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NOVEMBER 2015

 

27th November 2015 - New research

LOWER PARKINSON'S DISEASE PREVALENCE AMONGST SMOKERS

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Epidemiological studies previously reported a 60-70% reduced risk of Parkinson's Disease in smokers as compared to non-smokers. However, relationships between former smoking and Parkinson's Disease have been poorly investigated. 

When assessed, current smokers were found to be far less likely to have Parkinson's Disease. Former smokers were found to be far more likely to develop Parkinson's Disease than people who had never smoked. Around 44% of people with Parkinson's Disease reported quitting smoking before they were diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. The average time for cessation was 9 years, with a range of 2 to 16 years. The most important reasons given by people with Parkinson's Disease for quitting smoking were an illness different from Parkinson's Disease (51%), and knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking (47%).

The reduced prevalence of current smokers among people with Parkinson's Disease is consistent with previous findings, suggesting a protective effect of smoking. However, it could be due, at least in part, to the increased prevalence of former smokers among people with Parkinson's Disease patients, that were more prone to quit smoking.

Reference : Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2015] 21 (3) : 216-220 (M.Moccia, R.Erro, M. Picillo, E.Vassallo, C.Vitale, K.Longo, M.Amboni, G.Santangelo, R.Palladino, A.Nardone, M.Triassi, P.Barone, M.T.Pellecchia) Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here   

 

23rd November 2015 - New research

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME OCCURING IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

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Restless legs syndrome (RLS) has been reported to have a prevalence of 0% to 52% in Parkinson Disease. However, it is still debated whether RLS in Parkinson's Disease is a pre-motor feature, a motor complication, or merely an association by chance. This study evaluated RLS prevalence in Parkinson's Disease. RLS is a condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming and irresistible urge to move the legs.  For more information go to : Restless Legs Syndrome

The prevalence of RLS in Parkinson's Disease becomes progressively more likely in Parkinson's Disease and is therefore part of it. RLS went from 4% of those with Parkinson's Disease at the outset, to 6% after 2 years, to 16% after 4 years. Insomnia was 15 times more likely to occur with RLS. Daytime sleepiness was 9 times more likely to occur with RLS. Older age was only slightly more likely to occur with RLS. More preserved dopaminergic pathways and cardiovascular disturbances were also more likely. In another clinical study RLS occurred in 15% of people with Parkinson's Disease after 3 years.

Reference : Reference : Sleep [2015] Nov 6 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Moccia, R.Erro, M.Picillo, G.Santangelo, E.Spina, R.Allocca, K.Longo, M.Amboni, R. Palladino, R.Assante, S.Pappatà, M. T.Pellecchia, P.Barone, C.Vitale) Complete abstract Reference : Journal of Neurology [2015] Nov 14 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Elena, N.Anna, A.Monica, G.Matteo, A.Giorgia, C.Stefano) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here   

 

18th November 2015 - New research

THE IMPACT OF DATSCAN ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE DIAGNOSIS

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of DaTscan in people with and without Parkinson's Disease in order to assess the degree of confidence in the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. DaTscan is the name of a clear colourless solution used for injection in SPECT scans. A SPECT scan uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create three dimensional images that show how the organs work. The patient is positioned on a table in the room where they undergo the SPECT scan. For more information go to : Spect Scan

L-dopa is When a DaTscan was carried out on people with definite Parkinson's Disease, the DaTscan was markedly abnormal in 92% of people with Parkinson's Disease and normal in the remaining 8%. Each of the sensitivity and positive predictive values of DaTscan in patients who had a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease is therefore 92%.

In people with an uncertain diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, 48% had remarkably abnormal scans, 16% had mild abnormalities, and 36% had normal scans.

A markedly abnormal DaTscan is confirmed as the diagnostic pattern for Parkinson's Disease but not in all people with Parkinson's Disease. Remarkably abnormal scans can also occur in people who did not have a certain diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. Therefore, even though the DaTscan is one of the most accurate methods of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease no method of diagnosis provides complete certainty.

