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 email@example.com.
30th April 2015 - New research
NEW GENETIC CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
A new genetic cause of Parkinson's Disease has been discovered called CHCHD2. CHCHD2 is associated with the development of Parkinson's Disease. Most genetic causes of Parkinson's Disease do not inevitably cause Parkinson's Disease but make the person affected more likely to develop Parkinson's Disease.
The full name of the genetic cause is : Coiled-coil-helix-coiled-coil- helixdomain containing 2. The gene is on the Chromosome 7p11.2. The function of the gene is to mediate oxygen-dependent expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4-2 gene expression. The researchers do not know how this function inclines somebody towards Parkinson's Disease. The type of inheritance is autosomal dominant, which means that if the abnormal gene is inherited from only one parent you can get the disease. Often, one of the parents may also have the disease. This gene is associated with an increased likelihood of Parkinsons' Disease.
There are now at least 32 known genetic causes of Parkinson's Disease : PARK 1 to 3, PARK 4 to 20, Tyrosine Hydroxylase deficiency, Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency, CHCHD2, CYP2D6, DRD2. DRD3, GLIS1, LINGO1, MAPT, NRA42, PITX3, RIT2, STH. Details of individual genes can freely accessed at the NCBI database
Reference : The Lancet Neurology  14 (3) : 274-282 (M.Funayama, K.Ohe, T.Amo, N.Furuya, J.Yamaguchi, S.Saiki, Y.Li, K.Ogaki, M.Ando, H.Yoshino, H.Tomiyama, K.Nishioka, K.Hasegawa, H.Saiki, W.Satake, K.Mogushi, R.Sasaki, Y.Kokubo, S.Kuzuhara, T.Toda, Y.Mizuno, Y.Uchiyama, K.Ohno, N.Hattori) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
29th April 2015 - News release
BASEBALL LEGEND DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Kirk Gibson, the former American baseball player and manager, now aged 57, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. As a player he won two Baseball World Series.
He said "I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles. While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible." For more information go to News release
Kirk Gibson (born in 1957) was drafted by both the Detroit Tigers baseball team and the St. Louis Cardinals (Arizona Cardinals) football team, but he chose baseball. He played Major League baseball for Detroit Tigers (1979-1987), Los Angeles Dodgers (1988-1990), Kansas City Royals (1991), Pittsburgh Pirates (1992), Detroit Tigers (1993–1995). He won the Baseball World Series twice, with the Detroit Tigers in 1984, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. In the 1988 World Series, despite being injured, he hit a game winning home run. He was subsequently a coach for Detroit Tigers (2003-2005), Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-2010), and a manager for Arizona Diamondbacks (2010-2014) after which he retired from baseball. For more information go to : Kirk Gibson In order to refer to this article on its own click here
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9th April 2015 - New research
NOCTURIA IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Nocturia (often waking at night to urinate) is a frequent complaint in Parkinson's Disease. Researchers aimed to assess the mechanism of nocturia in people with Parkinson's Disease by determining the prevalence of nocturnal polyuria in Parkinson's Disease. Nocturnal polyuria is an increase in urine production in the night but with a decrease in daytime urine production. For more information go to Nocturia
Nocturia was defined as one or more awakenings at night to urinate. Two definitions of nocturnal polyuria were used : NUV33 (33% or more of total urination occurs at night), and NUP90 (nighttime urination exceeds 90ml per hour or more. The prevalence of nocturnal polyuria was 64% according to the NUV33 definition, and 17% according to the NUP90 definition. Among those people with nocturia the prevalence of nocturnal polyuria was 66% according to the NUV33 definition and 21% according to the NUP90 definition. The duration of Parkinson's Disease did not increase the likelihood of nocturia or nocturnal polyuria. However, those people who had Parkinson's Disease who were 70 years old and older were more likely to have both - 72% instead of 55% for those younger than 70. Men had nocturia more frequently - 33% for men and 20% for women.
The prevalence of nocturnal polyuria and nocturia was not higher than in the general population of the same age. This suggests that they occur, not as was thought, because of Parkinson's Disease, but because of the older age that is usually associated with Parkinson's Disease.
3rd April 2015 - New research
MONITORING PARKINSON'S DISEASE USING SMARTPHONES
Smartphones have been assessed for their use in monitoring Parkinson's
Disease. A smartphone (smart phone) is a mobile phone with an advanced
mobile operating system.
For more information go to
Participants then took the smart phones home to perform the five tasks four times a day for a month. Once a week they had a remote visit with a Parkinson's Disease specialist in which a modified (excluding assessments of rigidity and balance) UPDRS was performed. The analyses of the five tasks differed between those people with Parkinson Disease and those people who did not have Parkinson's Disease. There was a high degree of accuracy. In discriminating participants with Parkinson's Disease the mean sensitivity was 96% and the mean specificity was 96%.
Measuring Parkinson's Disease symptoms via a smartphone is highly accurate in distinguishing people with Parkinson's Disease. The researchers conclude that it is therefore feasible and has potential value as a diagnostic support tool.
Reference : Parkinsonism Related Disorders  Mar 7 [Epub ahead of print] (S.Arora, V.Venkataraman, A.Hang, S.Donohue, K.M.Biglan, E.R.Dorsey, M.A.Little) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
22nd March 2015 - News release
PRX002 - NEW IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Prothena Corporation have reported a reduction of Alpha-Synuclein by up to
96% after a single dose of PRX002, which is a new protein immunotherapy for
Parkinson's Disease. Alpha-synuclein has been claimed to cause Parkinson's
Disease. PRX002 is the focus of a worldwide collaboration between Prothena
and Roche. For more information go to the
However, a lot of people with Parkinson's Disease do not accumulate alpha-synuclein. So there is none to get rid of. There is no evidence that Alpha-synuclein is a primary cause of Parkinson's Disease as has been claimed. Most people that have an accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the brain do not have Parkinson's Disease and have other medical disorders instead. L-dopa can readily rid symptoms in most people without affecting alpha-synuclein, thereby proving that the ridding of alpha-synuclein in the brain is not needed in order to rid Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
12th March 2015 - New research
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Researchers assessed the association between the first presentation of
prediagnostic features and a subsequent diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.
Those symptoms considered were motor features (tremor, rigidity, balance
impairments, neck pain or stiffness, and shoulder pain or stiffness),
autonomic features (constipation, hypotension, erectile dysfunction, urinary
dysfunction, and dizziness), neuropsychiatric disturbances (memory problems,
late-onset anxiety or depression, cognitive decline, and apathy), and
additional features (fatigue, insomnia, anosmia, hypersalivation and
rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder). Apathy, REM sleep disorder,
anosmia, hypersalivation, and cognitive decline were excluded because they
were infrequently reported.
26th February 2015 - New books
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE (8 volumes)
Encyclopedia of Parkinson's Disease is an 8 volume series of encyclopedias covering all different aspects of Parkinson's Disease including : etiology, pathphysiology, clinical aspects, diagnosis, rehabilitation, models and modules, therapeutics, novel treatments, advanced therapies. It is certainly the most extensive encyclopedia of Parkinson's Disease.
