JULY 2013


29th July 2013 - New research


Drug Research [2013] Jul 24 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Takanashi, Y.Shimo, T.Hatano, G.Oyama, N.Hattori) Complete abstract

Changing from Immediate release Pramipexole to Extended release Pramipexole was found to cause a reduction in Parkinson's Disease symptoms. Pramipexole, which is marketed as  Mirapex, Mirapexin, and Sifrol, is a dopamine agonist used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. For more information go too Mirapex and MirapexER

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an extended-release tablet formulation of pramipexole (PPX-ER) given once daily when switched from an immediate-release tablet formulation (PPX-IR) given 3 times daily. The extended release version evens out the effect of Pramipexole. Parkinson's Disease symptom scores were reduced after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks. There was no change in the nocturnal and early morning symptoms (NEMS) score, or the Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS-2). Nearly two thirds of patients and caregivers preferred the extended release version. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.     


26th July 2013 - New research


Geriatrics and Gerontology International [2013] Jul 23 [Epub ahead of print] (H.Qi, S.Li)) Complete abstract
                                                                                                                                                                                  In the largest assessment of its kind coffee has been found to reduce the risk of Parkinson's Disease as have tea and caffeine. With coffee the risk of Parkinson's Disease was reduced to 72%.  The strength of this association reached the maximum at approximately 3 cups per day.

When tea and caffeine were included in the assessment the risk of Parkinson's Disease reduced in relation to the intake. The risk of Parkinson's Disease was reduced by 26% for every two cups of tea consumed and by 17% for every 200mg of caffeine taken. The association of coffee and tea consumption with the risk of Parkinson's Disease was stronger for men than it was for women. The association of caffeine consumption with the risk of Parkinson's Disease was stronger in postmenopausal women when they had ever used hormones. These associations were weaker in the USA than they were in Europe and Asia.

Caffeine and theophylline, which is found in tea, are a type of drug called adenosine antagonists. Adenosine antagonists include drugs presently being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease including : Preladenant, Tozadenant, and Istradefylline. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.     


23rd July 2013 - New book


Joseph Friedman   

Publisher's description : Although many patients and families are aware of the physical challenges that accompany Parkinson's disease, few are prepared to deal with the common behavioral issues that impact their quality of life. Behavior problems in PD are not always catastrophic, but they are common. It is estimated that 65-90% of PD patients experience some level of depression, anxiety, dementia, hallucinations, paranoid delusions, sleep disorders, and other behavioral disorders that affect everyone involved. The self-contained chapters will help readers understand, address, and cope with common behavioral issues, as well as provide guidance on ways to communicate with the healthcare team. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.

21st July 2013 - New research


Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology [2013] July 12 [Epub ahead of print] (M.Poletti, C.Logi, C.Lucetti, P.Del Dotto, F.Baldacci, A.Vergallo, M.Ulivi, S.Del Sarto, G.Rossi, R.Ceravolo, U.Bonuccelli) Complete abstract

Researchers aimed at establishing the prevalence of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in people with Parkinson's Disease and their association with demographic, drug-related, and disease-related characteristics. Impulse control disorders were identified in 8% of people with Parkinson's Disease. Impulse control disorders were present in 9% of people who did not also have dementia. Only 4% of people who also had dementia had impulse control disorders. Pathological gambling and hypersexuality were the most frequent.


Impulse control disorders were significantly associated with dopamine agonists, making Impulse control disorders 5.5 times more likely. Impulse control disorders frequency was greater but similar for the dopamine agonists pramipexole and ropinirole. The use of L-dopa made Impulse control disorders 2.4 times more likely. So although dopamine agonists more commonly cause them, L-dopa is still a common cause. Other factors associated with Impulse control disorders being more likely were being male and being younger age.. So although dopamine agonists are the most common cause there can be a combination of factors that are responsible. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.     


17th July 2013 - New research


PLoS One [2013] 8 (6) : e66452 (R.Liu, X.Guo, Y.Park, J.Wang, X.Huang, A.Hollenbeck, A.Blair, H.Chen) Complete abstract

Researchers examined total alcohol consumption and consumption of specific types of alcoholic drinks in relation to future risk of developing Parkinson's Disease. It was the largest study of its kind, assessing over 300,000 people. Total alcohol consumption was not associated with Parkinson's Disease. However, the association differed according to the types of alcoholic drinks consumed.

Compared with non-beer drinkers, beer drinkers were less likely to develop Parkinson's Disease, whether they had less than 1, 1 to 2, or 2 drinks per day. For liquor (spirit) drinkers the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease appeared to gradually increase with the number of drinks they consumed per day, but with less than one drink per day making no difference.  The results for wine consumption were less clear. However, a drink or two of wine per day made no difference to the risk of Parkinson's Disease. So beer drinking appears to be associated with a reduced likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease, but liquor (spirit) drinking appears to be associated with an increased likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.     


