26th August 2013 - New research


Journal of Parkinson's Disease [2013] 3 (2) : 193-198 (P.H.Gordon, H.Zhao, D.Bartley, L.J.Sims, M.G.Begay, S. Pirio Richardson, J.Lewis, A.S.Rowland)  Complete abstract

The Navajo Indians have been found to have onnne of the world's highest prevalences of Prakinson's Disease. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease amongst the Navajo Indians is 336 per 100,000.

These figures are higher than for any U.S. state with Nebraska having the highest prevalence at  329 per 100,000. Amongst Navajo men it is even higher at 438 per 100,000. The Navajo are concentrated in Arizona and New Mexico in the USA. For more information go too Navajo. Native Americans, including American Indian and Alaska Native peoples as a whole have an even higher prevalence rate of 355 per 100,000. It is not known why the prevalence is so high amongst Native Americans. For more information concerning prevalence go to Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


24th August 2013 - News report


The American singer Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and consequently can no longer sing. She won 11 Grammy Awards and has gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums.  sing. For more information go to Linda Ronstadt. Linda Ronstadt, who is now 67, told AARP today that she was daignosed with Parkinson's Disease 8 months ago and that she began to show symptoms 8 years ago. Linda Ronstadt now walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground and uses a wheelchair when she travels. However, her soon to be published autobiography makes no mention of her having Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to AARP.

                                                                                                                                                                                  23rd August 2013 - New book


Peggy Van Hulsteyn

Publisher's description : Yoga and Parkinson's Disease is a practical guide to using yoga to manage stress, improve mental alertness, increase flexibility, correct posture and improve the quality-of-life of readers with Parkinson's. It follows the author's own experience and research studies in the subject that have shown a correlation between yoga practice and better health and outcomes after a Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. The book is a deeply soothing form of moving meditation and physical activity that is a safe way to rebuild strength, stamina, and flexibility. It shows how yoga ameliorates difficulties that accompany Parkinson's, including mobility, range of motion, and balance. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


18th August 2013 - New research


Journal of Neurosurgery [2013] 118 (4) : 713-718 (A.Kooshkabadi, L.D.Lunsford, D.Tonetti, J.C.Flickinger, D.Kondziolka) Complete abstract
                                                                                                                                                                                      The surgical management of disabling tremor has gained renewed vigour with the availability of deep brain stimulation. However, in the face of an aging population of patients with increasing surgical comorbidities, noninvasive approaches for tremor management have gained interest. Researchers evaluated outcomes in people who underwent a unilateral Gamma Knife thalamotomy (GKT) for tremor.

Gamma Knife radiosurgical thalamotomy is a technique in which a thalamotomy is performed with beams of radiation rather than a surgical incision or use of electrodes. The surgeon uses a Gamma Knife device to focus high-energy gamma rays precisely on an area in the brain that causes tremor. These rays result in the death of the brain cells that generate tremor. The procedure takes approximately one hour and the benefit may not be apparent until three to six weeks afterwards. For more information go to Gamma knife surgery.

The tremor was related to either essential tremor, Parkinson's Disease or multiple sclerosis. The Fahn-Tolosa-Marin clinical tremor rating scale was used to grade tremor, handwriting, and ability to drink. After Gamma Knife thalamotomy : the average tremor score reduced from 3.3 to 1.8,  the average handwriting score reduced from 2.8 to 1.6,  the average drinking score reduced from 3.1 to 1.8. After Gamma Knife thalamotomy : 66% of patients showed improvement in all 3 scores, 13% of patients showed improvement in 2 scores, 2% of patients showed improvement in just 1 score, and 19% of patients failed to improve in any of the three scores.. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


13th August 2013 - New research


BMC Neurology [2013] Apr 12 [Epub ahead of print] (D.J.McGhee, P.L.Royle, P.A.Thompson, D.E.Wright, J.P.Zajicek, C.E.Counsell) Complete abstract

It had previously been assumed that biomarkers could be an effective means of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease. However, an evaluation of all the methods assessed suggest that the use of biomarkers is insufficient. A biomarker is a substance used as an indicator of a biological state or illness. For more information go to Biomarkers.