23rd February 2015 - New research
EFFECT OF RESISTANCE TRAINING ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract
against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in
strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be
weights, dumbbells, your own body weight, or any other objects that are
heavy enough to cause the muscles to contract. For more information go to
This review demonstrated that moderate intensity progressive resistance training, 2 to 3 times per week over 8 to 10 weeks, can result in significant strength, balance and motor symptom gains in people with early to moderate Parkinson's Disease.
19th February 2015 - New research
EFFECTS OF TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive
technique that relies on electromagnetic induction using an insulated coil
placed over the scalp. The coil generates brief magnetic pulses, which pass
easily and painlessly through the skull into the brain. When pulses are
administered in rapid succession, it is referred to as "repetitive TMS" or
"rTMS", which can produce longer lasting changes in brain activity.
more information go to :
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
However, results evaluating the effectiveness of rTMS in
Parkinson's Disease are mixed. So an assessment was made of all studies
concerning the use of rTMS in Parkinson's Disease.
18th February 2015 - New book
PARKINSON'S DISEASE (DISEASES AND DISORDERS)
Publisher's description : This title in Lucent's Diseases and Disorders series focuses on Parkinson's Disease. The book describes how the disease is contracted, its symptoms, and treatments. It also discusses the issues that caregivers face. These books offer readers a means of understanding various ailments; clear, careful explanations offer insight into what these conditions are, what causes them, how we cope with them, and the latest information about treatment and prevention. All volumes in the series include primary and secondary quotations, annotated bibliographies, detailed indexes, and lists of organizations to contact for additional information Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books In order to refer to this article on its own click here
14th February 2015 - New research
ELTOPRAZINE REDUCES DYSKINESIA IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Eltoprazine has been found to reduce L-dopa induced dyskinesias in
Parkinson's Disease. Eltoprazine is a 5HT partial agonist being developed by
Amarantus for the treatment of L-dopa induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's
Disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Cognition.
Simultaneous activation of 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors effectively blocked
L-dopa induced dyskinesias in animal models, thereby suggesting its use in
more information go to :
Reference : Brain  Feb 10 [Epub ahead of print] (P.Svenningsson, C.Rosenblad, K.Af Edholm Arvidsson, K.Wictorin, C.Keywood, B.Shankar, D.A.Lowe, A.Björklund, H. Widner) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
11th February 2015 - New research
APDM MOBILITY LAB FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE ASSESSMENT
The diagnosis and estimation of disease severity in Parkinson's Disease was
assessed using the APDM Mobility Lab. The APDM Mobility Lab uses wearable
sensors and sophisticated signal processing to track even subtle changes in
gait, stride, balance, rotation, and efficiency and range of movement in
upper and lower limbs and torsos. Sensors are simply strapped on to the
subject on various parts of the body, including the chest, waist, wrists and
ankles. Subjects then perform a test after which a report is generated. For
more information go to :
APDM Mobility Lab
The study identified sets of iTUG and iSway variables that correlate with Parkinson's Disease severity measures and differentiate people with Parkinson's Disease. The authors suggest that these gait and balance measures could therefore potentially serve as markers of Parkinson's Disease progression. They are consequently under evaluation for this purpose in the ongoing NIH Parkinson Disease Biomarker Program.
Reference : Journal of Neurological Science  345 (1-2) : 131-138 (D.C.Dewey, S. Miocinovic, I.Bernstein, P.Khemani, R.B.Dewey, R.Querry, S.Chitnis, R.B.Dewey Jr) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
23rd January 2015 - New research
RELUCTANCE TO START PARKINSON'S DISEASE TREATMENT
The first study to assess the reluctance to start medication in Parkinson's
Disease has found a reluctance to begin medication that is primarily due to
a fear about side effects and a refusal to accept a diagnosis of Parkinson's
People with Parkinson's Disease and physicians therefore clearly have a very different perspective on the issue of reluctance to start medication. The researchers suggest that there is a need to bring physicians and patients with Parkinson's Disease closer to a shared vision of the problem reluctance to start medication.
Reference : Parkinsonism Related Disorders  20 (6) : 608-612 (T.A.Mestre, T. Teodoro, W.Reginold, J.Graf, M.Kasten, J.Sale, M.Zurowski, J.Miyasaki, J.J.Ferreira, C. Marras) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
18th January 2015 - New research
HYDROCARBONS INCREASE THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Exposure to hydrocarbons has been found to significantly increase the
likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease. This was based on by far the
largest assessment of its kind. Prior to this study there had not been a
consensus concerning hydrocarbons as a cause of Parkinson's Disease.
People with Parkinson's Disease were assessed according to several factors including their previous working exposure to hydrocarbons. Thirteen case controlled studies were made use of in assessing the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease. Hydrocarbon exposure increased the likelihood of Parkinson's Disease by 1.32 times normal. Occupational exposure of hydrocarbons increased the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease to 1.61 times normal. The biochemical cause of the association was not proposed.
This systematic review supports a positive association between hydrocarbon exposure and Parkinson's Disease. In some people the likelihood of devloping Parkinson's Disease was four times normal. A more emphatic relationship may have been obtained if the degree of exposure was also considered.
Reference : Parkinsonism Related Disorders  Dec 26 [Epub ahead of print] (O.Palin, C.Herd, K.E.Morrison, A.C.Jagielski, K.Wheatley, G.N.Thomas, C.E.Clarke) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
10th January 2015 - New research
DUAL RELEASE L-DOPA APPROVED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Rytary, which is produced by Impax, has been approved by the FDA (in the USA) for use in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Impax expects Rytary to be available for use in February 2015. Most forms of L-dopa are either immediate release, which can cause an excessive effect, or controlled release, which can be slow to start having effect. Rytary is advantageous due to including both immediate release and prolonged release L-dopa.
