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PARKINSON'S DISEASE NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parkinson's Disease News covers all significant new research, reports, books, and resources concerning Parkinson's Disease. Articles are chosen on the basis of their medical significance or potential interest. Our overwhelming priority is the facts, regardless of whether they contradict prevailing views or vested interests. Analysis and further information are provided either to explain the background or implications, or to balance misleading claims. If you notice errors or inadequacies, or dispute what is written, or want to propose articles, please e-mail mail@viartis.net.

                                   

 
 

15th  April 2014 - New research

GOOGLE GLASS BEING TESTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Newcastle University are investigating Google Glass as an assistive aid in order to help people with Parkinson's Disease retain their independence for longer.

Glass is a wearable computer being developed by Google. At first glance Glass appears to be no more than a pair of designer glasses. However, the system works like a hands-free smartphone that displays visual information on the lens of the Glass.

The technology is voice-operated and is also linked to the internet. It is not currently available outside the USA. For more information go to a review of Google Glass

Researchers have been working with a group of Parkinson's Disease volunteers aged between 46-70 years. They are working on the next stage of the project, using the technology to provide discreet prompts linked to key behaviours typical of Parkinson's Disease, such as reminding the individual to speak up or to swallow to prevent drooling. Glass can also be used as a personal reminder for things such as taking medication and making appointments. Glass is connected to the internet so that the wearer can link it to computers and mobile phones. So if the wearer is alone they just have to look through the Glass so that carers or relatives will be able to see exactly where they are. The wearer can also tell it to call someone and it rings them. For more information go to Newcastle University  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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7th  April 2014 - New research

THE NAZI DISCOVERER OF L-DOPA FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 2014 Apr 3 [Epub ahead of print] (H.Czech, L.A. Zeidman) Complete abstract

Walther Birkmayer, an Austrian neurologist, co-discovered the effectiveness of L-dopa for Parkinson's Disease in 1961. However, Birkmayer was a member of SS and a member of the Nazi party. Little has been previously published regarding Birkmayer's ties to Naziism.

Researchers have determined that Birkmayer was not only an early illegal member of the SS and the Nazi party but also took part in "de-Jewification". He also was a leader in the Nazi racial policy office and was praised for his dedication and fanaticism despite being forced to later resign from the SS. He sought support from leading Viennese Nazis and was able to maintain his professional status for the war's remainder. Postwar, he succeeded at reintegration personally and professionally into Austrian society, all but erasing any obvious ties to his Nazi past.

In 1960 Dr. Hornykiewicz demonstrated that dopamine levels were below normal in the brains of people who died of Parkinson's Disease. He and Dr. Arvid Carlsson, believed that L-dopa, a precursor in the biosynthesis of dopamine, could treat Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Hornykiewicz and Dr. Birkmayer began to treat patients with L-dopa. They noticed marked short-term improvements. They published their findings in 1961, which eventually led to L-dopa being the most widely used treatment for Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Walther Birkmayer  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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2nd April 2014 - New clinical trial

ISRADIPINE BEING TESTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

After proving relatively safe in a study funded by The Michael J.Fox Foundation, Isradipine is moving to Phase III testing of its effect on Parkinson's Disease thanks to a $23 million grant from the National Institute of Health. They hope to enrol more than 300 participants at 56 clinical sites throughout North America. For more information go to The Michael J.Fox Foundation

Isradipine is a calcium channel blocker that is marketed as Dynacirc. Dynacirc is a drug that is prescribed to treat high blood pressure. For more information concerning Dynacirc go to Medline Plus

The basis for the clinical trial is that data from large studies found that there was a lower incidence of Parkinson's Disease among those people who took Isradipine.

However, when Isradipine was tested in Phase II clinical trials in people who had Parkinson's Disease Isradipine caused side effects. The most common adverse events were peripheral edema and dizziness. Isradipine also failed to have any significant effect on Parkinson's Disease symptoms. For more information go to the Phase II clinical trial

In order to effectively treat Parkinson's Disease effectively dopamine formation must be increased but, even in theory, calcium channel blockers can not do that.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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28th March 2014 - New research

COENZYME Q10 HAS NO EFFECT IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

JAMA Neurology [2014] Mar 24 [Epub ahead of print] (M.F.Beal, D.Oakes, I.Shoulson, C. Henchcliffe, W.R.Galpern, et al) Complete abstract

Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that has been widely used for Parkinson's Disease has been found to have no significant effect. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a supplement, which supports mitochondrial function in the neurons, and has been claimed to slow the progression of Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Medline Plus

People with Parkinson's Disease were given either a placebo, 1200mg of CoQ10 per day, or 2400mg of CoQ10 per day. All of them were also given 1200 IU per day of vitamin E. Participants were observed for 16 months or until a disability requiring dopaminergic treatment. The treatments were well tolerated with no safety concerns. However, the worsening of Parkinson's Disease was actually related to the higher Coenzyme Q10 dose. Those taking no Coenzyme Q10 worsened by 6.9 points on the UPDRS. Those taking 1200mg worsened by 7.5 points. Those taking 2400mg worsened by 8.0 points. So Coenzyme Q10 was not only not beneficial it appeared, if anything, to be detrimental.

In previous studies Coenzyme Q10 was found to be ineffective in Parkinson's Disease in daily doses of 200mg, 300mg, 400mg, 600mg, and 800mg. Only one Coenzyme Q10 study has ever shown any improvement in Parkinson's Disease, using 360mg, but the effects were mild and were only assessed for four weeks. Daily doses of 300mg, 600mg and 1200 mg failed to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease but reduced the rate of deterioration.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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23rd March 2014 - New research

PARKINSON'S DISEASE INCREASES THE RISK OF INJURIES

European Journal of Neurology [2014] Mar 17 [Epub ahead of print] (H.C.Wang, C.C.Lin, C.I.Lau, A,Chang, F.C.Sung, C.H.Kao) Complete abstract

People with Parkinson's Disease have been found to increase their likelihood of most accidental injuries, especially head injuries. The risk of injury increases with age.

People with Parkinson's Disease were found to have the following increased likelihood of injuries times what is normal : head injury 1.9, bone fracture and dislocation 1.4, all injuries 1.3, injury to spinal cord, plexus and nerves 1.25, superficial injuries and contusions 1.20, burns 1.0.

The injury risk for those people with Parkinson's Disease who were 69-79 years old was significantly higher than those who were 50-69 years old.

So people with Parkinson's Disease demonstrate a significantly elevated risk of developing all accidental injury types except injuries caused by burns. The risk of injury increases as age increases. In previous studies Coenzyme Q10 was found to be ineffective in Parkinson's Disease in daily doses of 200mg, 300mg, 400mg, 600mg, and 800mg. Only one Coenzyme Q10 study has ever shown any improvement in Parkinson's Disease, using 360mg, but the effects were mild and were only assessed for four weeks. Daily doses of 300mg, 600mg and 1200 mg failed to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease but reduced the rate of deterioration. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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22nd March 2014 - New research

THE EFFECT OF AGE OF ONSET ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2014] Feb 22 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Mehanna, S.Moore, J.G.Hou, A.I.Sarwar, E.C.Lai) Complete abstract

The clinical features and development of Parkinson's Disease has been found to differ in many respects according to the age of onset of Parkinson's Disease.

