29th September 2013 - New research


International Journal of Epidemiology [2013] Sep 20 [Epub ahead of print] (S.Narayan, Z.Liew, K.Paul, P.C.Lee, J.S.Sinsheimer, J.M.Bronstein, B.Ritz) Complete abstract

Household pesticide use is widespread, and for over 40 years organophosphorus chemicals have been common active ingredients in these products. Parkinson's Disease has been linked to pesticide exposures but little is known about the contributions of chronic exposures to household pesticides.

Consequently, researchers investigated whether long term use of household pesticides, especially those containing organophosphorus chemicals, increases the risk of developing or worsening Parkinson's Disease. Frequent use of any household pesticide increased the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease by 47%. Frequent  use of products containing organophosphorus chemicals increased the risk of Parkinson's Disease by 71%. Frequent organothiophosphate use almost doubled the risk of Parkinson's  Disease. The evidence shows that household use off organophosphoruss pesticides is clearly associated with an increased risk 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.  


26th September 2013 - New research


Journal of  Neural Transmission [2013] Sep 22 [Epub ahead of print] (C.L.Ma, L.Su, J.J.Xie, J.X.Long, P.Wu, L.Gu) Complete abstract

The world's lowest incidence of Parkinson's Disease has been found to be in China. Incidence is the rate at which Parkinson's Disease is being newly diagnosed. The incidence of Parkinson's Disease in China, at only 2 people per 100,000 is remarkably low. In constrast, the incidence rate in the U.S.A. is about ten times that number. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in China is remarkably high, with 797 per 100,000 being one of the highest rates in the world. The ratio of men to women with Parkinson's Disease is, at 1.29 men for every woman, more typical.

With very high prevalence (those people that have Parkinson's Disease now) and very low incidence (those people that are being diagnosed) means that the number of people in China with Parkinson's Disease must be dropping rapidly, and at a greater rate than anywhere else in the world..The researchers provide no reasons for this.  In China, instead of standard Parkinson's Disease drugs, people tend to use more Chinese herbal remedies, a number of which are known to have effect in Parkinson's Disease. For more information go too Herbal Medicines for Parkinson's Disease For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

The former Chinese leader Chairman Mao is known to have had Parkinson's Disease. However, it is never disclosed in China that Chairman Mao, who is given almost God like status in China, ever actually had Parkinson's Disease.


22nd September 2013 - New research


Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2012] 18 supplement, 3 : S10-S14 28 (3) : 380-383 (A.Hassan, S.S.Wu, P.Schmidt, I.A.Malaty, Y.F.Dai, J.M.Miyasaki, M.S.Okun) Complete abstract

A large number of people who had Parkinson's Disease for more than ten years were assessed to see what effect it had on them. The clinical status and health-related quality of life of patients reaching this milestone had not been well documented before. Their average age was 68 years old. Their average age of onset was 53 years old. Their average disease duration was 14 years. Many of them were minimally disabled (44%) or experiencing postural instability (40%). Most (88%) were able to stand unaided but falls were common (55%). Almost all (93%) were living at home, with a family member as a regular caregiver (84%).

They had an average of two additional medical disorders with arthritis (49%) and heart problems (32%) being the most common. Most of them  (87%) took at least 2 medications, with L-dopa (96%), dopamine agonists (45%) and antidepressants (37%) being the most common. Most of them were not currently utilizing physical, occupational or speech therapy, but two-thirds of them reported engaging in physical activity. Deep brain stimulation was documented in 22%. Overall the mean health-related quality of life and caregiver burden was impaired in all domains. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


21st September 2013 - New research


Movement Disorders [2013] 28 (3) : 380-383 (A.M.Wills, S.Eberly, M.Tennis, A.E.Lang, S.Messing, D.Togasaki, C.M.Tanner, C.Kamp, J.F.Chen, D.Oakes, M.P.McDermott, M.A.Schwarzschild)   Complete abstract

Caffeine is a naturally occurring adenosine antagonist that is commonly found in coffee, and to a lesser extent in tea, cola drinks, cocoa, and chocolate. Adenosine antagonists reduce or prevent the development of dyskinesia in animal models of L-dopa induced dyskinesia.

Researchers examined the association between the intake of caffeine and  the time taken to develop dyskinesia. Those people who consumed 12 ounces of coffee per day, which is about two cups, reduced their likelihood of developing dyskinesia to 61%. Those people who consumed 4 to 12 ounces of coffee per day, which is less than two cups per day, reduced their likelihood of developing dyskinesia to 73%. The authors suggest tha these results support the possibility that caffeine may reduce the likelihood of developing dyskinesia. For a printable version of this articlee click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


16th September 2013 - News report


The 70 year old Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease but has vowed to continue with his stage and screen career despite also having prostate cancer. Besides being known for stand up comedy on television and in large arenas he has appeared as a comedian and as a serious actor in films such as The Last Samurai, The Hobbit, Indecent Proposal, Muppet Treasure Island, and Gulliver's Travels. For more information go to Billy Connolly. Connolly’s spokesman revealed that "Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour." For more details go to Daily Mail.