Rytary can also be used for post-encephalitic parkinsonism, and
parkinsonism that may follow carbon monoxide intoxication or manganese
intoxication. Rytary is designed to address one of the most significant
unmet needs for patients living with Parkinson's disease, which is to reduce
the amount of time during the day when their symptoms are not adequately
In advanced Parkinson's Disease Rytary reduced the percentage of "off" time (by 37% to 23%) when compared to immediate-release carbidopa-levodopa. The most common adverse reactions with Rytary (in at least 5% of patients and more frequently than in placebo) were nausea, dizziness, headache, insomnia, abnormal dreams, dry mouth, dyskinesia, anxiety, constipation, vomiting, and orthostatic hypotension. The most common adverse reactions in advanced Parkinson's Disease were nausea and headache. For more information go to the News Release for 08 Jan 2015 News release In order to refer to this article on its own click here
1st January 2015 - New research
CLINICAL TRIALS OF SUBCUTANEOUS L-DOPA
NeuroDerm has announced results of Phase IIa pharmacokinetic Study of ND0612H and ND0612L. They led to clinically-significant plasma levels of L-dopa. ND0612 is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa in a liquid formula administered continuously sub-cutaneously through a patch pump. ND0612 is designed to provide steady L-dopa blood levels for the reduction of motor complications in Parkinson's Disease. There is a high dose form ND0612H. For more information go to ND0612H There is a low dose form of ND0612 called ND0612L. For more information go to ND0612L
L-dopa plasma levels were found to be proportionate to the dose. ND0612H achieved maximum daytime concentrations of 1,333ng/ml and 1,436ng/ml. With oral entacapone the levels were even higher, at 1,807ng/ml. ND0612L achieved lower maximum daytime concentrations of 528ng/ml and 477ng/ml. With oral entacapone the L-dopa levels were slightly higher, at 596ng/ml. Fluctuations in L-dopa plasma levels were markedly reduced when compared with oral L-dopa. Treatment with ND0612L and ND0612H did not raise safety and tolerability concerns, causing only minimal and transient local reactions at the infusion site. Due to the short half-life of oral L-dopa, patients are required to take multiple L-dopa doses daily. This results in sharp fluctuations in L-dopa levels which are associated with erratic "off" and "on" periods experienced by many patients.
Continuous sub-cutaneous L-dopa administration using ND0612 can overcome this limitation without having to undergo invasive surgical procedure. For more information go to Neuroderm In order to refer to this article on its own click here
28th December 2014 - New research
EFFECT OF PRAMIPEXOLE ER FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
The long term use of pramipexole as a once-daily extended-release oral formulation in early or advanced Parkinson's Disease demonstrated efficacy, but also adverse events. Pramipexole is a dopamine agonist that is most widely sold as Mirapex ER. For more information go to : Mirapex ER
early Parkinson's Disease the main adverse events of extended release
pramipexole were somnolence (15%), peripheral edema (11%) and back pain
(10%). In advanced Parkinson's Disease the main adverse events were
dyskinesia (27%) and somnolence (13%).
These results support the long-term efficacy of pramipexole ER in early and advanced Parkinson's Disease. Adverse Events were typical for dopaminergic medications. UPDRS (Parkinson's Disease) scores suggested sustained symptomatic benefit.
Reference : European Journal of Neurology  21 (5) : 736-743 (R.A.Hauser, A.H. Schapira, P.Barone, Y.Mizuno, O.Rascol, M.Busse, C.Debieuvre, M.Fraessdorf, W.Poewe) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
27th December 2014 - New book
NON-MOTOR SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
K.Ray Chaudhuri, Eduardo Tolosa, Anthony H.V.Schapira, Werner Poewe
Publisher's description : Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are known to suffer from motor symptoms, but also experience non-motor symptoms (NMS) that are often present before diagnosis or that inevitably emerge with disease progression. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease have been extensively researched, and effective clinical tools for their assessment and treatment are readily available. Researchers have recently begun to focus on the NMS of Parkinson's Disease, which are poorly recognized and inadequately treated. NMS have an impact on patient quality of life and mortality and include neuropsychiatric, sleep-related, autonomic, gastrointestinal, and sensory symptoms. Some NMS can be improved with available treatments, but others will require research into novel therapies. This new edition summarizes the current understanding of NMS in Parkinson's disease and future research. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books In order to refer to this article on its own click here
22nd December 2014 - New research
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF DBS ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN-DBS) is an effective treatment for Parkinson's Disease, but in the long term Parkinson's Disease symptoms have been found to still deteriorate very significantly. 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 to : Deep Brain Stimulation
After 11 years, DBS significantly improved the motor symptoms of people with Parkinson's Disease by 35%. Motor complications were well controlled, with an 84% improvement of dyskinesias and a 65% improvement of motor fluctuations. Despite this, the Parkinson's Disease symptom score (the UPDRS-II-on score) worsened by 88%, mainly for the worsening of poorly L-dopa-responsive symptoms. More than 70% of the patients performed in the normal range in most of the neuropsychological tests, despite the development of dementia in 22% of them.
The study confirmed the long-term safety of STN-DBS in Parkinson's Disease. However, the functionality of patients worsens over time, mainly for the onset and progression of L-dopa-resistant and non-motor symptoms. The role of PD-subtype seems to be relevant in the long-term outcome.
Reference : Parkinsonism Related Disorders  20 (4) : 376-381 (M.G.Rizzone, A. Fasano, A.Daniele, M.Zibetti, A.Merola, L.Rizzi, C.Piano, C.Piccininni, L.M.Romito, L. Lopiano, A.Albanese) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
12th December 2014 - New research
AMPHETAMINES INCREASE THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Previous neurotoxicity findings raised concerns that Amphetamines and Methamphetamines might damage dopaminergic neurons, resulting in dopamine-related medical disorders such as Parkinson's Disease. However, despite widespread use of methamphetamines and other amphetamine type stimulants little was known about the long-term medical consequences of their abuse and dependence.
A retrospective design was used to examine medical records from 1996 until 2011. Patients were divided between (1) Amphetamine and Methamphetamine users, (2) Cocaine users, (3) those people that have not been exposed to drugs or alcohol. They were assessed to see if they were at an increased risk of developing either (1) Parkinson's Disease, or (2) Parkinson's Disease / Parkinsonism / Essential Tremor when compared to people that did not take drugs. In Methamphetamine and Amphetamine users there was a nearly three fold increased risk of Parkinson's Disease, thereby indicating them as a cause of Parkinson's Disease. However, Cocaine users did not show any elevated risk of Parkinson's Disease.
The greatly increased likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease probably occurs because of the long term effect of amphetamines on the dopamine receptors, which they affect.
Reference : Drug and Alcohol Dependence  Nov 16 [Epub ahead of print] (K.Curtin, A.E.Fleckenstein, R.J.Robison, M.J.Crookston, K.R.Smith, G.R.Hanson) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
7th December 2014 - New research
SIGNS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE BEFORE DIAGNOSIS
By the time somebody has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease many people have already had Parkinson's Disease for years or have had symptoms that were progressing towards it.
Researchers compared those symptoms before diagnosis to their subsequent diagnosis. Those symptoms assessed were : motor features (tremor, rigidity, balance impairments, neck pain or stiffness, and shoulder pain or stiffness), autonomic features (constipation, hypotension, erectile dysfunction, urinary dysfunction, and dizziness), neuropsychiatric disturbances (memory problems, late-onset anxiety or depression, cognitive decline, and apathy), and fatigue, insomnia, anosmia, hypersalivation and REM sleep disorder) prior to diagnosis.
At 10 years before diagnosis the incidence of tremor was many times higher and constipation was higher in those who went on to develop Parkinson's Disease. At 5 years before diagnosis those who went on to develop Parkinson's Disease had a much higher incidence of tremor, a higher incidence of imbalance, constipation, hypotension, and a slightly higher incidence of erectile dysfunction, urinary dysfunction, dizziness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. At 2 years before diagnosis the incidence of all studied features except neck pain or stiffness was higher in people who went on to develop Parkinson's Disease.