The age of onset can be roughly divided in to young onset (49 years old or younger), middle onset (50 to 69 years old), and late onset (70 years old or later). Data collected included age at symptom onset, year of onset, family history of Parkinson's disease in first and second degree relatives, predominant first symptom, first anti parkinsonian medication prescribed, frequency of L-dopa-induced dyskinesia, therapy related dystonia, therapy related gastrointestinal side effects, hallucinations, dementia, depression and apathy. In numbers, the middle onset was the largest group (51%), followed by those with late onset (39%) and then those with young onset (10%).

Those with young onset were found to have a more frequent family history of Parkinson's disease and longer survival. Symptoms other than tremor were more frequent as the initial symptom of the young onset group. Depression was more frequent in the young onset group than middle onset or old onset. The frequency of tremor as the first symptom increased with advancing age at onset. The frequency of treatment related dyskinesia or dystonia decreased with advancing age at onset. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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10th March 2014 - New research

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING ACCURATELY DIAGNOSES PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Radiology [2014] Feb 26 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Cosottini, D.Frosini, I.Pesaresi, M.Costagli, L.Biagi, R.Ceravolo, U.Bonuccelli, M.Tosetti) Complete abstract

Parkinson's Disease has been diagnosed with almost complete accuracy using a scanning method called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

 Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. The patient lays inside the tube during the scan and is moved into the scanner either head or feet first. The MRI scanner is operated by a radiographer who controls the scanner using a computer. For more information go to Magnetic Resonance Imaging

An evaluation was carried out of the substantia nigra (SN) of people who did and who did not have Parkinson's Disease. The substantia nigra (SN) is the area of the brain most affected by Parkinson's Disease. Deviations from the normal appearance of the substantia nigra were described and indicated as abnormal. The abnormal architecture of the substantia nigra allowed a discrimination between people who did and who did not have Parkinson's Disease with a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 96% respectively. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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5th March 2014 - New research

L-DOPA'S EFFECT ON NON-MOTOR SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Mymensingh Medical Journal [2014] 23 (1) : 18-23 (M.M.Rahman, M.J.Uddin, J.H. Chowdhury, T.I.Chowdhury) Complete abstract

People with Parkinson's Disease have the characteristic motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease but also have a wide range of non-motor symptoms. Although L-dopa is a widely used basis for treating Parkinson's Disease, L-dopa (with carbidopa) has been found to have little effect on many of the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

When assessed, the most frequent non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease were fatigue 56%, excessive sweating 54%, insomnia 54%, akathisia (restlessness) 47%, anxiety 45%, and constipation 17%. However, after five months of taking L-dopa and carbidopa, frequencies of most of the non-motor symptoms decreased only slightly, showing that there was little significant effect of L-dopa and carbidopa.

Some non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are not improved by taking L-dopa because they are due to the side effects of Parkinson's Disease drugs. Some non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are not improved much by taking L-dopa because they are due to a combination of Parkinson's Disease and other factors that are not related to the dopamine deficiency that occurs in Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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4th March 2014 - New research

THE EFFECT OF MILD BRAIN INJURY ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation [2014] 95 (3S) : S238-S244 (C.Marras, C.A.Hincapiť, V.L. Kristman, C.Cancelliere, S.Soklaridis, A.Li, J.Borg, J.L.Geijerstam, J.D. Cassidy) Complete abstract

Researchers assessed all of the studies concerning the risk of Parkinson's Disease after mild traumatic brain injury. Sixty-five studies were eligible and reviewed, but only five of these with a low risk of bias were accepted as scientifically admissible.

One of the five studies showed a significant association between Mild traumatic brain injury and Parkinson's Disease. It was found to be 1.5 times more likely. However, the likelihood decreased when the time between the injury and Parkinson's Disease diagnosis was greater. The other four studies did not find any association. So the available evidence argues against a causal association between Mild traumatic brain injury and Parkinson's Disease. Although Parkinson's Disease is often claimed to be due to the loss or damage of the cells involved in Parkinson's Disease not a single study has ever shown this to be true. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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28th February 2014 - New research

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

JAMA Neurology [2014] Feb 24 [Epub ahead of print] (A.Videnovic, C.Noble, K.J.Reid, J.Peng, F.W.Turek, A.Marconi, A.W.Rademaker, T.Simuni, C.Zadikoff, P.C.Zee) Complete abstract

Diurnal fluctuations of Parkinson's Disease symptoms and a high prevalence of sleep-wake disturbances in Parkinson Disease suggest that the circadian rhythm is affecting these symptoms. The circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle that regulates physiological processes by various factors such as daylight. Secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland is largely responsible for this regulation. For more information go to Circadian rhythms

People with Parkinson's Disease have been found to have blunted circadian rhythms. The differences and the range of secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland were found to be lower in Parkinson's Disease than in people that do not have Parkinson's Disease. Compared with people who had Parkinson's Disease who did not have excessive daytime sleepiness, people with excessive daytime sleepiness had narrower ranges of melatonin secretion. Overall Parkinson's Disease symptoms and duration of symptoms were not significantly related to the circadian rhythm. So it was only daytime sleepiness and not Parkinson's Disease symptoms generally that can be affected by the blunted circadian rhythm that can occur in Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

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27th February 2014 - History

EARTHWORMS AND OIL OF WINGED ANTS FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) was an English botanist, herbalist, physician and astrologer. He published books, The English Physitian (1652) and the Complete Herbal (1653). The Complete Herbal contains both pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge. Among the recommendations in Complete Herbal, he suggests sage for "sinews, troubled with palsy and cramp". For centuries prior to this, Sage had also been recommended for tremor in the hands. Amongst other plant remedies Culpepper suggested for palsy and trembling were bilberries, briony (called "English mandrake"), and mistletoe. In the 1696 edition of his Pharmacopoeia Londinensis, a variety of substances were claimed to be useful in the treatment of "palsies", the "dead palsy", and "tremblings". These included "oil of winged ants" and preparations including earthworms. For more concerning the history of Parkinson's Disease go to the History of Parkinson's Disease.   

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12th February 2014 - New research

HEARING LOSS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

European Journal of Neurology [2014] Feb 10 [Epub ahead of print] (S.W.Lai, K.F.Liao, C.L.Lin, C.C.Lin, F.C.Sung)  Complete abstract

Hearing loss has been found to be three times more likely in elderly people who have Parkinson's Disease. This is partly due to the increased prevalence of loss of hearing with age. However,  hearing loss is still 1.77 times more likely in elderly people with Parkinson's Disease than it is in elderly people who do not have Parkinson's Disease.