Reference : Clinical Nuclear Medicine [2015] 40 (5) : 390-393 (I.Gayed, U.Joseph, M. Fanous, D.Wan, M.Schiess, W.Ondo, K.S.Won) Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here   

 

16th November  2015 - New book

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PARKINSON'S DISEASE 

Lianna Marie

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Publishers description : Inspired by her mom who has lived with and battled the disease for 25 years, author Lianna Marie wrote her first book Everything You Need To know About Parkinson’s - All in One Place ! An easy-to-read guide that answers the most important questions about Parkinson's Disease, featuring chapters on : Types of Parkinson's, Surgical and Alternative Treatment Options, How to Deal with Freezing and Other Mobility Issues, How to Manage Medication Side Effects, What Foods to Eat and Avoid, How to Cope with Anxiety and Depression, How to Manage Weight Loss, Helpful Exercises, Handy Parkinson's Gadgets, Caregiving, And More ! Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books  

 

11th November 2015 - New research

L-DOPA REDUCES THE RISK OF LOSS OF EYESIGHT

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L-dopa, which is commonly used for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, has been found to reduce the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of visual loss in the elderly. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that causes the loss of central vision, usually in both eyes. In AMD, this vision becomes increasingly blurred, which means : reading becomes difficult, colours appear less vibrant, people's faces are difficult to recognise. For more information go to : Age-related Macular Degeneration

L-dopa is crucially involved in the biochemistry of eyesight. A key cell type involved in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the retinal pigment epithelium, expresses a g-protein coupled receptor that, in response to L-dopa, upregulates pigment epithelia derived factor, while downregulating vascular endothelial growth factor. So researchers investigated the relationship between L-dopa and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). In those people taking L-dopa, AMD occurred significantly later than in those people who did not take L-dopa. The likelihood of developing AMD at all was also found to be reduced in those people taking L-dopa, which is what many people with Parkinson's Disease take.

Reference : The American Journal of Medicine [2015] Oct 30 [Epub ahead of  print] (M.H.Brilliant, K.Vaziri, T.B.Connor Jr, S.G.Schwartz, J.J.Carroll , C.A.McCarty, S.J.Schrodi, S.J.Hebbring, K.S.Kishor, H.W.Flynn Jr, A.A.Moshfeghi, D.M.Moshfeghi, M.E.Fini, B.S.McKay) Complete abstract  In order to refer to this article on its own click here   

 

10th November  2015 - New book

BOTH SIDES NOW : A JOURNEY FROM RESEARCHER TO PATIENT

Dr Alice Lazzarini

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Publishers description : In Both Sides Now, Alice Lazzarini, an internationally recognized researcher in neurogenetic disorders shares her personal and professional journey. Having been a member of the team that discovered the first Parkinsons disease-causing gene mutation in the synuclein protein, she realizes she is developing symptoms of the very disease she had researched. Only after facing a disease that can cause complete dependency is she able to forge her independence. It is the story, too, of the new perspective her lifelong fear of birds takes on when she learns that the gene she helped discover is responsible for song learning in the male zebra finch. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books  For more information concerning Alice Lazzarini go to Alice Lazzarini

 

9th November 2015 - History

LEONARDO DA VINCI'S DESCRIPTIONS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The Italian artist, engineer and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) also studied anatomy, physiology and medicine. Leonardo da Vinci kept secret notebooks in which he wrote and sketched his ideas and observations, in handwriting that only he could read. So keen was he to study the human body that he went out at night to dissect human corpses. For more information go to Leonardo da Vinci.

Over 300 years before James Parkinson formally described Parkinson's Disease, Leonardo da Vinci saw people whose symptoms coincided with those seen in Parkinson's Disease. Leonardo wrote in his notebooks that "you will see.....those who.....move their trembling parts, such as their heads or hands without permission of the soul; (the) soul with all its forces cannot prevent these parts from trembling." In a translation of Da Vinci's notebooks "The movements of paralytics of those benumbed by cold, whose head and members move without control of the soul, who cannot stop the movements." The combination of difficulty with voluntary movement ("paraletici") and tremor ("tremanti') leave little doubt of the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.

At the end of his life Leonardo was unable to paint due to the loss of control of movement in his hands. It has been suggested that, by then, Leonardo da Vinci had Parkinson's Disease himself. Due to most of his notebooks remaining secret for centuries, Leonardo did not receive any credit for contributing to the recognition of Parkinson's Disease.

 

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