A range of symptoms can therefore be detected years before diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, with tremor being especially common prior to diagnosis.
2nd December 2014 - New research
SONOGRAPHY FOR DIAGNOSIS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Transcranial sonography is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that makes use of sound waves to create a digital image to aid the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.
The sound waves are typically produced by a transducer. Strong, short electrical pulses from the ultrasound machine make the transducer ring at the desired frequency. Materials on the face of the transducer enable the sound to be transmitted efficiently into the body. The sound wave is partially reflected from layers between different tissues. Sound is reflected anywhere there are density changes in the body. Some of the reflections return to the transducer. The return sound wave vibrates the transducer, which turns the vibrations into electrical pulses that travel to the ultrasonic scanner where they are processed and transformed into a digital image. For more information go to Transcranial Sonography
The primary area of the brain concerning Parkinson's Disease is the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra echogenic area was found to be larger in those people with Parkinson's Disease. Substantia nigra echogenicity was also larger in males than in females. Age did not correlate with substantia nigra echogenicity in any group. After multivariate analysis, only the substantia nigra hyperechogenicity was associated with the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. Transcranial sonography consequently showed good diagnostic validity for the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. However, in a previous study the diagnostic accuracy in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease was not sufficient for routine clinical use.
Reference : Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine  33 (12) : 2069-2074 (A.Alonso- Cánovas, J.L.López-Sendón, J.Buisán, A.deFelipe-Mimbrera, M.Guillán, N.García-Barragán, I.Corral, M.C.Matute-Lozano, J.Masjuan, J.C.Martínez-Castrillo, U.Walter) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
22nd November 2014 - New music
IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD (AN ALBUM ABOUT PARKINSON'S DISEASE)
Publisher's description : This is a music album by a cranky 60-year old with Parkinson’s disease. If there’s one thing that drives him nuts, it’s when people try to cheer him out of his PD doldrums with sappy, silly, “everything’s gonna be FINE!” songs. Everything is NOT going to be fine, not for Bill, and not for the people with this progressive neurological disorder. Still, there’s reason for hope as Bill shares in the last song on this album. People are working day and night to find better treatments and, hopefully, a cure for this beast of a disease. Bill’s album deals with the stuff a person with advanced Parkinson’s disease deals with every day. The feeling that you could be doing more for yourself and easing some of the burden on your caregiver. There’s a lot of snark, sass, sarcasm and sardonic humor in this album. But one thing that comes through is that Bill is not done living. Not just yet. Click here for more details
13th November 2014 - New book
DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS
Publisher's description : Chronic electrical stimulation of the brain has demonstrated excellent outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s disease and has recently also been applied to other neurological diseases. This comprehensive, up-to-date book will meet the needs of all who wish to learn more about the application of deep brain stimulation and will provide a sound basis for safe and accurate surgery. The book comprises two main parts, the first of which presents relevant anatomical and functional background information on the basal ganglia, thalamus and other brain structures as well as on the mechanism of brain stimulation. The second part describes clinical studies on deep brain stimulation, covering results in a range of movement disorders and psychiatric diseases and also important aspects of instrumentation and technique. The authors are outstanding scientists and experts from across the world. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books In order to refer to this article on its own click here
8th November 2014 - New research
DELAYING L-DOPA IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
During the past decade, a number of large drug trials have suggested that the initiation of L-dopa therapy should be delayed in order to reduce the risk of motor complications in people with Parkinson's Disease.
Researchers therefore assessed what happened when L-dopa was withheld for a long time after somebody had developed Parkinson's Disease. They studied Ghana, because in Ghana access to medication for Parkinson's Disease means that initiation of L-dopa is often delayed for many years after the onset of Parkinson's Disease. Their data was compared to people with Parkinson's Disease in Italy, where the use of L-dopa is initiated far earlier. Demographic features, frequency and severity of motor and non-motor symptoms were comparable in the two populations. Although L-dopa therapy was introduced much later in Ghana, the duration of Parkinson's Disease when motor fluctuations and dyskinesias started was similar to people in Italy who initiated the use of L-dopa far earlier.
Instead of how early L-dopa was initiated, what was most associated with motor fluctuations and dyskinesias was (1) the duration of Parkinson's Disease and (2) the daily dose of L-dopa (mg/kg of body weight). The average time to the development of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias after the initiation of L-dopa was surprisingly short as it was only six months.
Reference : Brain  137 (10) : 2731-2742 (R.Cilia, A.Akpalu, F.S.Sarfo, M.Cham, M.Amboni, E.Cereda, M.Fabbri, P.Adjei, J.Akassi, A.Bonetti, G.Pezzoli) Complete abstract
2nd November 2014 - New book
GUIDE TO ASSESSMENT SCALES IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Pablo Martinez-Martin, Carmen Rodriguez-Blazquez, Maria Joao Forjaz, Kallol Ray Chaudhuri
Publisher's description : This Guide assesses the key clinimetric attributes in the assessment of Parkinson's Disease, with the intention to offer rapid and pragmatic information on the most relevant scales used. The use of scales for assessment in neurological disorders such as PD arises from the need to quantify disorders and states (such constructs as disability, symptoms, quality of life). Assessment scales are often categorised into two categories: generic (i.e. those scales usable in any health condition), and specific (i.e. scales developed for exclusive use in PD). They can have a variety of components: single-item and multi-item or composite scale; unidimensional and multidimensional; and as disease-centered and patient-centered measures. The creation and validation of scales is complex, with scales undergoing numerous studies to assess criteria such as acceptability, reliability, and responsiveness. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books In order to refer to this article on its own click here
20th October 2014 - New research
CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS OF DUAL LAYER L-DOPA
Dual layer L-dopa (IPX066), which is being developed for the treatment of
Parkinson's Disease, unusually and advantageously combines the immediate
release version of L-dopa with the controlled release version of L-dopa. An
application by Impax is with the FDA for the marketing of IPX066 as Rytary.
For more information go to
13th October 2014 - New research
AIR POLLUTION AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Exposure to air pollution has been implicated as a cause of Parkinson's Disease. The first prominent descriptions of Parkinson's Disease came at the time of the Industrial Revolution when pollution levels escalated. Yet, no prospective study has examined the association between particulate matter and the risk of Parkinson's Disease.
After adjusting for age in months, smoking, region, population density, caffeine and ibuprofen intake, there was found to be no statistically significant associations between exposure to air pollution and the risk of Parkinson's Disease. The relative risk of Parkinson's Disease was 1.08 for pollution particles that were less than 2.5 microns in diameter, 0.92 for pollution particles that were 2.5 to 10.0 microns in diameter, and 0.99 for pollution particles that were more than 10.0 microns in diameter. These likelihoods are little different from what would be expected normally.