14th July 2013 - New research


Movement Disorders [2013] Jul 8 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Ceravolo, G.Cossu, M.B.di Poggio, L.Santoro, P.Barone, M.Zibetti, D.Frosini, V.Nicoletti, F.Manganelli, R.Iodice, M.Picillo, A.Merola, L.Lopiano, A.Paribello, D.Manca, M.Melis, R.Marchese, P.Borelli, A.Mereu, P.Contu, G.Abbruzzese, U.Bonuccelli) Complete abstract

L-dopa has been found to increase the risk of neuropathy. Neuropathy is a collection of medical disorders that occur when nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged by various means.

Motor nerve damage leads to symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramps, spasms, a loss of balance and coordination. People may find it difficult to walk, feel like they have heavy legs, stumble, or tire easily. Damage to arm nerves may make it difficult to do routine tasks like carry bags, open jars, or turn door knobs. Sensory nerve damage can cause tingling, numbness, pinching and pain. Autonomic nerve damage can lead to abnormal blood pressure and heart rate, reduced ability to perspire, constipation, bladder dysfunction, diarrhea, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and thinning of the skin. For more information go to Neuropathy

Those people taking L-dopa for more than 3 years were most affected with nearly 20% of them being diagnosed with neuropathy. Only 7% of those people taking L-dopa for less than three years were diagnosed with neuropathy. The risk of neuropathy was not influenced by : Parkinson's Disease duration, severity of Parkinson's Disease or gender. The risk of neuropathy increased by approximately 8% for each year of age. The L-dopa dosages were higher in those affected. So L-dopa dosage and duration and age were the main risk factors for neuropathy. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.     


11th July 2103 - New research


Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska [2013] 47 (3) : 256-262 (J.Cholewa, M.Boczarska-Jedynak, G.Opala) Complete abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of movement rehabilitation on the severity of motor symptoms in Parkinson's Disease. Patients took part in one hour  rehabilitation exercises twice a week, which were aimed at increasing movement ranges, balance improvement, movement agility and walking. Patients' clinical status was assessed with the major Parkinson's Disease symptom score (the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts I-III). Activity of daily living was evaluated with the Schwab and England scale. The quality of life was evaluated by the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39).

The main emphasis was placed on the ability to cope with daily activities. A significant difference in scores on the given scales was observed before and after the 12-week assessment period. Parkinson's Disease symptom score (UPDRS part I) improved by 17%, part II improved by 22%, part III improved by 19%, and PDQ-39 score improved by 17%. Mean score of the Schwab and England scale improved by 9%, indicating an improved quality of life. The rehabilitation programme clearly improved the severity of motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


7th July 2013 - New research


Journal of clinical Neuroscience [2013] Jun 26 [Epub ahead of print] (T.Simuni, S.T.Luo, K.L.Chou, H.Fernandez, B.He, S.Parashos) Complete abstract

An exploratory analysis was conducted in to the use of the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) as a global measure of disability in early Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to the Modified Rankin Scale. The mRS assesses the level of disability caused by neurological disorders. It is scored 0-6 with lower scores reflecting less disability.

1 No symptoms                                                                                                                                                           1 - No significant disability : Able to carry out all usual activities, despite some symptoms.
2 - Slight disability : Able to look after own affairs without assistance, but unable to carry out all previous activities.
3 - Moderate disability : Requires some help, but able to walk unassisted.
4 - Moderately severe disability : Unable to attend to bodily needs without assistance. Unable to walk unassisted.
5 - Severe disability : Requires constant nursing care and attention, bedridden, incontinent.
6 - Dead

The association of the Modified Rankin Scale was compared with Parkinson's Disease related assessments : the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), cognitive function characterized by the Symbol Digit Modalities - verbal, Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson's disease - cognition (SCOPA-COG), quality of life (Parkinson's disease questionnaire (PDQ-39), EuroQOL,  Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI), and Total Functional Capacity (TFC). All of the measures except SCOPA-COG had a significant association with the modified Rankin Scale thereby demonstrating its significance to Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


4th July 2103 - New research


Ideggyogy Sz. [2013] 66 (3-4) : 115-120 (G.Tamás, A.Takáts, P.Radics, I.Rózsa, E.Csibri, G.Rudas, P.Golopencza, L.Entz, D.Fabó, L.Eross) Complete abstract

Researchers assessed the effect of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on the different types of symptoms experienced in 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. DBS requires careful programming of the stimulator device. For more information go to Deep Brain Stimulation

The major Parkinson's Disease symptom score (the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale) decreased by 70%. Patient condition improved according to the Hoehn-Yahr scale, approximately by two stages. Twelve hours after the withdrawal of Parkinson's Disease drugs execution of daily activity improved by 57% and motor functions developed by 79%. Duration of dyskinesias decreased by 62%. Duration of akinesia diminished by 87%. Quality of life rose by 41%. Neuropsychological tests detected improvement in verbal memory. The dosage of Parkinson's Disease drugs could be reduced by 63% after the operation had been completed.

They concluded that, with Deep Brain Stimulation and by careful patient selection, the dosage of Parkinson's Disease drugs could be significantly reduced with considerable improvements in motor function and quality of life. 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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