APRIL 2013


27th April 2013 - New research


Movement Disorders [2013] Apr 22 [Epub ahead of print] (S.Jafari, M.Etminan, F.Aminzadeh, A.Samii)   Complete abstract

Head trauma has long been implicated as one of the causes of Parkinson's Disease. Researchers recently assessed people with Parkinson's Disease who had head trauma so serious that it had led to concussion. They conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess the influence of each study. After reviewing more than 636 article titles, 34 articles were selected for full review. In total, 22 studies were included in the assessment.

The association of Parkinson's Disease and head trauma was 1.57 (1.35-1.83), meaning that head trauma causing concussion makes Parkinson's Disease more than one and half times more likely. So although head trauma makes Parkinson's Disease more likely it is not inevitable. Further analysis of the results might have shown that very severe head injury or certain types of head injury were largely responsible for the increased likelihood of Parkinson's Disease following head trauma. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  


26th April 2013 - New book


Rajesh Pahwaa , Kelly E. Lyons

Publisher's description : This volume has long prevailed as one of the leading resources on Parkinson's disease. Fully updated with practical chapters on pathology, neurochemistry, etiology, and breakthrough research, it spans every essential topic related to the identification, assessment, and treatment of PD. Reflecting the many advances that have taken place in the management of PD, this volume promotes a multidisciplinary approach to care and supplies new sections on the latest pharmacologic, surgical, and rehabilitative therapies, as well as essential diagnostic, imaging, and nonmotor management strategies. New to this edition : Early identification of premotor symptoms, Potential disease modification agents, Physical and occupational therapy Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


20th April 2013 - News release


Neurturin has failed to demonstrate any effect in Parkinson's Disease. Neurturin is administered using CERE-120, which is composed of a harmless adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, which  carries the gene for neurturin.  Neurturin, which is naturally occurring, is known to repair damaged and dopamine-secreting neurons by restoring their function. Neurturin is a member of the same protein family as GDNF. CERE-120 is delivered by injection in to the brain. CERE-120 is produced by Ceregene Inc.

The clinical trial did not demonstrate statistically significant efficacy. Yet, following surgery, there was a marked placebo effect in those people being tested and even those not being tested, as there often is after surgical trials. The clinical trial was supported by the Michael J.Fox Foundation. The results suggest that it is unclear if Ceregene will move forward with the development of CERE-120 as a viable treatment for people with Parkinsonís Disease. For more information go to the News release. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


18th April 2013 - New research


JAMA Neurology [2013] 70 (2) : 241-247 (D.A.Ziegler, J.S.Wonderlick, P.Ashourian, L.A.Hansen, J.C.Young, A.J. Murphy, C.K.Koppuzha, J.H.Growdon, S.Corkin) Complete abstract

For many years it has been widely claimed that, in Parkinson's Disease, there is a huge loss of the dopaminergic neurons (the brain cells that produce dopamine). It is often claimed that this cell loss is the primary cause of Parkinson's Disease. However, not a single study had ever actually shown that there was massive cell loss in Parkinson's Disease. It has also been assumed that loss of the dopaminergic neurons that can cause Parkinson's Disease precedes the loss of cholinergic neurons, which can lead to dementia, as is common in later Parkinson's Disease. However, the results of a study assessing this theory did not support what had often been claimed.

Researchers assessed the volume of the brain in the area in which dopaminergic neurons are common. They found that the volume of the brain in this area was decreased in people with mild Parkinson's Disease but not in people that did not have Parkinson's Disease. However, in more severe Parkinson's Disease there was no greater loss of volume of the brain in the area affected by Parkinson's Disease as there would have been if the severity of Parkinson's Disease was due to cell loss. Research has  always instead been consistent with a major reduction in cell activity rather than an actual loss of the cells involved 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.