There are areas of the world where pollution is definitely a serious cause of Parkinson's Disease. One of the world's highest prevalences of Parkinson's Disease is in the vicinities of ferromanganese plants near Brescia in Italy. Manganese concentrations in settled dust were found to be significantly higher in the surroundings and downwind from the ferromanganese plants. In high concentrations, manganese is a known cause of Parkinson's Disease.
Reference : Environmental Health  13 (1) : 80 [Epub ahead of print] (N.Palacios, K.C.Fitzgerald, J.E.Hart, M.G.Weisskopf, M.A.Schwarzschild, A.Ascherio, F.Laden) Complete abstract
10th October 2014 - New research
TWENTY YEARS WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Having Parkinson's Disease for more than twenty years has been found to be associated with major milestones of disease disability, fractures, or being confined to a wheelchair or bed. There are a very limited number of studies on the clinical features of Parkinson's Disease twenty years after onset. So an assessment was carried out for several years on people who had Parkinson's Disease for more than twenty years
Those people considered were those who had Parkinson's Disease for 20 to 22 years. They were assessed for an average of nearly four years. Older age at onset and longer duration of Parkinson's Disease were each associated with a higher prevalence of major motor and non-motor milestones of disease disability. Confinement to a wheelchair or bed had by then occurred in just over 1 in 5 people (21%). Those factors making confinement to a wheelchair or bed were older age, postural instability and institutionalisation. Fractures occurred in 16% of people. Fractures were associated with postural instability.
The most frequent outcome was death (28%). However, given the age of diagnosis and the duration of Parkinson's Disease this might have been no more than normal. Mortality was associated with male gender, older age, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), orthostatic hypotension, postural instability, fractures and institutionalisation.
Reference : Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry  Oct 3 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Cilia, E.Cereda, C.Klersy, M.Canesi, A.L.Zecchinelli, C.B.Mariani, S.Tesei, G.Sacilotto, N.Meucci, M.Zini, C.Ruffmann, I.U.Isaias, S.Goldwurm, G.Pezzoli) Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
8th October 2014 - New book
LEVODOPA-INDUCED DYSKINESIA IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Susan H.Fox (Editor), Jonathan M.Brotchie (Editor)
Publisher's description : This book aims to provide a single reference source on levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID) from ‘bench to bedside’. Initial chapters review the clinical features and phenomenology of LID with video examples; epidemiology and genetic risk factors for LID are covered as a background to understanding risk factors for developing LID. The chapters cover the latest preclinical studies aiming to understand the pathophysiology of LID at the cellular, neurochemical, neurophysiological and circuitry level with detailed discussion of mechanisms and future directions to take the field forward; clinical studies from phase II to phase IV; on going RCTs in LID and evidence-based medicine reviews of treatment options. Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease is aimed at an international audience of movement disorder neurologists; neuroscientists; trainees and graduate and post-graduate students. Click here for more details In order to refer to this article on its own click here For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease books
5th October 2014 - New research
HANDEDNESS AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE SYMPTOMS
Whether somebody with Parkinson's Disease is right handed or left handed has
been found to greatly affect the side on which their Parkinson's Disease
symptoms initiate and persist.
Out of those people with Parkinson's Disease, 92% were right handed. Nearly 62% of them had an initial onset of symptoms on the right hand side. Out of those people with Parkinson's Disease, 8% were left handed. Around 75% of them had an initial onset of symptoms on the left hand side. Out of those people with Parkinson's Disease who were right handed 77% had Parkinson's Disease symptoms that were dominant on the right hand side. Out of those people with Parkinson's Disease who were left handed 58% of them had Parkinson's Disease symptoms that were dominant on the left hand side.
In general, the dominant side of Parkinson's Disease symptoms was in accordance with which handed they were. In people who were right handed, rest tremor was the most common initial symptom. In people who were left handed, rest tremor and rigidity and bradykinesia were the most common initial symptoms. In order to refer to this article on its own click here Reference : Medicina Clinica  142 (4) : 141-144 (J.Shi, J.Liu, Q.Qu) Complete abstract
1st October 2014 - New research
HORMONES CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
ParkinsonismMovement Disorders  Sep 25 [Epub ahead of print] (J.I.Lundin, T.G.Ton, A.Z. LaCroix, W.T.Longstreth, G.M.Franklin, P.D.Swanson, T.Smith-Weller, B.A.Racette, H. Checkoway) Complete abstract
Certain types of commonly used oral contraceptives have been found to greatly increase the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease. Oral contraceptives, which includes estrogen and progestin, are a class of drugs widely prescribed to women. For more information go to Oral contraceptives
Oral contraceptive use by people with Parkinson's Disease were classified as conjugated estrogens, esterified estrogens, or progestin. Ever having used a hormone therapy formulation demonstrated a suggested elevated risk with esterified estrogen use that was three times the normal. However, there was no increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease in those people who had taken conjugated estrogen. Restricting this analysis to prescriptions that included progestin greatly increased the risk associated with esterified estrogen use, making Parkinson's Disease SEVEN times more likely. Progestin also moderately increased the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease in those people who taken conjugated estrogen.
The findings from this study suggest a great increase in Parkinson's Disease risk associated with the use of esterified estrogen combined with progestin, but no risk is associated with conjugated estrogen on its own. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
28th September 2014 - New research
WEARING OFF IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Parkinsonism Related Disorders  20 (2) : 204-211 (F.Stocchi, A.Antonini, P.Barone, M.Tinazzi, M.Zappia, M.Onofrj, S.Ruggieri, L.Morgante, U.Bonuccelli, L.Lopiano, P. Pramstaller, A.Albanese, M.Attar, V.Posocco, D.Colombo, G.Abbruzzese) Complete abstract
Wearing off of the effect of drugs for Parkinson's Disease has been found to occur far earlier and in more people with Parkinson's Disease than previously assumed. Wearing off is very individual and there is no standard time frame for when this may occur or which symptoms are experienced. For more information go to Wearing off
Neurologists found that there was wearing off in 57% of people with Parkinson's Disease. However, when this was assessed by the patients themselves, there was found to be wearing off in 67% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Even in people who had Parkinson's Disease for less than 2.5 years there was wearing off in 21% of people when assessed by neurologists and in 41% when patients assessed themselves. The most frequent wearing off symptoms were slowness of movements (55%) and reduced dexterity (48%). Those factors most associated with wearing off were : younger age, female gender, severer symptoms, and duration of treatment.