Hearing is perceived in the Cochlea, in the Organ of Corti, which is the sensory organ of hearing. For more information go to Cochlea. Dopamine, whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease, helps to protect against  noise exposure in the Cochlea  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]. Insufficient dopamine can therefore lead to damage that can result in loss of hearing. The cause of the increased likelihood of loss of hearing that can occur in Parkinson's Disease is therefore originally probably biochemical rather than structural.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

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11th February 2014 - New book

PIONEERS OF RECOVERY : HOW PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE REVERSE THEIR SYMPTOMS

Robert Rodgers

Publisher's description : Parkinsons Recovery Radio show guests often talk about how they reversed the symptoms of Parkinsons Disease. Now you can read nine of these amazing stories as they were first told on the radio show in this 2012 release of Pioneers of Recovery. Each chapter includes details on the steps that each pioneer took to make miracle of healing happen. Therapies that paved the road to recovery include : TMJ adjustments, Candida cleanses, Voice Profiling, sound therapy, Tai Chi, Martial Arts, Qigong, Low Dose Naltrexone, forced exercise, Chinese medicine, supplements, diet, detoxes. You will be intrigued by how each pioneer went about reversing their symptoms Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books  

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8th February 2014 - New review

SKIN DISORDERS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The integumentary system is the skin and its associated glands, including the sweat glands, the sebaceous glands, and the hair and nails. Those medical disorders asociated with the skin that commonly occur in Parkinson's Disease are seborrhea, hyperhidrosis, and melanoma.

Seborrhea causes excessively oily skin. Sebaceous glands are glands in the skin that secrete sebum, to lubricate the skin and hair. Seborrhea can therefore result in excessive secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands and its accumulation on the skin surface. There is an increased likelihood of seborrhea in Parkinson's Disease that is due to low dopamine. For more information go to Seborrhea

Hyperhidrosis is overactive sweat glands. Hyperhidrosis can therefore result in excessive sweat secretion. There is an increased likelihood of hyperhidrosis in Parkinson's Disease. Instead of being due to Parkinson's Disease, the increased sweat secretion is usually due to Parkinson's Disease drugs. As an unintended side effect L-dopa can produce adrenaline, which stimulates the sweat glands. For more information go to Hyperhidrosis

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. The risk of melanoma could sometimes be as much as four to five times higher in Parkinson's Disease. The melanocyes in the skin produce melanin, which is made from L-tyrosine via L-dopa. This is the same means as dopamine in the dopaminergic neurons. Given that melanin helps to protect skin cells from Ultra Violet induced damage, melanoma is probably increased in Parkinson's Disease because of the reduced capacity to produce L-dopa in the melanocytes. For more information go to Melanoma In order to refer to this article on its own click here

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23rd January 2014 - New review

RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The excessive muscle contraction that Parkinson's Disease causes can affect the muscles that control respiration. Consequently, the breathing rate in Parkinson's Disease can often not be sustained as well, and breathing efficiency can be reduced [1]. There is often abnormal ventilatory control despite normal lung volumes and flows [2]. Respiratory muscle strength and endurance also are decreased [3].

Due to the reduced respiratory capacity, people with Parkinson's Disease are more prone to the effects of pneumonia, which occurs more commonly than expected in Parkinson's Disease, but not because of Parkinson's Disease [4]. Consequently, pneumonia is the most common cause of death associated with Parkinson's Disease [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]. For more information concerning pneumonia go to Pneumonia. However, death certificates indicated that Parkinson's Disease was a substantial contributor to the cause of death in only 20% of people with Parkinson's Disease [11]. For 80% of people there were other causes. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

19th January 2014 - New research

VISUAL DISTURBANCES IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2013] Dec 27 [Epub ahead of print] (P.Urwyler, T.Nef, A.Killen, D.Collerton, A.Thomas, D.Burn, I.McKeith, U.P.Mosimann) Complete abstract

Visual symptoms are common in Parkinson's Disease but are frequently under-diagnosed. The detection of visual symptoms is important for differential diagnosis and patient management. The causes of visual symptoms divides between Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Disease drugs. Parkinson's Disease can cause visual disturbances by affecting the muscles of the eye. Parkinson's Disease drugs in excess can cause visual hallucinations. Recurring visual complaints emerged as risk factors predictive of the minor forms of hallucinations, but not recurrent complex visual hallucinations.

Researchers established the prevalence of recurrent visual complaints (RVC) and recurrent visual hallucinations (RVH) in Parkinson's Disease. The most common visual disturbances were found to be : double vision (in 18% of people with Parkinson's Disease), misjudging objects when walking (in 12%), words moving whilst reading (in 17%), and freezing in narrow spaces (in 30%), which was almost exclusively found in people with Parkinson's Disease. The same was true for recurring complex visual hallucinations and illusions, which were found in 17% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Recurring visual complaints were found in 43% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Recurring visual hallucinations were found in 29% of people with Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

13th January 2014 - New research

PROSAVIN CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 10 January 2014 (S.Palfi, J.M.Gurruchaga, G.S.Ralph, H.Lepetit, et al) Complete abstract

ProSavin uses LentiVector gene delivery technology to deliver genes they suggest are required for the formation of dopamine. The product is administered locally to the relevant region of the brain in order to increase the brain's own capacity for the formation of dopamine. For more information go to Prosavin

A clinical trial assessed the safety and efficacy of ProSavin after bilateral injection into the brains of 15 people who had Parkinson's Disease for more than 5 years. Three doses were assessed : low dose, mid dose and high dose. During the first 12 months 54 drug-related adverse events were reported (51 mild and 3 moderate). The most common adverse events were increased dyskinesias (in 11 out of 15 patients) and on-off phenomena (in 9 out of 15 patients). No serious adverse events related to the study drug or surgical procedure were reported. There was a moderate improvement in Parkinson's Disease symptom scores after 6 months and 12 months. However, in a previous study moderate improvements started declining after only 6 months. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

12th January 2014 - New book

OXFORD TEXTBOOK OF MOVEMENT DISORDERS

David Burn

Publisher's description : This volume covers the basic science and clinical concepts underlying movement disorders, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of individual hypokinetic and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Written to aid understanding and treatment of a wide range of movement disorders, it includes a section covering the miscellaneous causes that are routinely encountered by neurologists. It is also supplemented with illustrative video clips that can be accessed through the concurrent online edition. Although firmly rooted in evidence-based management approaches, the authors included their own top tips and experience on the management of difficult cases where no current guidance exists.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books 

 

8th January 2014 - New research

THE PREVALENCE OF MUSCULOSKELETAL PROBLEMS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2013] 19 (7) : 666-669 (Y.E.Kim, W.W.Lee, J.Y.Yun, H.J.Yang, H.J.Kim, B.S. Jeon)  Complete abstract

The prevalence of musculoskeletal problems was found to be significantly higher Parkinson's Disease. Around two thirds of people with Parkinson's Disease have them. Only just over a quarter of people with Parkinson's Disease answered that their musculoskeletal problems were recovering.  Musculoskeletal problems also tended to receive less treatment when people had Parkinson's Disease.

