MAY 2010


28th May 2010 - New research


European Journal of Neurology [2010] May 18 [Epub ahead of print]  Complete abstract

Higher intakes of Vitamin E and Vitamin A (beta-carotene) may be associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson's Disease. Higher consumption of Vitamin E reduced the risk of Parkinson's Disease to 46% of what it would otherwise be. Vitamin A (beta-carotene)  reduced the risk of Parkinson's Disease to 56% of what would be expected. However, when assessed according to gender, these inverse associations were significant only in women. There does not appear to be any explanation for this gender difference.

Antioxidant vitamins, such as Vitamin E and Vitamin A are expected to protect cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E and Vitamin C (rather than Vitamin A) can assist the ridding of the superoxide anion. The superoxide anion is a damaging element that tends to be formed in Parkinson's Disease. However, no relationships were shown to exist between the intake of Vitamin C, or alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, green and yellow vegetables, other vegetables, or fruit and the risk of Parkinson's Disease.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


19th May 2010 - New research


Movement Disorders [2010] 25 (7) : 927-931 (Hersh BP, Earl NL, Hauser RA, Stacy M.) Complete abstract

Movement Disorders [2010] 25 (7) : 858-866 (Watts RL, Lyons KE, Pahwa R, Sethi K, Stern M, Hauser RA, Olanow W, Gray AM, Adams B, Earl NL; 228 Study Investigators) Complete abstract

Prolonged Release Ropinirole was found to have a positive effect on Parkinson's Disease symptoms two weeks after its use begins. Prolonged Release Ropinirole is a once a day dopamine agonist that is marketed as Requip XL. For more information go to Ropinirole. However, the  improvements it caused were minimal. PR Ropinirole improved "off time" but only by 42 minutes per day.  It increased "on time" without dyskinesia, but only by 24 minutes per day. Improvements were seen in Parkinson's Disease scores, but only slightly. Even these small improvements are achieved by also causing side effects.

In another study, Prolonged Release Ropinirole was found to delay the onset of dyskinesia when added to L-dopa when compared to increasing the L-dopa dosage. Otherwise there was no difference in Parkinson's Disease symptom scores. Adverse events were comparable in the two groups with nausea, dizziness, insomnia, back pain, arthralgia, somnolence, fatigue, and pain most commonly reported.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


18th May 2010 - New book


Pete Ferrari

Publisher's description : This is an inspirational story (rather than a how-to book) about several wilderness trips in Algonquin Park in Canada and an 8-day Laurel Highlands backpacking trip. Pete Ferrari interweaves his Parkinson's Disease experience and the challenges he faced in coping with strenuous conditions. The book would be especially inspiring for newly diagnosed patients, as it is a testimony to challenging oneself to overcome obstacles and lead an active life. Diagnosed at a young age, he faced the mental battle with the disease, which he describes perfectly, and explains and demonstrates how he identified the enemy and approaches the battle.   Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


13th May 2010 - New book


Wayne Martin, Oksana Suchowersky, Katharina Kovacs Burns, Egon Jonsson

Publisher's description : Part of the successful Institute of Health Economics (IHE) book series, this handbook and ready reference adopts a unique approach in combining policy recommendations with specific treatment options for Parkinson patients. The first part of the book deals with the clinical medical, social and economical aspects of Parkinson Disease. These ten chapters include the latest diagnosis and treatment options for patients, the economical consequences, social and ethical implications and end-of life issues. The second part of the book essentially covers a large-scale case study on Parkinson in Alberta, Canada, since most of the issues discussed are relevant in all developed countries. With its strong focus on correct diagnosis and early intervention, this is an invaluable guide for clinicians and policymakers dealing with this devastating disease.  Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


9th May 2010 - New research


CNS Spectrums [2010] 15 (1) : 27-32 (K.Sethi, S.Factor, R.Watts) Complete abstract
hanges in the quality of life (QOL) were assessed in people with Parkinson's Disease after thirty days of the use of Tolcapone being added to their existing treatments. Tolcapone, whose brand name is Tasmar, is a COMT inhibitor, which is drug that helps to maintain the levels of dopamine, the substance whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Tolcapone. After thirty days of Tolcapone use the mean PDQ-8 total score (which assesses basic Parkinson's Disease symptoms) improved from 42.1 to 34.8. Nearly 70% of the patients also improved on the CGI-I (the investigator's impression of improvement). Physicians planned to continue the use of Tolcapone beyond the thirty days in 72% of cases, most commonly because of the improvements in motor function and overall general improvement. However, the side effects it caused were not detailed. Tolcapone is the same kind of drug as Entacapone, which is more  commonly used.  Entacapone is sold on its own as Comtan, or in combination with Sinemet as Stalevo. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


5th May 2010 - New research


Lancet Neurology [2010] Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print] (A.Williams, S.Gill, T.Varma, C.Jenkinson, N.Quinn, R.Mitchell, R.Scott, N.Ives, C.Rick, J.Daniels, S.Patel, K.Wheatley)   Complete abstract
Researchers assessed whether Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and best medical therapy improved the quality of life more than the best medical therapy alone in people with advanced Parkinson's Disease. 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 to Deep brain stimulation.

Best medical therapy usually means only the use of Parkinson's Disease drugs instead. After a year, there was improvement in those people that had also undergone Deep Brain Stimulation, but there was no improvement in people taking only Parkinson's Disease drugs. Those people who had also undergone DBS fared better regarding mobility, in the activities of daily living, and feelings of bodily discomfort. DBS made no difference in any other respect.  Nearly 20% of of those patients who underwent DBS had serious surgery-related adverse events.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


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