Wearing Off is already common in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease and is underestimated by routine neurological clinical evaluation. The effect of Parkinson's Disease drugs is therefore often relatively short lived. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
25th September 2014 - New Audiobook
PUT ON YOUR PARKY FACE ! THE EXPANDED VERSION
Publisher's description : Put on your Parky face is a narrated Audiobook about Parkinson's Disease by widely known Parkinson's Disease blogger Bill Schmalfeldt. Bill is serving notice. It's time for Parkinson's disease patients to stop being invisible. It's time for a nationwide effort to raise awareness about this crippling degenerative neurological disorder and the havoc it wreaks. Having had Parkinson's Disease since 2000 at the age of 45, Bill volunteered for experimental brain surgery in 2007. He spins a humorous, poignant, and sometimes angry tale about his life with this progressive neurological condition. He uses his time, focus and energy to help fund the research that will find the cure. 100% of the author proceeds from this book will be donated to Parkinson's research charities. On the web site there is a good audio sample. Click here for more details In order to refer to this article on its own click here
19th September 2014 - New research
TOZADENANT CLINICAL TRIALS FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Lancet Neurology  13 (8) : 767-776 (R.A.Hauser, C.W.Olanow, K.D.Kieburtz, E. Pourcher, A.Docu-Axelerad, M.Lew, O.Kozyolkin, A.Neale, C.Resburg, U.Meya, C.Kenney, S.Bandak) Complete abstract
Clinical trials assessed the use 60mg, 120mg, 180mg, or 240mg tozadenant in people with Parkinson's Disease who were being treated with L-dopa and who had motor fluctuations that involved at least 2·5 hours off-time per day. Tozadenant (SYN115) is an inhibitor of the adenosine 2a (A2a) receptor that is being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to SYN115
Compared with the use of a placebo, daily off-time was reduced by more than an hour when taking either 120mg or 180mg tozadenant. The most common adverse events were dyskinesia (16% of people taking 120mg, 20% of people taking 180mg), nausea (11% of people taking 120mg, 12% of people taking 180mg), dizziness (5% of people taking 120mg, 13% of people taking 180mg). Tozadenant, 60 mg twice daily, was not associated with a significant reduction in off-time. Tozadenant, 240 mg twice daily, was associated with an increased rate of discontinuation because of adverse events that occurred in 20% of people taking that dosage.
The researchers concluded that Tozadenant at 120 or 180 mg twice daily was generally well tolerated and was effective at reducing off-time. Further investigation of tozadenant treatment in phase 3 trials is warranted. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
11th September 2014 - New research
ENTACAPONE EFFICACY IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica  Sep 3 [Epub ahead of print]
(M.Kuoppamäki, M. Vahteristo, J.Ellmén, K.Kieburtz)
8th September 2014 - News release
SUBCUTANEOUS LIQUID L-DOPA FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
NeuroDerm have announced that the first patients with severe Parkinson's
Disease have been enrolled and dosed in a Phase IIa trial of ND0612H.
ND0612H is a high-dose form of liquid L-dopa and carbidopa (which is the
same as Sinemet) but which is delivered continuously through subcutaneous
administration (via the skin) by a belt-pump. Unlike the most comparable
methods of administering L-dopa, no surgery at all is needed.
is the low dose drug form intended for moderate Parkinson's Disease. ND0612L
has just completed patient enrolment and treatment in a Phase II
double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study. ND0612L was shown in
previous phase I and phase IIa studies to be safe and tolerable, reaching
steady state, clinically meaningful L-dopa blood concentrations.
23rd August 2014 - New book
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY : LIVING WITH THE REALITY OF PARKINSON'S AND THE THREAT OF DEMENTIA
Publisher's description : Window of Opportunity is the story of one person's journey through the initial signs of cognitive impairment brought on by Parkinson's disease and how this potentially disabling diagnosis turns into a "Window of Opportunity" to help others on the path. Kirk Hall began noticing small signs of mild cognitive impairment. He tells his story with directness, candor, sensitivity and humor. He describes the long and challenging visits to doctors seeking answers to his disturbing symptoms and the confusion caused by conflicting opinions about the nature and progression of his disease. His journal notes allow him to describe in vivid detail his slowly coming to grips with disability. He shares the internal struggle, anxiety and stress that uncertainty causes, not only for himself but for his family as well. Click here for more details
Kirk W.Hall has also written two children's books concerning Parkinson's Disease - Carina and Her Care Partner Gramma Click here for more details and Carson and His Shaky Paws Grampa Click here for more details
15th August 2014 - News release
ROBIN WILLIAMS DIES WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Robin Williams (1951-2014) was an American actor and comedian who
appeared in numerous films. He recently committed suicide. His wife, Susan
Schneider, has made a statement that, at the time of his death, Robin
Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease.
14th August 2014 - News release
WEARABLE SENSORS FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel Corporation are partnering to
gather and analyse data from Wrist-worn devices worn by people with
Parkinson's Disease that track users' movement. The results could help
individuals and their doctors better manage their Parkinson's Disease.
Intel engineers are comparing the data obtained from the device to
clinical observations and patient diaries in order to test the devices'
accuracy. They are developing mathematical formulas to measure the symptoms
and the progression of Parkinson's Disease. These devices can capture up to
300 observations per second. So formulas to interpret all that data and
report what it means related to someone's Parkinson's Disease can help
individuals and their physicians monitor disease.
29th July 2014 - New research
DISCOVERY OF NEW PARKINSON'S DISEASE GENETIC FACTORS
Nature Genetics  (27 July) (M.A.Nalls, N.Pankratz, C.M.Lill,
C.B.Do, D.G. Hernandez, M.Saad, A.L.De Stefano, E.Kara, J.Bras, M.Sharma,
C.Schulte, M.F.Keller, S.Arepalli, C.Letson, C.Edsall, H.Stefansson, X.Liu,
H.Pliner, J.H.Lee, R.Cheng, et al)
They conducted an extensive analysis of Parkinson's Disease genetic studies. Twenty six sites were identified as having a significant genetic association with Parkinson's Disease. These and six additional sites that had previously not been reported were then tested. In total, they identified and replicated 28 independent risk variants for Parkinson's disease across 24 loci (positions on the gene). Although the effect of each individual genetic risk was found to be small, a risk profile analysis showed that there was a substantial cumulative risk of developing Parkinson's Disease because of them. The risk was actually tripled when several genetic risk factors occurred simultaneously.
Their results suggested that the more variants a person has the greater the risk, which is up to three times higher for developing Parkinson's Disease in some cases. Genetic causes of Parkinson's Disease usually make Parkinson's Disease more likely rather than inevitable. Although genetic causes of Parkinson's Disease are uncommon the actual prevalence is unknown. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
27th July 2014 - New research
NASAL DELIVERY OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE TREATMENT
Expert opinion on drug delivery  11 (6) : 827-842 (S.Md, S.Haque, M.Fazil, M. Kumar, S.Baboota, J.K.Sahni, J.Ali) Complete abstract
Researchers evaluated whether prepared nanoparticles would be able to target Parkinson's Disease treatments to the brain via the nasal route, thereby enhancing their bioavailability. They tested the method using an optimised nanoformulation of the dopamine agonist bromocriptine for direct nose-to-brain delivery.