Common sites of musculoskeletal problems were the lower back, shoulder and knee in that order. The lower back was the site of musculoskeletal problems in nearly half of people with Parkinson's Disease. The shoulder and knee were affected far less often. Among the past diagnoses associated with musculoskeletal problems, frozen shoulder, low back pain, osteoporosis and fracture were more common in people with Parkinson's Disease. Older age, being female, and having a higher score on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale were associated with more musculoskeletal problems.  For more information go to Musculoskeletal disorders. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

7th January 2014 - New book

PARKINSON'S DISEASE : IMPROVING PATIENT CARE 

Jason S.Hawley, Melissa J.Armstrong, William J.Weiner

Publisher's description : Improving Patient Care is a clinically-focused text for healthcare professionals involved in the everyday management of Parkinson's disease patients. Primary care physicians, general neurologists, medical trainees, and ancillary therapists including mental health professionals, speech therapists, and physical therapists will all find helpful information regarding caring for patients with Parkinson's disease. The 12 chapters cover all aspects of Parkinson's disease care from diagnosis, test selection and early management to handling complications, deciding whether surgical options are appropriate, managing Parkinson's disease patients in the inpatient setting and supporting patients and families during late-stage complications.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books  

 

29th December 2013 - New research

L-DOPA PRODRUG FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Movement Disorders [2013] Dec 13 [Epub ahead of print (P.A.Lewitt, F.J.Huff, R.A.Hauser, D.Chen, D.Lissin, K.Zomorodi, K.C.Cundy)  Complete abstract

XP21279 is a new L-dopa prodrug being developed by Xenoport for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It uses naturally occurring, high capacity nutrient transporters in the gastrointestinal tract to generate active and efficient absorption into the body.

XP21279-carbidopa sustained-release bilayer tablets were developed to provide more continuous exposure to L-dopa. Once absorbed, XP21279 is rapidly converted into L-dopa. In a clinical trial of XP21279, people with Parkinson's Disease were given either XP21279 with carbidopa, or L-dopa with carbidopa, which as Sinemet is the most common means of treating Parkinson's Disease.

The average daily off time was reduced more when using XP21279 but only by 18 minutes. There was little difference between the two in their effect on dyskinesia. However, XP21279 significantly reduced the variability of L-dopa concentration that occurs when using Sinemet (L-dopa and carbidopa). This was achieved by taking XP21279 only three times per day, instead of the four to five times a day that the L-dopa with carbidopa was taken. Therefore, overall, although L-dopa and carbidopa as Sinemet is the most common means of treating Parkinson's Disease, XP21279 was found to be more advantageous. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

28th December 2013 - New research

FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE FACTORS AND THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Movement Disorders [2013] Dec 18 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Liu, D.Baird, Y.Park, N.D.Freedman, X.Huang, A.Hollenbeck, A.Blair, H.Chen)  Complete abstract

In the largest ever study of its kind, researchers examined female reproductive factors and the risk of Parkinson's Disease. The study involved nearly 120,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 71 years.  The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease was not significantly associated with female reproductive factors including age at first menstruation, age at first live birth, and age at menopause generally.

However, there was a tendency for an increased risk of Parkinson's Disease in those women who reached menopause when they were 55 or older. Current hormone users for less than 5 years showed a higher risk of developing Parkinson's Disease, which was anywhere between 11% more likely to more than twice as likely. However, this association disappeared for current hormone users after 5 years of use.  Oral contraceptive use for ten years was associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's Disease, down to 59% of what would otherwise be expected. In order to refer to this article on its own click here  

 

20th December 2013 - New review

PESTICIDES ON AIRCRAFT AS A CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Flight attendants who have developed Parkinson's Disease have taken legal action to try to prove that they have developed Parkinson's Disease because of the insecticides that are routinely sprayed inside  aircraft. For more information go to News report and News report

Those pesticides that are known to cause, or be highly associated with Parkinson's Disease are Dieldrin, Rotenone and Organophosphorus pesticides. The fungicides Maneb and Paraquat are also known causes of Parkinson's Disease. Evidence in support of Permathrin, which is used in aircraft, is presently restricted to three animal studies.

Dieldrin levels are above normal in brains of people with Parkinson's Disease. Dieldrin was the most frequently detected Organochlorine pesticide in people with Parkinson's Disease thereby suggesting that dieldrin is associated with Parkinson's Disease. Organophosphorus pesticides are significantly associated with Parkinson's Disease. The frequent use of household pesticides containing Organophosphorus chemicals increased the chances of developing Parkinson's Disease by 71%. Exposure can lead to Parkinsonism. Rotenone can cause the neurochemical, neuropathological and behavioural features of Parkinson's disease, including hypokinesia and rigidity. In order to refer to this article on its own click here 

 

19th December 2013 - New book

DBS A PATIENT GUIDE TO DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION

Sierra M.Farris, Monique L.Giroux

Publisher's description :  DBS A Patient Guide to Deep Brain Stimulation by DBS experts Sierra Farris and Monique Giroux distill a high tech brain surgery into understandable terms for every reader. The authors bring 14 yearsí experience working as a DBS team in treating over 1000 patients. Their easy to read format is packed with practical tips in a patient-centered approach. The authors hope to promote patient empowerment by offering insights that are rarely shared outside the clinic appointment. Filled with case studies, personal stories, practical tips and unique graphics, this book offers in-depth easy to understand explanations for one of the most high tech procedures that can turn back the clock on neurological disease.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books  

 

14th December 2013 - News release

ANTIBODIES FOR THE TREATMENT OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Roche and Prothena are collaborating to co-develop antibodies for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Prothena's antibody for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, PRX002,  targets alpha-synuclein. PRX002 is currently in preclinical development. It is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical trials in people with Parkinson's Disease in 2014. PRX002 has already been tested in various cellular and animal models of synuclein-related disease.

Synuclein proteins are found throughout the body. One protein from this family, alpha-synuclein, is found extensively in neurons and characterize several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's Disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation type 1, and multiple system atrophy, which collectively are termed synucleinopathies. As part of the agreement, Roche and Prothena will initiate a research collaboration focused on including incorporation of Roche's proprietary Brain Shuttle technology to increase delivery of therapeutic antibodies to the brain. For more information go to the News release  In order to refer to this article on its own click here
 

                                                                                                                                                                                         10th December 2013 - New book

PARKINSON'S DISEASE TRAPPED - IT'S A GREY MATTER

 Christopher C. Evans

Publisher's description :  Parkinsonís disease 'Trapped' questions and expands our understanding of Parkinsonís disease. Accessible and meticulously researched, the observations illuminate the grey matter of brain science. It examines three regions of the brain and how these relate to symptoms of Parkinsonís disease, highlighting insights that lead to the discovery of a unique potential cause. Exploring the effects of trauma and lack of blood supply to the brain, it finds missing pieces of the Parkinsonís puzzle. This book explains why people, who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, have high cholesterol, and drink too much coffee are less likely to get Parkinson's disease. It presents a controversial three phase model of neurodegeneration.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books  

 

17th November 2013 - New research

FUNGAL CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA [2013] Nov 11 [Epub ahead of print] (A.A.Inamdar, M.M.Hossain, A.I.Bernstein, G.W.Miller, J.R.Richardson, J.W.Bennett) Complete abstract

Octenol (1-octen-3-ol), which is commonly known as mushroom alcohol,,is produced by several plants and fungi. For information go too Octenol. In Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly) Octenol reduces the levels of dopamine, the substance whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease.

