JULY 2009


28th July 2009 - New research


Nutrition [2009] Jul 21 [Epub ahead of print] (Murakami K, Miyake Y, Sasaki S, Tanaka K, Fukushima W, Kiyohara C, Tsuboi Y, Yamada T, Oeda T, Miki T, Kawamura N, Sakae N, Fukuyama H, Hirota Y, Nagai M; for the Fukuoka Kinki Parkinson's Disease Study Group.) Complete abstract

High glycemic carbohydrates have been found to be inversely related to Parkinson's Disease. Carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index (such as sugar, white bread, baked potatoes and breakfast cereals) are those that break down quickly in to glucose in the blood. For more information go to Glycemic index.

The researchers expected that foods such as these would decrease the risk of Parkinson's Disease by an insulin-induced increase in brain dopamine. Their theory appears to be correct, because high glycemic carbohydrates were inversely associated with the risk of Parkinson's Disease. The greater the intake, the less was the risk. No association was observed for other dietary carbohydrates, or dietary fiber intake. It was already known that an inability to make use of carbohydrates was common in Parkinson's Disease, with 50%-80% of people with Parkinson's Disease being prone to diabetes. In those people, higher carbohydrate intakes can not be made use of. For more information see the Complete abstract. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


26th July 2009 - New report


Veterans and Agent Orange Update 2008 Complete report

Based on a new report, it has been widely reported that Agent Orange has been "linked" to Parkinson's Disease.
Agent Orange is the name given to a herbicide used by the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War as a means of warfare. For more information go to Agent Orange. Despite the claims being made, not even one study in the report shows that Agent Orange had caused Parkinson's Disease in Vietnam War veterans. Even the report itself states that there is not sufficient evidence of an association between Agent Orange and Parkinson's Disease "because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with confidence."

There have been over 300 published studies on the effects of Agent Orange, yet none of them have shown that Agent Orange has caused Parkinson's Disease. Claims of Agent Orange causing Parkinson's Disease have usually detailed how Parkinson's Disease was diagnosed years after possible exposure to Agent Orange. However, with Parkinson's Disease, if somebody is affected by a toxin, they usually suffer the effects at their worst soon after exposure to the toxin. So if Agent Orange caused the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, they would have initiated whilst in Vietnam - not decades later. Somebody could be exposed to Agent Orange and quite independently develop Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's Disease can occur in almost anyone without toxicity being the cause. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


24th July 2009 - New book  and DVD


Kevin Lockette

Publisher's description : Move It! is a complete movement, exercise and resource guide for people with Parkinson's Disease. The book includes : Overview of physical symptoms; Medication review in easily understandable terms; Techniques and tricks for improved mobility including bed mobility, transfers, & walking; Anti-freezing techniques that really work; Adaptive devices for easier everyday living; Complete exercise programs specific for Parkinson's Disease; Exercise programs for all physical levels; Complete guide and exercise program for flexibility. For more details of the book click here. For more details of the DVD click here. For the web site click here. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


22nd July 2009 - New research


Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2009] Jul 17 [Epub ahead of print] (Fernandez HH, Greeley DR, Zweig RM, Wojcieszek J, Mori A, Sussman NM)  Complete abstract

Istradefylline is an A(2A) adenosine receptor antagonist, and so does not act by directly increasing the activity of dopamine, as do the most effective methods of treating Parkinson's Disease. It has been claimed for years to be a promising method of treating Parkinson's Disease on its own. However, in new clinical trials, when used on its own, it failed to demonstrate any beneficial effect.  By the end of the clinical trial its effects were little different from the use of a placebo. The researchers claim that Istradefylline "is safe and well tolerated". Yet about two thirds of the
people using it reported adverse events, despite failing to gain any benefit from it. In three previous clinical trials in 2008, the benefits claimed were minimal, and were accompanied by a range of side effects [1] [2] [3]. Istradefylline is one of a series of recent novel approaches for treating Parkinson's Disease that has been claimed, despite not having a sound scientific basis, to be very promising, yet has failed when clinically tested. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


19th July 2009 - New research


Neural Stem International Journal of Clinical Practice [2009] 63 (4) : 613-623 (Talati R, Baker WL, Patel AA, Reinhart K, Coleman CI.) Complete abstract

Adding the use of dopamine agonists to the existing use of L-dopa has been found to reduce Parkinson's Disease symptoms, but it increases the side effects. As the effect of L-dopa tends to wear off, some patients are given dopamine agonists for an additional effect.

Scores on the primary assessment of Parkinson's Disease, the UPDRS, are reduced when people added dopamine agonists to the existing use of L-dopa. They also experienced symptoms for less time, and were able to reduce their dosage of L-dopa. However, the incidence of dyskinesia and hallucinations was higher when dopamine agonists were added to the existing use of L-dopa. So the increase in efficacy was paid for with increased adverse events. Although the effect of L-dopa wears off in time, so does the effect of dopamine agonists. They work by stimulating the dopamine receptors. However, continuous use of dopamine agonists makes the dopamine receptors progressively less sensitive to dopamine and dopamine agonists. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


17th July 2009 - New research


Neuroscience Letters [2009] Jul 8. [Epub ahead of print] (Feng ZH, Ji MA, Li YU, Gang YU.) Complete abstract

Neural Stem Cell transplantation has been claimed for decades to have the potential to treat medical disorders including Parkinson's disease. Researchers investigated the effect of transplanted Neural Stem Cells in an animal model of Parkinson's Disease. They found that the implanted stem cells migrated to where they are needed, rather than merely remain where they are added. A significant portion of the cells differentiated in to the cells responsible for producing dopamine, the substance whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease.