A systematic review was undertaken to determine which biomarkers for disease progression in Parkinson's Disease exist. 183 studies were included. The sensitivity of the tests was an average of 71%, which is insufficient for Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. However, the range in sensitivity was between 51% and 86% showing that some of the methods were closer to having a practical use but were still less accurate than other methods of diagnosing Parkinson's Disease that are available. The authors found insufficient evidence to recommend the use of any biomarker for assessing disease progression in Parkinson's Disease clinical trials. They believe that this may simply reflect the poor quality of research in this area. They therefore present a provisional 'roadmap' for conducting future disease progression biomarker studies and recommend new quality criteria by which future studies may be judged. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


8th August 2013 - New research


Journal of Clinical Investigation [2013] 123 (6) : 2730-2736 (I.Aviles-Olmos, J.Dickson, Z.Kefalopoulou, A. Djamshidian, P.Ell, T.Soderlund, P.Whitton, R.Wyse, T.Isaacs, A.Lees, P.Limousin, T.Foltynie) Complete abstract

Exenatide, which is a type 2 diabetes treatment, has been found in clinical trials to improve Parkinson's Disease. Exentaide was previously found to have neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties. Exenatide differs in pharmacological action and chemical structure from insulin. For more information go to Exenatide

People with moderate Parkinson's Disease received subcutaneous injections of Exenatide for a year.  Their Parkinson's Disease was compared after overnight withdrawal of conventional Parkinson's Disease medication using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Exenatide was well tolerated but weight loss was common. There were clinically relevant improvements in Parkinson's Disease  motor and cognitive measures. Exenatide treated patients had a mean improvement after one year on the UPDRS of 2.7 compared with a mean decline of 2.2 points in controls.. The authors do not make suggestions as to how the diabetes drug has effect 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.   


7th August 2013 - News release


Dave Parker, a two time winner of the baseball World Series has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Dave Parker is a retired American baseball player. He began his career in the Major League in 1973 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent ten years. He went on to play with Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, California Angels, and Toronto Blue Jays. He won the World Series twice, in 1979 and 1989. He retired from baseball in 1991. Now aged 62, he was first diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease early in 2012 but kept it quiet until now except for informing some close friends. For the time being he is not taking any medication and is instead relying on natural remedies. For more information concerning him go to Dave Parker


4th August 2013 - New research


Movement Disorders [2013] July 11 [Epub ahead of print] (Stocchi F, Rascol O, Destee A, Hattori N, Hauser RA, Lang AE, Poewe W, Stacy M, Tolosa E, Gao H, Nagel J, Merschhemke M, Graf A, Kenney C, Trenkwalder C.) Complete abstract

AFQ056 is a new glutamate receptor antagonist being developed for the treatment of L-dopa induced dyskinesia. Dyskinesia is a difficulty or distortion in performing voluntary movements, which often occurs as a side effect of long term therapy with L-dopa. For more information go too Dyskinesia. People with Parkinson's Disease were given either 20mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, or 200mg daily for 12 weeks. The primary outcome in order to assess the effect on dyskinesia was the modified Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale.

Patients taking 200mg AFQ056 daily demonstrated significant improvements on the modified Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale. There was a dose-response relationship, with 200 mg daily demonstrating the greatest effect. However, no significant changes were observed on the 26-item Parkinson's Disease Dyskinesia Scale or the Patient's / Clinician's Global Impression of Change. Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III scores were not significantly changed, indicating no worsening of motor symptoms. The most common adverse events were dizziness, hallucination, fatigue, nasopharyngitis, diarrhea, and insomnia. These results can guide the slection of doses for future clinical trials.. 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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