Although it has not yet conclusively been proven to have caused Parkinson's Disease in humans, further experiments in human cells revealed that Octenol interfered with two genes involved in the creation of dopamine - the human plasma membrane dopamine transporter (DAT) and the human VMAT ortholog (VMAT2). This demonstrates that 1-octen-3-ol exerts toxicity via disruption of dopamine homeostasis and so may represent a naturally occurring cause of Parkinsonism. Octenol can often be inhaled by humans after being produced in damp, mouldy or water damaged buildings. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

                                                                                                                                                                                  

16th Novemberr 2013- New book

PARKINSON'S DISEASE : A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES

 William J.Weiner, Lisa M.Shulman, Anthony E.Lang

Publisher's description :  Patients and families have long relied on this book for reliable advice about medical, emotional, and physical issues. Bringing this guide up to date, three expert neurologists describe : New understandings gained by five years of additional research on Parkinsonís disease, a new focus on exercise, imaging techniques such as SPECT Scan and DATScan that are aiding in diagnosis, new findings about the genetics, promising uses of new technologies such as tablet devices for people who have trouble communicating, information about impulse control disorders caused by some drugs used to address the symptoms of the disease, A complete update on treatments. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.  

 

12th November 2013 - New research

NEW DRUG FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE PSYCHOSIS

Lancet [2013] Oct 31 [Epub ahead of print] (J.Cummings, S.Isaacson, R.Mills, H.Williams, K.Chi-Burris, A.Corbett, R.Dhall, C.Ballard) Complete abstract

Parkinson's Disease psychosis, which includes hallucinations and delusions, is frequent and debilitating in some people with Parkinson's Disease. Pimavanserin, which is a serotonin 5-HT2A inverse agonist that is presently being assessed, aims to treat Parkinson's Disease psychosis. A clinical trial assessed the effect of Pimavanserin.  

They took 40mg pimavanserin per day. The primary measure was the antipsychotic benefit using the Parkinson's disease-adapted scale for assessment of positive symptoms (SAPS-PD). According to the Parkinson's disease-adapted scale for assessment of positive symptoms (SAPS-PD) those people taking pimavanserin reduced their score by 5.79 compared with a reduction of 2.73 by those taking a placebo. Over 10% of the patients discontinued because of an adverse event. However, in previous clinical trials there was either no effect Complete abstract, or it was beneficial for some but not all measures of psychosis Complete abstract. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

10th November 2013 - New research

THE PREVALENCE OF HEADACHES IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Neurological Sciences [2013] Nov 7 [Epub ahead of print]]  Complete abstract

Researchers assessed the prevalence of headache in people with Parkinson's Disease and the association between the side of Parkinon's Disease symptom onset and the side of their headache. Headaches were found to occur significantly less in people with Parkinson's Disease, 40% of whom had headaches, than in people who do not have Parkinson's Disease, 70% of whom had headaches.   The prevalence of headaches being significantly lower in people with Parkinon's Disease is unexplained by the researchers.

Fewer people with Parkinson's Disease (74%) had headaches throughout life in contrast to the 94% of people who had headaches throughout life who did not have Parkinson's Disease.  Considering only people who had headaches during the previous year, people with Parkinson's Disease had a higher association with migraine rather than tension headaches compared to people who did not have Parkinson's Disease. The headache side in people with Parkinson's Disease was also on the same side as the side of Parkinson's Disease onset in 84 % of people.   In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

6th November 2013 - New research

THE CAUSES OF FALLS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Neurologia i neurochirurgia polska [2013] 47 (5) : 423-430 (Rudzinska M, Bukowczan S, Stozek J, Zajdel K, Mirek E, Chwala W, Wůjcik-Pedziwiatr M, Banaszkiewicz K, Szczudlik A.)   Complete abstract

Neurologia i neurochirurgia polska [2013] 47 (5) : 431-437 (Rudzinska M, Bukowczan S, Stozek J, Zajdel K, Mirek E, Chwala W, Wůjcik-Pedziwiatr M, Banaszkiewicz K, Szczudlik A.)   Complete abstract

People with Parkinson's Disease suffer falls more frequently than most other people. Over the year falls occurred in 54% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Around 20% of people with Parkinson's Disease fell frequently. This occurred more commonly with age.

Analysis of causes of falls revealed that sudden falls were the most common (31%), followed by episodes of freezing and festination (19%), neurological and sensory disturbances (mostly vertigo) (12%), environmental factors (12%), postural instability (11%), orthostatic hypotension (4%), and severe dyskinesia (3.6%). In people with Parkinson's Disease, factors due to themselves were dominant, whereas in the control group external factors were responsible for falls with the same frequency. Every third fall intensified the fear of walking. Over a third (34%) of falls caused injuries. Among them bruises of body parts other than the head were most frequent.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

31st October 2013 - News release

SENSORY PEN FOR DETECTING PARKINSON'S DISEASE

A means of diagnosing Parkinsonís Disease is being developed by MANUS Neurodynamica using sensory pen technology. It is called thee DiPAR project. The system, combining sensor and computing technology, requires the patient to perform a set of writing tasks, drawing activities or a combination of both. The system records all movements of the pen as well as other parameters such as drawing pressure, plus acceleration and deceleration of movement, to identify patterns that are indicative of specific kinds of neuromotor disorder. The sensory pen can be used by non-specialists with minimal training so that large numbers of people would be able to be screened.

The systemís software records key features regarding the movement of the pen, relating it to the motion of the limb, particularly the role of the hand and fingers in coordinating overall pen motion. The recordings enable the operator to assess akinesia, bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity and other signs of motor deterioration that cannot be easily detected by other means. The software takes inputs from a variety of sensors in the pen and converts them, using proprietary algorithms, into outcome percentages that represent the likelihood of the presence of Parkinson's Disease or other neuromotor disorders. The method can be viewed in this brief video video of sensory pen technology In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

13th October 2013 - New research

THE LONG TERM EFFECT OF DBS ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of the Formosan Medical Association [2013] Oct 5 [Epub ahead of print] (J.L.Jiang, S.Y.Chen, T.C.Hsieh, C.W.Lee, S.H.Lin, S.T.Tsai) Complete abstract

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)) involves the use of electrodes that are implanted into the brain and connected to a small electrical device called a pulse generator that can be externally programmed. For more information go too Deep brain stimulation Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) has been shown to produce long-term improvements in Parkinson's Disease.

The aim of this study was to assess the improvements that can be expected after 1 year and after 5 years. Patients with Parkinson's Disease were assessed after 1 year and 5 years according to the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) parts I, II, III, and IV scores, the Hoehn and Yahr stage, and Schwab and England activities of daily living (SEADL) scores in the conditions of off-medication/on-stimulation and off-medication/off-stimulation. Further analysis included the changes in the L-dopa equivalent daily dose.

