JUNE 2013


24th June 2013 - New research


The International Journal of Neuroscience [2013] Jun 17 [Epub ahead of print] (M.F.Lew) Complete abstract

Researchers reviewed the effects on tremor in Parkinson's Disease of 1mg daily oral rasagiline, on its own and with other treatments. Tremor is a common symptom of Parkinson's Disease, but it is less responsive to dopaminergic therapy than are the symptoms of bradykinesia and rigidity. Rasagiline is a MAO inhibitor that is marketed as Azilect. For more information go to Azilect.

Of 22 identified publications, 2 large placebo-controlled trials of rasagiline monotherapy (TEMPO and ADAGIO) and 2 large placebo controlled trials of rasagiline with L-dopa (PRESTO and LARGO) specifically evaluated the effect of rasagiline on tremor using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Analysis of these studies showed rasagiline on its own significantly improved tremor in early Parkinsons' Disease independently of disease duration.

In people taking L-dopa who had motor fluctuations who were already receiving optimal dopaminergic treatment, the addition of rasagiline significantly improved their tremor. Significant improvement was evident as early as ten weeks from the initiation of the use of rasagiline. Tremor symptoms also improved in people with severe tremor when rasagiline was added to their existing Parkinson's Disease treatments. The researchers contend that the data suggest that rasagiline used on its own or alongside other treatments is effective for reducing tremor severity in people with Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


19th June 2013 - New research


Journal of Biological Chemistry [2013] 288 (24) : 17579-17588 (R.Shaltiel-Karyo, M.Frenkel-Pinter, E.Rockenstein, C.Patrick, M.Levy-Sakin, A.Schiller, N.Egoz-Matia, E.Masliah, D.Segal, E.Gazit)    Complete abstract

The sweetener, mannitol, has been proposed as a potential means of treating Parkinson's Disease because of the dual mechanisms it has in the brain. Mannitol, which is used in medicine, is derived from mannose, which is a sugar. For more information go to Mannitol.

Researchers assessed the ability of mannitol to (1) interfere with the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, and (2)  its ability to disrupt the blood-brain barrier. Alpha-synuclein can accumulate in the brains of people with Parkinson's Disease and other medical disorders but can also be absent in Parkinson's Disease. It therefore appears that Parkinson's Disease can cause alpha-synuclein rather than alpha-synuclein being the cause of Parkinson's Disease as is often claimed. The blood brain barrier restricts access to the brain to certain substances. They demonstrated the effect of mannitol on alpha-synuclein by various means, and a decrease in alpha-synuclein accumulation.

The researcherssstherefore suggest mannitol as a basis for a dual mechanism therapeutic agent for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. However, the research was  only carried out on mice and flies, who did not have Parkinson's Disease and who were not rid of its symptoms. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its ownnn click here.


13th June 2013 - New research


Lancet Neurology [2013] May 30 [Epub ahead of print] (A.H.Schapira, M.P.McDermott, P.Barone, C.L.Comella, S.Albrecht, H.H.Hsu, D.H.Massey, Y.Mizuno, W.Poewe, O.Rascol, K.Marek)    Complete abstract

The Pramipexole On Underlying Disease (PROUD) study was designed to identify whether or not early versus delayed pramipexole initiation has clinical benefits in people with Parkinson's Disease. Pramipexole, which is sold as Mirapex, Mirapexin and Sifrol, is aaa dopamine agonist used for treating early-stage Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Mirapex.

People taking pramipexole were given 1.5mg pramipexole per day. The average difference in Parkinson's Disease symptom scores (the UPDRS) showed no significant difference between early and delayed pramipexole. Fifteen months of use showed no benefit when compared to the use of pramipexole being delayed for 6 to 9 months. Over 80% of people who took pramipexole reported adverse events, with 81% of those given early pramipexole and 84% of those given delayed pramipexole. The most frequent adverse event was nausea.  Serious adverse events were reported by 10% of people in the early pramipexole group and 8% in the delayed pramipexole group. The authors conclude that the results do not support the hypothesis that pramipexole has disease-modifying effects. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its ownn click here.


5th June 2013 - New research


Nanomedicine [2013] 8 (1) : 43-56 (U.Tisch, I.Schlesinger, R.Ionescu, M.Nassar, N.Axelrod, D.Robertman, Y. Tessler, F.Azar, A.Marmur, J.Aharon-Peretz, H.Haick)     Complete abstract

A method of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease has been developed that uses breath testing. It can identify Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. Alveolar breath was collected from people with Parkinson's Disease or Alzheimer's Disease or who had neither. Their breath was analyzed using sensors (organically functionalized carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles). Statistically significant differences were compared between the different groups, which was supported by chemical analysis of the breath samples using gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry.
The combinations of sensors could distinguish Parkinson's Disease from healthy states (with an accuracy of 78%), Alzheimer's Disease from healthy states (with an accuracy of 85%), and Parkinson's Disease from Alzheimer's Disease (with an accuracy of 84%). Gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry analysis was able to show statistically significant differences in the average level of several volatile organic compounds in the breath of people with Parkinson's Disease, thus supporting the breath prints observed with the sensors. The method therefore has future potential as a cost-effective, fast and reliable means of assisting the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


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