The percentage accuracy observed for intra-day and inter-day batch samples was very high. Bromocriptine was found to be stable in all exposed conditions. Bromocriptine nanoparticles also showed greater retention into the nostrils for about four hours. Direct bromocriptine nanoparticle nose-to-brain transport was shown to then bypass the blood-brain barrier. Most importantly, bromocriptine nanoparticles administered nasally showed significantly high dopamine concentrations.
The researchers concluded that Nanoparticle drug delivery system could be potentially used as a nose-to-brain drug delivery carrier for improving the existing means of treating Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
23rd July 2014 - News release
APOMORPHINE CLINICAL TRIAL FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
CTH-105 is a Phase 2 clinical study of APL-130277. APL-130277 will be studied in 16 people with Parkinson's disease who have not used apomorphine and who experience at least one daily "off" episode, with a total duration of "off" in any 24-hour period of at least 2 hours. This open study will examine the effect of APL-130277 on relieving "off" episodes over a single day, with dose-titration used to determine dose strengths necessary for future clinical use.
In particular, the dose strength information is necessary in order to conduct the larger CTH-300a efficacy study in apomorphine naive patients, which is expected to commence at the end of 2014. The primary means of assessment will be the change in the UPDRS III score, which is the most widely used Parkinson's Disease symptom questionnaire. For more information go to Cynapsus In order to refer to this article on its own click here
17th July 2014 - New research
SOCIAL PHOBIAS ARE COMMON IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
14th July 2014 - New research
MISDIAGNOSIS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Researchers aimed to determine the diagnostic accuracy of a clinical
diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease using neuropathologic diagnosis as the
standard. The accuracy of diagnosis was found to be very poor.
neuropathologic findings of Parkinson's Disease as the standard, this study
established a finding of only 26% accuracy for a clinical diagnosis of
Parkinson's Disease in untreated patients, 53% accuracy in early Parkinson's
Disease of less than five years duration that was responsive to medication,
and 85% diagnostic accuracy in Parkinson's Disease of longer duration that
was medication-responsive. Clinical variables that improved diagnostic
accuracy were medication response, motor fluctuations, dyskinesias, and
hyposmia (reduced sense of smell).ic accuracy in Parkinson's Disease of
longer duration that was medication-responsive.
This study showed that a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease identifies people who will have pathologically confirmed Parkinson's Disease with a sensitivity of 88% and specificity of 68%. For more information concerning the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease go to Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease In order to refer to this article on its own click here
10th July 2014 - New research
ß-ASARONE INCREASES L-DOPA IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
In order to increase the effect of L-dopa it is usually administered in combination with a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor. In Sinemet, L-dopa is combined with carbidopa. In Madopar, L-dopa is combined with benserazide. The co-administration of ß-asarone and Levodopa is being developed as a means of improving the effect of L-dopa even further.
ß-asarone is found in the flowering plant acorus and also in asarum, which is known as wild ginger. For more information go to Ansarone
In animal studies the use of L-dopa in combination with ß-asarone was
compared to the use of existing methods of treating Parkinson's Disease.
Dopamine levels were found to increase in the brain (in the striatum) and in
blood plasma in response to ß-asarone. The co-administration of ß-asarone
and L-dopa could also increase the levels in blood plasma of tyrosine
hydroxylase, which is the enzyme responsible for the formation of L-dopa.
Altogether, ß-asarone was found to have an effect on converting L-dopa into
dopamine by modulating the activity of dopamine metabolism.
The mechanism of co-administration of ß-asarone and L-dopa is different from that of Sinemet and Madopar in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. The co-administration of ß-asarone and L-dopa may be more beneficial to Parkinson's Disease treatment than the existing methods and so could eventually replace them. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
5th July 2014 - New research
THE WORLDWIDE PREVALENCE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Researchers sought to synthesize studies on the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease to obtain an overall view of how the prevalence varies by age, gender, and geographic location. Geographic location was stratified by the following groups : Asia, Africa, South America, Europe / North America / Australia. Data were analyzed by age group, geographic location, and gender.
of worldwide data showed a rising prevalence of Parkinson's Disease with
age, with (per 100,000) : 41 in 40 to 49 year olds, 107 in 50 to 59 year
olds, 173 in 55 to 64 year olds, 428 in 60 to 69 year olds, 1087 in 70 to 79
year olds, and 1903 in those aged older than 80.A
significant difference was seen in prevalence geographically only for people
who were 70 to 79 years old, with a prevalence of 1601 (per 100,000) in
people in North America, Europe, and Australia, compared to only 646 (per
100,000) in people from Asia. Differences in prevalence according to gender
was found only for people who were 50 to 59 years old, with a prevalence of
41 in females and 134 in males.
29th June 2014 - New research
COMPARISON OF L-DOPA, AGONISTS AND MAO INHIBITORS
Whether the initial treatment for Parkinson's disease should consist of L-dopa, dopamine agonists, or MAO B inhibitors is uncertain. So researchers aimed to establish which of these three classes of drug, as initial treatment, provided the most effective long-term control of symptoms and best quality of life for people with early Parkinson's Disease.
newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned between the
use of L-dopa, dopamine agonists and MAO B inhibitors. After three years
PDQ-39 mobility scores averaged 1·8 points better in people assigned to
L-dopa. PDQ-39 mobility scores were 1·4 points better in people assigned to
MAO B inhibitors when compared to those taking dopamine agonists. L-dopa was
not significantly advantageous for EQ-5D utility scores, dementia,
admissions to institutions, and death rates. Treatments were discontinued in
28% of those taking dopamine agonists, 23% of those taking MAOB inhibitors,
but only 2% of those taking L-dopa.
21st June 2014 - New research
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN PARKINSONS' DISEASE
People with Parkinson's Disease have been found to have blunted circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the alterations of endocrine functions that take place in a regulated manner over a roughly 24 hour period. The pineal gland produces melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythms. For more information go to Circadian rhythms
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. 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 are affected by the blunted circadian rhythm that can occur in
Parkinson's Disease. Dopamine regulates melatonin
secretion. Therefore, the reduced dopamine that occurs in Parkinson's
Disease will lead to an altered circadian rhythm.
9th June 2014 - New research
FAHR'S SYNDROME IS A CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons - Pakistan  24 (5) : S104-S106 (N.Dildar, H.Akram, I.M.Qasmi, M.N.Qureshi, S.Khan) Complete abstract
Fahr's Syndrome is a rare inherited neurological disorder that can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms, including those of Parkinson's Disease. It is characterised by abnormal deposits of calcium in areas of the brain that control movement, including the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex. For more information go to Fahr's Syndrome
Symptoms of Fahr's Syndrome that are similar to those of Parkinson's Disease may include deterioration of motor function, dementia, dysarthria (poorly articulated speech), tremors, muscle rigidity, a mask-like facial appearance, shuffling gait, and a "pill-rolling" motion of the fingers. These symptoms generally occur later in the development of the disease.