After 1 year  significant improvements were seen in the UPDRS parts I, II, III, and IV and the Schwab and England scale. Five years after STN-DBS had been initiated improvements in UPDRS scores were observed only for parts II, III, and IV. In the off-medication/off-stimulation condition no significant improvement was observed. However, after 5 years there were significant deteriorations when compared to the improvements seen after 1 year in the scores for the UPDRS parts I, II, III and the Schwab and England scale.. Therefore, after the improvement experienced after 1 year the long term trend is downwards. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

7th October 2013 - New research

DUAL LAYER L-DOPA CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2013] Sep 5 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Pahwa, K.E.Lyons, R.A.Hauser, S.Fahn, J.Jankovic, E.Pourcher, A.Hsu, M.O'Connell, S.Kell, S.Gupta) Complete abstract

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. Dual layer L-dopa (IPX066), which is being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, has the advantages of both by combining the two types of L-dopa.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of IPX066 assessed three dosages of L-dopa : 145mg, 245mg or 390mg taken three times daily. The main efficacy measure was the Parkinson's Disease symptom score, the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), and also the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39).

All three dosages improved Parkinson's Disease, with the 145mg dosage, then the 245mg dosage giving better results. The most commonly reported adverse events with IPX066 included nausea, dizziness, and headache. No unexpected drug-related serious adverse events were reported. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

3rd October 2013 - New research

DEPRESSION TREBLES THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Neurology [2013] Oct 2 [Epub ahead of print] (Cheng-Che Shen, Shih-Jen Tsai, Chin-Lin Perng, Benjamin Ing-Tiau Kuo, Albert C.Yang) Complete abstract

In the largest study of its kind, involving more than 23,000 subjects, people who had depression were found to have more than three times the chance of developing Parkinson's Disease. This suggests that depression is a strong indication of future Parkinson's Disease, even beyond that of other early indicators.  

Parkinson's Disease is primarily due to the insufficient formation of dopamine in the brain, in the dopaminergic neurons. Besides affecting muscle function and therefore the characteristic muscular symptoms of Parkinson's Disease such as as rigidity and tremor, dopamine insuffiency also affects the emotions.

This is why dopamine insufficiency can also lead to depression. However, even biochemically, dopamine is not the only factor involved in depression, which is why depresssion and Parkinson's Disease do not always coincide. Therefore, depression, even when severe, does not inevitably lead to Parkinson's Disease and why it is possible to have Parkinson's Disease without also having depression.. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  

 

3rd October 2013 - New book

UNDERSTANDING PARKINSON'S DISEASE : AN INTRODUCTION FOR PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS

Naheed Ali  

Publisher's description :  Understanding Parkinsonís Disease offers patients and their caregivers the kind of cutting-edge information that will allow them to successfully confront this debilitating disease on a number of fronts. Patients will also be uniquely exposed to alternative approaches to managing the symptoms of the disease, including allopathic, osteopathic, and naturopathic approaches. The reader will be introduced to essential information on the risk factors associated with Parkinsonís, the signs and symptoms, the different stages of the disease, the various treatments, as well as how the disease develops. Anyone looking for an introduction will find the information they need in this accessible resource.   Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.  

 

29th September 2013 - New research

HOUSEHOLD PESTICIIDES INCREASE THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

International Journal of Epidemiology [2013] Sep 20 [Epub ahead of print] (S.Narayan, Z.Liew, K.Paul, P.C.Lee, J.S.Sinsheimer, J.M.Bronstein, B.Ritz) Complete abstract

Household pesticide use is widespread, and for over 40 years organophosphorus chemicals have been common active ingredients in these products. Parkinson's Disease has been linked to pesticide exposures but little is known about the contributions of chronic exposures to household pesticides.

Consequently, researchers investigated whether long term use of household pesticides, especially those containing organophosphorus chemicals, increases the risk of developing or worsening Parkinson's Disease. Frequent use of any household pesticide increased the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease by 47%. Frequent  use of products containing organophosphorus chemicals increased the risk of Parkinson's Disease by 71%. Frequent organothiophosphate use almost doubled the risk of Parkinson's  Disease. The evidence shows that household use off organophosphoruss pesticides is clearly associated with an increased risk 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.  

 

26th September 2013 - New research

THE WORLD'S LOWEST INCIDENCE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of  Neural Transmission [2013] Sep 22 [Epub ahead of print] (C.L.Ma, L.Su, J.J.Xie, J.X.Long, P.Wu, L.Gu) Complete abstract

The world's lowest incidence of Parkinson's Disease has been found to be in China. Incidence is the rate at which Parkinson's Disease is being newly diagnosed. The incidence of Parkinson's Disease in China, at only 2 people per 100,000 is remarkably low. In constrast, the incidence rate in the U.S.A. is about ten times that number. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in China is remarkably high, with 797 per 100,000 being one of the highest rates in the world. The ratio of men to women with Parkinson's Disease is, at 1.29 men for every woman, more typical.

With very high prevalence (those people that have Parkinson's Disease now) and very low incidence (those people that are being diagnosed) means that the number of people in China with Parkinson's Disease must be dropping rapidly, and at a greater rate than anywhere else in the world..The researchers provide no reasons for this.  In China, instead of standard Parkinson's Disease drugs, people tend to use more Chinese herbal remedies, a number of which are known to have effect in Parkinson's Disease. For more information go too Herbal Medicines for Parkinson's Disease For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

The former Chinese leader Chairman Mao is known to have had Parkinson's Disease. However, it is never disclosed in China that Chairman Mao, who is given almost God like status in China, ever actually had Parkinson's Disease.

 

22nd September 2013 - New research

THE EFFECT OF TEN YEARS WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2012] 18 supplement, 3 : S10-S14 28 (3) : 380-383 (A.Hassan, S.S.Wu, P.Schmidt, I.A.Malaty, Y.F.Dai, J.M.Miyasaki, M.S.Okun) Complete abstract

A large number of people who had Parkinson's Disease for more than ten years were assessed to see what effect it had on them. The clinical status and health-related quality of life of patients reaching this milestone had not been well documented before. Their average age was 68 years old. Their average age of onset was 53 years old. Their average disease duration was 14 years. Many of them were minimally disabled (44%) or experiencing postural instability (40%). Most (88%) were able to stand unaided but falls were common (55%). Almost all (93%) were living at home, with a family member as a regular caregiver (84%).

They had an average of two additional medical disorders with arthritis (49%) and heart problems (32%) being the most common. Most of them  (87%) took at least 2 medications, with L-dopa (96%), dopamine agonists (45%) and antidepressants (37%) being the most common. Most of them were not currently utilizing physical, occupational or speech therapy, but two-thirds of them reported engaging in physical activity. Deep brain stimulation was documented in 22%. Overall the mean health-related quality of life and caregiver burden was impaired in all domains. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

21st September 2013 - New research

COFFEE INTAKE AND THE RISK OF DYSKINESIA

Movement Disorders [2013] 28 (3) : 380-383 (A.M.Wills, S.Eberly, M.Tennis, A.E.Lang, S.Messing, D.Togasaki, C.M.Tanner, C.Kamp, J.F.Chen, D.Oakes, M.P.McDermott, M.A.Schwarzschild)   Complete abstract

Caffeine is a naturally occurring adenosine antagonist that is commonly found in coffee, and to a lesser extent in tea, cola drinks, cocoa, and chocolate. Adenosine antagonists reduce or prevent the development of dyskinesia in animal models of L-dopa induced dyskinesia.