The researchers claimed that this improved Parkinson's Disease. However, the Parkinson's Disease symptoms were only induced, and their methods did not actually assess improvements in Parkinson's Disease. Despite stem cell operations now being carried out around the world, they have never resulted in anyone being rid of Parkinson's Disease. Although it is claimed that stem cell operations are necessary because there is massive cell loss in Parkinson's Disease, no studies have ever shown that there is massive cell loss in Parkinson's Disease.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


14th July 2009 - New research


Environmental health perspectives [2009] 117 (6) : 964-969 (Ritz BR, Manthripragada AD, Costello S, Lincoln SJ, Farrer MJ, Cockburn M, Bronstein J.) Complete abstract

The chance of pesticide exposure causing Parkinson's Disease has been found to be far greater in those genetically inclined to Parkinson's Disease.
Genetic defects are not typical in Parkinson's Disease. However, those people that have them are usually unaware of them. A defect in the dopamine transporter (DAT) can increase the risk of Parkinson's Disease by more than one and a half times, and as much as several times. The dopamine transporter (DAT) rids dopamine after it is produced. There are usually lower levels of DAT in Parkinson's Disease because there is less dopamine to rid.

The researchers do not explain how this defect can increase Parkinson's Disease. However, ridding dopamine too readily would explain the increased prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. In combination with exposure to pesticides, the risk of Parkinson's Disease was multiplied. Exposure to the pesticides paraquat and maneb, which are known causes of Parkinson's Disease, were increased by three times in those people  that had one defect in the dopamine transporter, and by more than four times in those people that had two defects in the dopamine transporter. In some people the risk was many times greater than this. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


12th July 2009 - New research


Journal of Clinical Neurology [2009] 5 (2) : 91-94 (Baik JS, Kim JY, Park JH, Han SW, Park JH, Lee MS.) Complete abstract

Scoliosis has been found to be far more common in people with Parkinson's Disease. Scoliosis is an often painful medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. For more information go to Scoliosis.  Scoliosis was defined as a deviation of the spine of 10 degrees or more. All of the patients submitted to a scanograph to allow measurement of the degree of scoliosis. Scoliosis was found in a third of people with Parkinson's Disease. This is far more common than would be expected. Scoliosis was found to be  seven times more likely in women than it is in men. The likelihood also increased with age.  The use of dopaminergic drugs did not appear to have any effect on the degree of scoliosis. The researchers do not explain this prevalence of scoliosis in Parkinson's Disease, especially in women. Excessive muscle contraction that occurs in Parkinson's Disease can cause the upper body to bend towards one side rather than the other.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here. 


10th July 2009 - New research


American journal of industrial medicine [2009] Jul 7 [Epub ahead of print] (Barth SK, Kang HK, Bullman TA, Wallin MT.) Complete abstract

It has been suggested that some cases of Parkinson's Disease have been caused by toxicity due to participation in the Gulf War in 1990-1991. This study assessed mortality rates in several conditions including Parkinson's Disease amongst Gulf War veterans. Over a million veterans were assessed. However, mortality rates were found to be no
greater in Gulf War veterans with Parkinson's Disease. Mortality rates were actually lower for Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and also ALS. 

However, Gulf War veterans potentially exposed to nerve agents at Khamisiyah, Iraq, and to oil well fire smoke had an increased risk of mortality due to brain cancer. As Parkinson's Disease is not a fatal illness, a better measure of the effects of the Gulf War on Parkinson's Disease would have been the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in Gulf War veterans. However, no other studies have so far shown an increased prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in Gulf War veterans either. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


9th July 2009 - News reports


It has been widely reported that researchers are aiming to interfere with the formation of Glutamate in order to prevent Parkinson's Disease. For the news reports go to Medical News Today and Science Daily. The research was recently presented at a conference. Glutamate is able to form GABA in the brain. GABA is a chemical produced naturally by the brain, that affects muscular function. An excess of GABA could provoke symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.  The researchers aim to stimulate "trigger points" in order to prevent the release of glutamate. By targeting specific receptors they hope that side-effects will be minimised as fewer targets elsewhere in the brain will be stimulated.

They claim that glutamate causes cell death in Parkinson's Disease. However, glutamate formation is a healthy function, and has never been shown, in normal quantities, to cause cell death in people with Parkinson's Disease. The fundamental weakness in their theory is that glutamate has never been responsible for causing Parkinson's Disease when dopamine formation is sufficient either.  The primary biochemical fault in Parkinson's Disease has been proven to be the insufficient formation of dopamine rather than an excess of glutamate. Yet the approach used by the researchers could not, even in theory, increase dopamine formation.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


3rd July 2009 - New research


Journal of Rural Health [2009] Summer; 25 (3) : 320-325 (Kaye J, Michael Y, Calvert J, Leahy M, Crawford D, Kramer P.) Complete abstract

In America alone, there are over 50,000 people over the age of 100. It is widely claimed that the likelihood of Parkinson's Disease increases with age, almost as if it is an age related deterioration. In contradiction of this assumption, the current study found that in centenarians (those over 100 years old) Parkinson's Disease was rarely found, thereby nullifying the assumption of Parkinson's Disease being age related. It was also recently found that Parkinson's Disease started to become less likely at 90 years of age onwards. For the details click here.  However, some degree of dementia did become the norm in centenarians. Dementia is far more related to age. Over 60% of centenarians were found to have dementia, and nearly 90% were found to have at least some degree of impairment. Only around 10% of centenarians were found to be without dementia to some extent. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


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