More common symptoms of Fahr's Syndrome include dystonia (disordered muscle tone) and chorea (involuntary, rapid, jerky movements). The age of onset of Fahr's Syndrome is typically in the 40s or 50s, which is similar to Parkinson's Disease, although it can also occur at any time in childhood or adolescence.
Due to the possible similarity of symptoms to those of Parkinson's Disease, Fahr's Syndrome should be considered as an important differential diagnosis in cases of Parkinsonism. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
20th May 2014 - New research
PRAMIPEXOLE CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
European Journal of Neurology  21 (5) : 736-743 (R.A.Hauser, A.H.Schapira, P. Barone, Y.Mizuno, O.Rascol, M.Busse, C.Debieuvre, M.Fraessdorf, W.Poewe) Complete abstract
The long term safety and efficacy of pramipexole was assessed as an extended-release oral formulation and immediate release formulation in early or advanced Parkinson's Disease. Pramipexole, which is marketed as Mirapex, Mirapexin, and Sifrol, is a dopamine agonist. For more information go to Pramipexole
In those people with early Parkinson's Disease the reported side effects were somnolence (15%), peripheral edema (11%) and back pain (10%). The scores on the Parkinson's Disease symptom score (UPDRS) after over 2 years were down by 6.6 when using extended release pramipexole and 6.3 when using immediate release pramipexole. In those people with advanced Parkinson's Disease the reported side effects were dyskinesia (27%), somnolence (13%), and impulse control disorders (1%). The scores on the Parkinson's Disease symptom score (UPDRS) after over 2 years were down by 11.5 when using extended release pramipexole and 9.1 when using immediate release pramipexole.
In both early and advanced Parkinson's Disease better efficacy was achieved when using the extended release version of pramipexole. The adverse events were typical for dopaminergic drugs. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
16th May 2014 - New research
THE EFFECT OF ACUPUNCTURE IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Journal of Neurological Science  Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print] (H.J.Kim, B.S.Jeon) Complete abstract
A comprehensive review was carried out to assess the evidence from recent clinical studies regarding the efficacy of acupuncture on Parkinson's Disease. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine in which fine needles are inserted and manipulated into the skin at certain points on the body for therapeutic purposes. For more information go to Acupuncture
Eleven suitable studies were indentified. Two randomized clinical trials failed to show any benefit. The other study did not show beneficial effects of needle acupuncture. Three randomized clinical trials that assessed effects of acupuncture in addition to conventional drugs reported beneficial effects of acupuncture. However, there was no control acupuncture group in those studies. Two uncontrolled studies showed significant positive effects of acupuncture, while other two uncontrolled clinical trials failed. Safety and tolerability were reported only in five clinical trials. No studies evaluated the long lasting effects of acupuncture following cessation of the treatment.
The number of clinical trials, their total sample size, and the way they were carried out, were not enough to prove the favorable effects of acupuncture. So far the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating Parkinson's Disease is not convincing. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
9th May 2014 - New research
DIABETES TREATMENT FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Journal of Parkinson's Disease  Mar 24 [Epub ahead of print] (I.Aviles-Olmos, J.Dickson, Z.Kefalopoulou, A.Djamshidian, J.Kahan, P.E.Fmedsci, P.Whitton, R.Wyse, T. Isaacs, A.Lees, P.Limousin, T.Foltynie) Complete abstract
Exenatide, which is a treatment for diabetes, has been tested as a disease modifying treatment for Parkinson's Disease. Exenatide is an injected glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist medication marketed as Byett and Bydureon. It is used in the treatment of insulin resistance in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It differs in pharmacological action and chemical structure from insulin. For more information go to Exenatide
Using the MDS-UPDRS, which is a means of assessing the extent of Parkinson's Disease symptoms, people with Parkinson's Disease were assessed who had previously taken Exenatide. People with Parkinson's Disease had an advantage of 5.6 points (with a range of 2.2 to 9.0) on the assessment. They also had a better score when assessed concerning dementia. Unusually, the effect of Exenatide on Parkinson's Disease had continued beyond its use. The authors do not suggest how this diabetes drug can have effect in Parkinson's Disease.
In a previous study, when people with moderate Parkinson's Disease received subcutaneous injections of Exenatide for a year there were marginal 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. Exenatide was well tolerated but weight loss was common. For more information go to the Complete abstract In order to refer to this article on its own click here
30th April 2014 - New book
ALTER YOUR COURSE : PARKINSON'S - THE EARLY YEARS
Monique L.Giroux, Sierra M.Farris
Publisher's description : This book is not intended to be filled with facts about the disease; there are many books that cover these topics. Instead we have focused on 2 questions, “Does PD present an opportunity in disguise ? What information, actions or attitudes are most helpful early in the disease to set the stage for living your best now and into the future?” Alter Your Course tells a different story -one that is emerging within you -the person with PD. Your story can be filled with hope, inspiration, empowerment, resiliency and strength. Each chapter concludes with helpful advice designed to help you take control of your PD journey and alter your course. The last chapter is filled with advice; from people like you-living with PD. Click here for more details For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to go Parkinson's Disease books
24th April 2014 - New research
CLINICAL TRIAL OF GENE THERAPY FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Lancet  383 (9923) : 1138-1146 (S.Palfi, J.M.Gurruchaga, G.S.Ralph, H.Lepetit, S.Lavisse, P.C.Buttery, C. Watts, J.Miskin, M.Kelleher, S.Deeley, et al) Complete abstract
ProSavin (NLX-P101) uses LentiVector gene delivery technology to deliver genes for three enzymes 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
In a clinical trial of Prosavin, 15 patients received ProSavin, with three people taking a low dose, six taking a mid dose, and six taking a high dose. During the first 12 months 54 drug-related adverse events were reported (51 mild and 3 moderate). The most reported were increased dyskinesias, and on-off phenomena. No serious adverse events related to the drug or the surgical procedure were reported. A moderate improvement in mean Parkinson's Disease symptom scores was recorded in all patients tested at 6 months and 12 months.
In a previous clinical trial the degree of efficacy was quite moderate, with an average 27% improvement after 3 months, peaking at 31% after 6 months, and declining to 23% after 2 years. In the long term stimulating gene and enzyme levels artificially reduces a person's own formation of those genes and enzymes. In order to refer to this article on its own click here
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
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)
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
2nd April 2014 - New clinical trial
ISRADIPINE BEING TESTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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
28th March 2014 - New research
COENZYME Q10 HAS NO EFFECT IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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
23rd March 2014 - New research
PARKINSON'S DISEASE INCREASES THE RISK OF INJURIES
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.
22nd March 2014 - New research
THE EFFECT OF AGE OF ONSET ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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.
10th March 2014 - New research
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING ACCURATELY DIAGNOSES PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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.
5th March 2014 - New research
L-DOPA'S EFFECT ON NON-MOTOR SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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.
4th March 2014 - New research
THE EFFECT OF MILD BRAIN INJURY ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE
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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