16th April 2013 - New book


Kevin Davies

Publishers description : As we get older there are few things more frighteningg than forgetting someone's name or where you left your house keys. For millions of us the first few times this happens we fear we're experiencing the onset of dementia. Recognizing the symptoms can lead to an early diagnosis which can mean better treatment options, a longer, better life and a change to take steps to slow or reduce the symptoms of dementia. There are many drugs and treatments the patient needs to retrain parts of their brain that have been damaged. You can DEFY it by learning the symptoms, getting diagnosed early, and getting treatment quickly. Ten minutes is all that stands between you and knowing if your lapse of memory is fatigue, a vitamin B deficiency, some other curable disease, or depression. Click here for more details


13th April 2013 - New review


In recent years technological devices have started being used to try to improve or iad people with Parkinson's Disease without the necessity for drugs or surgery :

LASER DEVICES, including laser lights attached to canes, handheld devices or the Parkinson walkers. They display a beam of light on the ground, providing a target to step over to help overcome freezing episodes. For more information go to Laser cane and Laser Walker.     

FUNCTIONAL ELECTRICAL STIMULATION is the use of electrical impulses to stimulate weak or paralysed muscles. For more information go to Functional electrical stimulation.   

FOCUSED ULTRASOUND uses multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound energy are focused with a high degree of precision and accuracy on the target. For more information go to Focused Ultrasound.      

MAGNETIC THERAPY involves the use of an extremely low-level electromagnetic field applied by a specially designed device, the Magnesphere. Helmholtz coils immerse the entire patient in a low strength electromagnetic field. For more information go to Magnetic therapy.

For a printable version of this article click here. For more news go to Parkinson's Disease News.


12th April 2013 - New web site


The parkinsonhub is a recent Parkinson's Disease web site that aims to provide patients, carers and healthcare professionals with the latest news, link and information in the area of Parkinsonís disease. For more information, go to theparkinsonhub. They have just introduced tthe complementary PD Quality of Life interactive resource, which enables people with Parkinson's Disease to identify and understand areas in their lives most affected by Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to pdqualityoflife.


6th April 2013 - New research


Movement Disorders [2013] Mar 11 [Epub ahead of print] (Y.Mizuno, T.Kondo, the Japanese Istradefylline Study Group. Complete abstract

Researchers evaluated the efficacy and safety of istradefylline, which is being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Istradefylline is an A(2A) adenosine receptor antagonist and so does not act by directly increasing the activity of dopamine. It is administered with L-dopa.

After a 12 week clinical trial using 20mg or 40mg  istradefylline the change in daily OFF time was significantly reduced with 20mg per day and 40 mg per day. The daily OFF time was over 40 minutes less.  However, the most common adverse event was dyskinesia, which occurred more commonly when taking istradefylline than when taking a placebo. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.  


5th April 2013 - New book


C. Michael Beetner

Publisher's description : Being diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease is always a very scary experience. What patients need is a guide that explains, in simple terms, what to expect and how to deal with the disease. The author, who was diagnosed in 1994, quickly became an advocate and worker in the Central Ohio Parkinsonís Society (COPS). COPS has always had a monthly newsletter giving him an opportunity to write monthly on the various aspects of the disease. This book is a compilation of the best columns over many years. All are written with a dry (and often off-beat) sense of humor. There are chapters on his deep brain surgery for Parkinsonís, and everything else from loosing the right to drive and Sex vs. PD. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.  


1st April 2013 - New research


Acta Neurologica Scandinavica [2013] Mar 26 [Epub ahead of print] (K.A.Grosset, N.Malek, F.Morgan, D.G. Grosset) Complete abstract

Researchers assessed the safety, tolerability and efficacy of a new form of apomorphine presently being developed, called VR040, which is an inhaled dry powder. Apomorphine is a dopamine agonist used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. 'Off' periods usually increase as Parkinson's Disease progresses and the benefits of standard therapy wane. Subcutaneous (injected) apomorphine rescues 'off' periods, but injections by patients and adverse effects are sometimes problematic. For more information go to Apomorphine.

Inhaled doses were gradually increased until efficacy was reached and given to patients when they were in an 'off' state. When it was inhaled, apomorphine was rapidly absorbed, within 2 to 7 minutes. This enabled a reversal from the 'off' state, in just 10 minutes. In contrast many people with Parkinson's Disease have to wait 30 to 60 minutes for their Parkinson's Disease drugs to have effect. Therefore, speed of effect appears to be its greatest benefit. Adverse effects did not differ between those taking inhaled apomorphine and those taking a placebo. 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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