Researchers examined the association between the intake of caffeine and  the time taken to develop dyskinesia. Those people who consumed 12 ounces of coffee per day, which is about two cups, reduced their likelihood of developing dyskinesia to 61%. Those people who consumed 4 to 12 ounces of coffee per day, which is less than two cups per day, reduced their likelihood of developing dyskinesia to 73%. The authors suggest tha these results support the possibility that caffeine may reduce the likelihood of developing dyskinesia. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

16th September 2013 - News report

BILLY CONNOLLY DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The 70 year old Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease but has vowed to continue with his stage and screen career despite also having prostate cancer. Besides being known for stand up comedy on television and in large arenas he has appeared as a comedian and as a serious actor in films such as The Last Samurai, The Hobbit, Indecent Proposal, Muppet Treasure Island, and Gulliver's Travels. For more information go to Billy Connolly. Connollyís spokesman revealed that "Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour." For more details go to Daily Mail.

 

9th September 2013 - New review

FUTURE FORMS OF L-DOPA FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The forms of L-dopa presently being developed are likely to completely change the way that L-dopa is used. They include Inhaled L-dopa, Dual layer L-dopa, Subcutaneous L-dopa, L-dopa prodrug, Melevodopa and AcuForm.

Mucuna Pruriens has been a source of L-dopa since ancient times. As a drug, L-dopa started out as a treatment on its own. Sinemet and Madopar combined L-Dopa with a decarboxylase inhibitor in order to reduce the loss of L-dopa before it was used. In order to spread out the effect of L-dopa, controlled release versions of Sinemet and Madopar were then produced, Stalevo added Entacapone to that combination. Entacapone is a COMT inhibitor, which is able to slow down the degradation of L-dopa. An improved version of Stalevo called ODM-101 is already being developed. Parcopa is an orally disintegrating combination of L-dopa and carbidopa, which is the same combination as Sinemet. Duodopa is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa in the form of a gel, which is administered throughout the day using a portable pump directly into the small intestine through a surgically placed tube.

New forms of L-dopa presently being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease are :

  • Inhaled L-dopa (CVT-301), which is taken using an inhaler, enables a far quicker effect than existing forms of L-dopa. For more information go to Inhaled L-dopa

  • Dual layer L-dopa (IPX054), which includes the immediate release version of L-dopa and the controlled release version, is better than existing forms of L-dopa. For more information go to Dual layer L-dopa

  • Subcutaneous L-dopa (ND0612) is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa in a liquid formula administered continuously sub-cutaneously through a patch pump. For more information go to Subcutaneous L-dopa

  • L-dopa prodrug (XP21279) is rapidly converted in to L-dopa only after it has been absorbed. This facilitates active and efficient absorption into the body. For more information go to L-dopa prodrug

  • Melevodopa is the methyl ester of L-dopa. As it is a soluble neutral derivative it overcomes the insolubility and acidity of L-dopa when used in continuous intravenous infusions. For more information go to Melevodopa

  • AcuForm in combination with L-dopa and carbidopa (DM-1992) makes use of the properties of polymers that help to deliver L-dopa over a longer period of time. For more information go to Acuform

For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

6th September 2013 - New research

SAFINAMIDE CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS

European Journal of Neurology [2013] September 11 [Epub ahead of print] (A.H.Schapira, F.Stocchi, R.Borgohain, M.Onofrj, M.Bhatt, P.Lorenzana, V.Lucini, R.Giuliani, R.Anand)   Complete abstract

Safinamide is believed to have both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic actions, including the inhibition of MAO-B and inhibition of glutamate release.. It is undergoing  Phase III clinical development as a once-daily add-on to dopamine agonists for the treatment of early Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Safinamide

In a one year clinical trial people with Parkinson's Disease received 100mg or 200mg Safinamide daily. They were assessed according to how long it was before they had to increase their dopamine agonist dose or add another Parkinson's Disease treatment. People receiving 100 mg/day safinamide experienced a significantly lower rate of intervention compared with placebo, of 25% instead of 51% and a small delay before the need to increase other Parkinson's Disease treatments of 9 days.

In a previous study of once daily dosages of 50mg to 100mg Safinamide improved Parkinson's Disease symptoms after six months and reduced "off" time when added on to the use of existing Parkinson's Disease treatments. However, the reduction in "off" time in comparison to the use of a placebo was minimal. The increase in "on" time beyond that of a placebo was only 40 minutes for 50mg safinamide, and 50 minutes for 100mg safinamide. For more information go to the Complete abstract. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.

 

4th September 2013 - New book

DEMENTIA WITH LEWY BODIES AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE DEMENTIA

J.Eric Ahlskog

Publisher's description : In Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson's Disease Dementia, Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog draws on 30 years of clinical and research work at Mayo Clinic to arm patients and families with crucial information that will enable them to work in tandem with their doctors. Dr. Ahlskog clearly explains all aspects of these disorders, their causes, symptoms, most effective drug treatments, proper doses, and which medications to avoid. He also discusses the complications that can arise in treating these conditions, given the variety of available medications and their possible side effects and interactions. Dr. Ahlskog shows that optimal medical treatment can markedly improve the quality of life for both patients and family. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.    

 

1st September 2013 - New research

NEUPRO CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTSS

PLoS One [2013] 8 (7) : e69738 (C.Q.Zhou, S.S.Li, Z.M.Chen, F.Q.Li, P.Lei, G.G.Peng) Complete abstract

A systematic review has been carried out on the clinical trials of rotigotine transdermal patch, in order to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety in Parkinson's Disease. Rotigotine transdermal patch is marketed as Neupro. Neupro is a transdermal system that provides continuous delivery of rotigotine, which is a dopamine agonist, for 24 hours following application to intact skin.  For more information go to Neupro.

The use of rotigotine resulted in greater improvements in Parkinson's Disease symptom scores (the UPDRS) concerning the activities of daily living score, motor score, and the activities of daily living and motor subtotal score. However, rotigotine was associated with a significantly higher rate of withdrawals due to adverse events, and higher rates of application site reactions, vomiting, and dyskinesia. No differences were found in the relative risks of headache, constipation, back pain, diarrhea, or serious adverse events.   For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

26th August 2013 - New research

NAVAJO HAVE ONE OF THE HIGHEST PREVALENCES OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of Parkinson's Disease [2013] 3 (2) : 193-198 (P.H.Gordon, H.Zhao, D.Bartley, L.J.Sims, M.G.Begay, S. Pirio Richardson, J.Lewis, A.S.Rowland)  Complete abstract

The Navajo Indians have been found to have onnne of the world's highest prevalences of Prakinson's Disease. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease amongst the Navajo Indians is 336 per 100,000.

These figures are higher than for any U.S. state with Nebraska having the highest prevalence at  329 per 100,000. Amongst Navajo men it is even higher at 438 per 100,000. The Navajo are concentrated in Arizona and New Mexico in the USA. For more information go too Navajo. Native Americans, including American Indian and Alaska Native peoples as a whole have an even higher prevalence rate of 355 per 100,000. It is not known why the prevalence is so high amongst Native Americans. For more information concerning prevalence go to 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.   