9th September 2013 - New review


The forms of L-dopa presently being developed are likely to completely change the way that L-dopa is used. They include Inhaled L-dopa, Dual layer L-dopa, Subcutaneous L-dopa, L-dopa prodrug, Melevodopa and AcuForm.

Mucuna Pruriens has been a source of L-dopa since ancient times. As a drug, L-dopa started out as a treatment on its own. Sinemet and Madopar combined L-Dopa with a decarboxylase inhibitor in order to reduce the loss of L-dopa before it was used. In order to spread out the effect of L-dopa, controlled release versions of Sinemet and Madopar were then produced, Stalevo added Entacapone to that combination. Entacapone is a COMT inhibitor, which is able to slow down the degradation of L-dopa. An improved version of Stalevo called ODM-101 is already being developed. Parcopa is an orally disintegrating combination of L-dopa and carbidopa, which is the same combination as Sinemet. Duodopa is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa in the form of a gel, which is administered throughout the day using a portable pump directly into the small intestine through a surgically placed tube.

New forms of L-dopa presently being developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease are :

  • Inhaled L-dopa (CVT-301), which is taken using an inhaler, enables a far quicker effect than existing forms of L-dopa. For more information go to Inhaled L-dopa

  • Dual layer L-dopa (IPX054), which includes the immediate release version of L-dopa and the controlled release version, is better than existing forms of L-dopa. For more information go to Dual layer L-dopa

  • Subcutaneous L-dopa (ND0612) is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa in a liquid formula administered continuously sub-cutaneously through a patch pump. For more information go to Subcutaneous L-dopa

  • L-dopa prodrug (XP21279) is rapidly converted in to L-dopa only after it has been absorbed. This facilitates active and efficient absorption into the body. For more information go to L-dopa prodrug

  • Melevodopa is the methyl ester of L-dopa. As it is a soluble neutral derivative it overcomes the insolubility and acidity of L-dopa when used in continuous intravenous infusions. For more information go to Melevodopa

  • AcuForm in combination with L-dopa and carbidopa (DM-1992) makes use of the properties of polymers that help to deliver L-dopa over a longer period of time. For more information go to Acuform

For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   


6th September 2013 - New research


European Journal of Neurology [2013] September 11 [Epub ahead of print] (A.H.Schapira, F.Stocchi, R.Borgohain, M.Onofrj, M.Bhatt, P.Lorenzana, V.Lucini, R.Giuliani, R.Anand)   Complete abstract

Safinamide is believed to have both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic actions, including the inhibition of MAO-B and inhibition of glutamate release.. It is undergoing  Phase III clinical development as a once-daily add-on to dopamine agonists for the treatment of early Parkinson's Disease. For more information go to Safinamide

In a one year clinical trial people with Parkinson's Disease received 100mg or 200mg Safinamide daily. They were assessed according to how long it was before they had to increase their dopamine agonist dose or add another Parkinson's Disease treatment. People receiving 100 mg/day safinamide experienced a significantly lower rate of intervention compared with placebo, of 25% instead of 51% and a small delay before the need to increase other Parkinson's Disease treatments of 9 days.

In a previous study of once daily dosages of 50mg to 100mg Safinamide improved Parkinson's Disease symptoms after six months and reduced "off" time when added on to the use of existing Parkinson's Disease treatments. However, the reduction in "off" time in comparison to the use of a placebo was minimal. The increase in "on" time beyond that of a placebo was only 40 minutes for 50mg safinamide, and 50 minutes for 100mg safinamide. For more information go to the Complete abstract. For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


4th September 2013 - New book


J.Eric Ahlskog

Publisher's description : In Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson's Disease Dementia, Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog draws on 30 years of clinical and research work at Mayo Clinic to arm patients and families with crucial information that will enable them to work in tandem with their doctors. Dr. Ahlskog clearly explains all aspects of these disorders, their causes, symptoms, most effective drug treatments, proper doses, and which medications to avoid. He also discusses the complications that can arise in treating these conditions, given the variety of available medications and their possible side effects and interactions. Dr. Ahlskog shows that optimal medical treatment can markedly improve the quality of life for both patients and family. Click here for more details. For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.    


1st September 2013 - New research


PLoS One [2013] 8 (7) : e69738 (C.Q.Zhou, S.S.Li, Z.M.Chen, F.Q.Li, P.Lei, G.G.Peng) Complete abstract

A systematic review has been carried out on the clinical trials of rotigotine transdermal patch, in order to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety in Parkinson's Disease. Rotigotine transdermal patch is marketed as Neupro. Neupro is a transdermal system that provides continuous delivery of rotigotine, which is a dopamine agonist, for 24 hours following application to intact skin.  For more information go to Neupro.

The use of rotigotine resulted in greater improvements in Parkinson's Disease symptom scores (the UPDRS) concerning the activities of daily living score, motor score, and the activities of daily living and motor subtotal score. However, rotigotine was associated with a significantly higher rate of withdrawals due to adverse events, and higher rates of application site reactions, vomiting, and dyskinesia. No differences were found in the relative risks of headache, constipation, back pain, diarrhea, or serious adverse events.   For a printable version of this article click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.   

  GO TO AUGUST 2013  


©2006-2013 Viartis
[email protected]