medical drama and some of today's most significant tendencies.  Click here for more details.  For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.

 

19th October 2009 - New research

THE EFFECT OF MAO INHIBITORS ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
                                                                                                                                                                      
Cochrane Database of systematic reviews [2009] 4 : CD006661 (R.Caslake, A.Macleod, N.Ives, R.Stowe, C.Counsell) Complete abstract

Researchers compared the effect of MAO-B inhibitors on Parkinson's Disease with the use of dopaminergic drugs. MAO-B inhibitors that are commonly used with Parkinson's Disease are Selegiline (Deprenyl) and Rasagiline (Azilect). MAO-B inhibitors help to sustain the levels of dopamine. For more information go to MAO inhibitors.

Those people taking MAO-B inhibitors were far more likely to require additional treatments than those taking L-dopa or dopamine agonists. MAO-B inhibitors were sufficient on their own in very few people. MAO-B inhibitors caused far fewer motor fluctuations than L-dopa, but a bit more than dopamine agonists. Withdrawals due to adverse events were far less common with MAO-B inhibitors than with dopamine agonists. The authors concluded that MAO-B inhibitors are one option for the early treatment of Parkinson's Disease, but that they have weaker effects than L-dopa and dopamine agonists. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

15th October 2009 - News release

THE EFFECT OF COGANE ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Phytopharm have claimed that Cogane has reversed the effects of Parkinson's Disease. However, the study did not measure the long term effects, and the full details of the clinical trial have not been made available for analysis. For more information go to their News release. Cogane, which can be taken orally, readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to stimulate the release of GDNF. GDNF can indirectly stimulate the formation of dopamine, the substance whose insufficiency causes Parkinson's Disease.  For more information go to Cogane

However, GDNF deficiency has never been shown to be the cause of Parkinson's Disease. GDNF was found to be ineffective in clinical trials in humans. Although Phytopharm claim that Cogane can reverse the effects of Parkinson's Disease, Cogane has never reversed the effects of Parkinson's Disease in anyone. The efficacy study was only carried out on Macaque monkeys. Macaque monkeys do not have Parkinson's Disease. What is described as Parkinson's Disease in monkeys is usually only drug induced. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

14th October 2009 - News report

AGENT ORANGE ACCEPTED AS A CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs  has acknowledged Agent Orange as a cause of Parkinson's Disease.  For more information go to the News report. Agent Orange is the name given to a herbicide used by the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War as a means of warfare. For more information go to Agent Orange. In practical terms, those Veterans who served in the Vietnam War and who have Parkinson's Disease will not have to prove an association between their Parkinson's Disease and their military service in Vietnam. This acknowledgement simplifies and speeds up any application they make for benefits. For their web site go to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Their acknowledgement of an association is based entirely on the "Veterans and Agent Orange Update 2008", which can be read here. Although the report claims to "link" Agent Orange to Parkinson's Disease, it fails to provide any evidence showing that Agent Orange had caused Parkinson's Disease. There have been over 300 published studies on the effects of Agent Orange, yet none of them have shown that Agent Orange has caused Parkinson's Disease. Toxic exposure can not begin to have an effect on Parkinson's Disease years or decades after toxic exposure as is often claimed. It can occur in almost anyone without toxicity being the cause. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

11th October 2009 - New research

DUAL LAYER L-DOPA FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Clinical Neuropharmacology [2009] 32 (4) : 189-192 (Hinson VK, Goetz CG, Leurgans S, Fan W, Nguyen T, Hsu A.) Complete abstract

IPX054, which is a form of L-dopa, in which there are two layers, has been shown to be slightly more effective than conventional forms of L-dopa, despite only having to be taken twice a day instead of throughout the day. L-dopa usually comes in two different formats : either the immediate release version, which satisfies the immediate need for L-dopa, or the controlled release version, which avoids the excessive effects of L-dopa by spreading out the effect over time. IPX054 combines the two types of L-dopa, immediate release and controlled release, in one tablet, in two different layers, aiming to provide the benefits of both formats. In clinical practice, this ease of administration may offer improved treatment compliance and effectiveness. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

7th October 2009 - News release

MAGNETIC THERAPY FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Pico-Tesla claim to have shown “significant  improvement over placebo” in reducing Parkinson’s disease symptoms using their magnetic therapy Magneceutical, that persisted for up to two months after treatment without side effects. The level of improvement was not disclosed. For more information read the News release.

Magneceutical Therapy involves the use of an extremely low-level electromagnetic field applied by a specially designed device, the Resonator, along with proprietary therapeutic protocols, intended to improve a number of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. Helmholtz coils immerse the entire patient in a low strength electromagnetic field. The strength and duration of the magnetic fields are regulated by Pico-Tesla via the internet. The mechanism of action of magnetic therapy is not known.  For more information concerning the method used go to The Resonator. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.
 

                                                                                                                                                    5th October 2009 - New research

L-SULPIRIDE AS A CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Movement Disorders [2009] Sep 30 [Epub ahead of print] (Shin HW, Kim MJ, Kim JS, Lee MC, Chung SJ.)  Complete abstract

The drug L-Sulpiride has been found to commonly cause the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Levosulpiride is widely used for the management of Dyspeptic Syndrome, Retarded Gastric Excretion, Vertigo, Vomiting And Nausea. For more information go to L-Sulpiride. Little was known about L-Sulpiride-induced movement disorders (LIM).

So the aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of patients with L-Sulpiride-induced movement disorders (LIM). The most common L-Sulpiride-induced movement disorder was Parkinsonism making up over 90% of cases, followed by tardive dyskinesia with about 10% of cases, and isolated tremor affecting only 3% of cases. The symptoms are often severe, and L-Sulpiride-induced movement disorders still persisted even after withdrawal of L-Sulpiride in nearly half of those patients with L-Sulpiride induced Parkinsonism. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

1st October 2009 - New research

THE EFFECT OF RASAGILINE ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE

New England Journal of Medicine [2009] 361 (13) : 1268-1278 (Olanow CW, et al) Complete abstract

Claims based on the results of  a recent clinical trial that Rasagiline (Azilect) slows the progression of Parkinson's Disease are not supported at all by that study's results. Yet it has still been very widely, and falsely claimed that Rasagiline slows the progression of Parkinson's Disease. Rasagiline is a MAO inhibitor, which is a type of drug that is often used in Parkinson's Disease alone, or alongside other treatments.
For more information go to Rasagiline.

The clinical trial involved over a thousand patients. In early-start treatment with Rasagiline at a dose of 1 mg per day, there was actually a worsening of Parkinson's Disease symptoms throughout the clinical trial. As time progressed during the clinical trial, the effect of 1mg Rasagiline was found to be no different from those people that had taken Rasagiline for only half of the time. The use of 2mg Rasagiline per day was also shown to be no better than the use of 1mg or delaying the use of Rasagiline. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

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