 

24th August 2013 - News report

LINDA RONSTADT DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

The American singer Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and consequently can no longer sing. She won 11 Grammy Awards and has gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums.  sing. For more information go to Linda Ronstadt. Linda Ronstadt, who is now 67, told AARP today that she was daignosed with Parkinson's Disease 8 months ago and that she began to show symptoms 8 years ago. Linda Ronstadt now walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground and uses a wheelchair when she travels. However, her soon to be published autobiography makes no mention of her having Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to AARP.

                                                                                                                                                                                  23rd August 2013 - New book

YOGA AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Peggy Van Hulsteyn

Publisher's description : Yoga and Parkinson's Disease is a practical guide to using yoga to manage stress, improve mental alertness, increase flexibility, correct posture and improve the quality-of-life of readers with Parkinson's. It follows the author's own experience and research studies in the subject that have shown a correlation between yoga practice and better health and outcomes after a Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. The book is a deeply soothing form of moving meditation and physical activity that is a safe way to rebuild strength, stamina, and flexibility. It shows how yoga ameliorates difficulties that accompany Parkinson's, including mobility, range of motion, and balance. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.

 

18th August 2013 - New research

THE EFFECT OF GAMMA KNIFE THALAMOTOMY ON TREMOR

Journal of Neurosurgery [2013] 118 (4) : 713-718 (A.Kooshkabadi, L.D.Lunsford, D.Tonetti, J.C.Flickinger, D.Kondziolka) Complete abstract
                                                                                                                                                                                      The surgical management of disabling tremor has gained renewed vigour with the availability of deep brain stimulation. However, in the face of an aging population of patients with increasing surgical comorbidities, noninvasive approaches for tremor management have gained interest. Researchers evaluated outcomes in people who underwent a unilateral Gamma Knife thalamotomy (GKT) for tremor.

Gamma Knife radiosurgical thalamotomy is a technique in which a thalamotomy is performed with beams of radiation rather than a surgical incision or use of electrodes. The surgeon uses a Gamma Knife device to focus high-energy gamma rays precisely on an area in the brain that causes tremor. These rays result in the death of the brain cells that generate tremor. The procedure takes approximately one hour and the benefit may not be apparent until three to six weeks afterwards. For more information go to Gamma knife surgery.

The tremor was related to either essential tremor, Parkinson's Disease or multiple sclerosis. The Fahn-Tolosa-Marin clinical tremor rating scale was used to grade tremor, handwriting, and ability to drink. After Gamma Knife thalamotomy : the average tremor score reduced from 3.3 to 1.8,  the average handwriting score reduced from 2.8 to 1.6,  the average drinking score reduced from 3.1 to 1.8. After Gamma Knife thalamotomy : 66% of patients showed improvement in all 3 scores, 13% of patients showed improvement in 2 scores, 2% of patients showed improvement in just 1 score, and 19% of patients failed to improve in any of the three scores.. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

13th August 2013 - New research

BIOMARKERS FAIL TO DIAGNOSE PARKINSON'S DISEASE

BMC Neurology [2013] Apr 12 [Epub ahead of print] (D.J.McGhee, P.L.Royle, P.A.Thompson, D.E.Wright, J.P.Zajicek, C.E.Counsell) Complete abstract

It had previously been assumed that biomarkers could be an effective means of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease. However, an evaluation of all the methods assessed suggest that the use of biomarkers is insufficient. A biomarker is a substance used as an indicator of a biological state or illness. For more information go to Biomarkers.

A systematic review was undertaken to determine which biomarkers for disease progression in Parkinson's Disease exist. 183 studies were included. The sensitivity of the tests was an average of 71%, which is insufficient for Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. However, the range in sensitivity was between 51% and 86% showing that some of the methods were closer to having a practical use but were still less accurate than other methods of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease that are available. The authors found insufficient evidence to recommend the use of any biomarker for assessing disease progression in Parkinson's Disease clinical trials. They believe that this may simply reflect the poor quality of research in this area. They therefore present a provisional 'roadmap' for conducting future disease progression biomarker studies and recommend new quality criteria by which future studies may be judged. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

 

8th August 2013 - New research

DIABETIC DRUG TO TREAT PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Journal of Clinical Investigation [2013] 123 (6) : 2730-2736 (I.Aviles-Olmos, J.Dickson, Z.Kefalopoulou, A. Djamshidian, P.Ell, T.Soderlund, P.Whitton, R.Wyse, T.Isaacs, A.Lees, P.Limousin, T.Foltynie) Complete abstract

Exenatide, which is a type 2 diabetes treatment, has been found in clinical trials to improve Parkinson's Disease. Exentaide was previously found to have neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties. Exenatide differs in pharmacological action and chemical structure from insulin. For more information go to Exenatide

People with moderate Parkinson's Disease received subcutaneous injections of Exenatide for a year.  Their Parkinson's Disease was compared after overnight withdrawal of conventional Parkinson's Disease medication using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Exenatide was well tolerated but weight loss was common. There were clinically relevant improvements in Parkinson's Disease  motor and cognitive measures. Exenatide treated patients had a mean improvement after one year on the UPDRS of 2.7 compared with a mean decline of 2.2 points in controls.. The authors do not make suggestions as to how the diabetes drug has effect 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.   

 

7th August 2013 - News release

BASEBALL STAR DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Dave Parker, a two time winner of the baseball World Series has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Dave Parker is a retired American baseball player. He began his career in the Major League in 1973 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent ten years. He went on to play with Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, California Angels, and Toronto Blue Jays. He won the World Series twice, in 1979 and 1989. He retired from baseball in 1991. Now aged 62, he was first diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease early in 2012 but kept it quiet until now except for informing some close friends. For the time being he is not taking any medication and is instead relying on natural remedies. For more information concerning him go to Dave Parker

 

4th August 2013 - New research

CLINICAL TRIAL OF AFQ056 FOR DYSKINESIA

Movement Disorders [2013] July 11 [Epub ahead of print] (Stocchi F, Rascol O, Destee A, Hattori N, Hauser RA, Lang AE, Poewe W, Stacy M, Tolosa E, Gao H, Nagel J, Merschhemke M, Graf A, Kenney C, Trenkwalder C.) Complete abstract

AFQ056 is a new glutamate receptor antagonist being developed for the treatment of L-dopa induced dyskinesia. Dyskinesia is a difficulty or distortion in performing voluntary movements, which often occurs as a side effect of long term therapy with L-dopa. For more information go too Dyskinesia. People with Parkinson's Disease were given either 20mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, or 200mg daily for 12 weeks. The primary outcome in order to assess the effect on dyskinesia was the modified Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale.

Patients taking 200mg AFQ056 daily demonstrated significant improvements on the modified Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale. There was a dose-response relationship, with 200 mg daily demonstrating the greatest effect. However, no significant changes were observed on the 26-item Parkinson's Disease Dyskinesia Scale or the Patient's / Clinician's Global Impression of Change. Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III scores were not significantly changed, indicating no worsening of motor symptoms. The most common adverse events were dizziness, hallucination, fatigue, nasopharyngitis, diarrhea, and insomnia. These results can guide the slection of doses for future clinical trials.. 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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