29th October 2010 - New book


Richard Secklin

Publisher's description : From contemplating suicide to a return to faith. This is a story of my midlife encounter of getting diagnosed and living with Parkinsonís disease. Like all PDíers, we struggle through our own physical and/or psychological disasters and triumphs. These are my personal experiences with depression, confusion, the hate for God, and the on-going transition of this diagnosis, including my symptoms, connecting with support groups, attaining proper medical testing and treatment, and survival with PD. Click here for more details. Reviewers have described it as "Eye opening and brutally honest" and as "simply beautiful and beautifully told !" For more books concerning Parkinson's Disease go to Parkinson's Disease Books.


27th October 2010 - New research


Lancet Neurology [2010] Oct 20 [Epub ahead of print] (Marks WJ Jr, Bartus RT, Siffert J, Davis CS, Lozano A, Boulis N, Vitek J, Stacy M, Turner D, Verhagen L, Bakay R, Watts R, Guthrie B, Jankovic J, Simpson R, Tagliati M, Alterman R, Stern M, Baltuch G, Starr PA, Larson PS, Ostrem JL, Nutt J, Kieburtz K, Kordower JH, Olanow CW.) Complete abstract

Neurturin was hailed by its sponsors Ceregene and the Michael J Fox Foundation as having great potential in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, but has been found to be completely ineffective. Neurturin (CERE-120) is an experimental drug that contains the human gene for a growth factor called neurturin. It is used to deliver the neurturin gene by surgical means, directly into the brain of people with Parkinson's Disease. It was found to be worse than doing nothing, as it was as ineffective as sham surgery (doing nothing) yet still caused severe adverse events in a third of the patients.  Neurturin is the same type of treatment as GDNF reference. GDNF was previously hailed as a great breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Yet all major clinical trials of GDNF and Neurturin have failed.  In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


17th October 2010 - New research


MMW Fortschritte der Medizin [2010] 152 Supplement 1 : 1-6 (Von Reichmann H, Deuschl G, Riedel O, Spottke A, FŲrstl H, Henn F, Heuser I, Oertel W, Riederer P, Trenkwalder C, Dodel R, Wittchen HU.) Complete abstract

It is unknown, how frequently Parkinson's Disease is complicated by dementia, depression and other neuro-psychiatric conditions. A study on the epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease with dementia found that 28% of people with Parkinson's Disease also had dementia. A third of people with Parkinson's Disease (33%) had depression. A majority of people with Parkinson's Disease (61%) had other significant psychopathological syndromes. Just under 30% had no neuro-psychiatric disorders. The study reveals for the first time comprehensively that the neuro-psychiatric problems in people with Parkinson's Disease in all stages of Parkinson's Disease and even early stages of Parkinson's Disease is considerable. Dementia is biochemically unrelated to Parkinson's Disease. They coincide largely because they both happen to be more common with age. Depression is a common symptom in Parkinson's Disease because insufficient dopamine, which occurs in Parkinson's Disease affects the emotions as well as the muscles. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


9th October 2010 - New research


Movement Disorders [2010] Oct 5 (W.G.Ondo, L.Shinawi, S. Moore) Complete abstract

Parcopa is an orally disintegrating combination of L-dopa and carbidopa for use in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. L-dopa and carbidopa is the same combination that is in Sinemet. However, unlike Sinemet, Parcopa rapidly disintegrates on the tongue and does not require water for dissolving or swallowing it. For more information go to Parcopa. Because Parcopa disintegrates in the mouth, it was suggested that there is the potential for it to shorten the time taken from its consumption until the ridding or reduction of Parkinson's Disease symptoms. This would make Parcopa advantageous over the use of Sinemet. When compared to Sinemet there were no significant differences in any of the means of assessment, including changes in symptoms, adverse events, or drug preference. It did not even make any difference to the time taken for the drug to start having effect, which is the primary reason for its proposed use. However, according to the authors "all trends did favor" Parcopa, suggesting a slight benefit. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


7th October 2010 - New research


Neurology [2010] 75 (14) : 1270-1276  (Forsaa EB, Larsen JP, Wentzel-Larsen T, Alves G.)  Complete abstract

Researchers have attempted to identify the risk factors of mortality in Parkinson's Disease. In order of likelihood the percentage increase in those factors most predictive of mortality were found to be : dementia 89%, male gender 63%, age 51%,  psychotic symptoms 45%, age of onset 40%, and movement disability 18%. Dementia is not actually a Parkinson's Disease symptom. However, it often eventually but not inevitably coincides with it. There was no significant impact of antipsychotic or Parkinson's Disease drugs on survival. The authors suggest that early prevention of movement disability and development of psychosis and dementia may be the most promising strategies to increasing life expectancy in Parkinson's Disease. Given that no one factor has a really profound effect, and as Parkinson's Disease is not a fatal disorder, it appears that general health  more commonly determines life expectancy in Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.


1st October 2010 - News release


The Michael J. Fox Foundation has launched the Parkinsonís Progression Markers Initiative, the first ever large scale clinical study exclusively focused on identifying and validating Parkinsonís Disease biomarkers. A biomarker, is a substance used as an indicator of a biological state such as Parkinson's Disease.  The study will be carried out over five years at 18 sites in the U.S.A. and Europe. It will track 400 people newly diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and 200 who do not. Recruitment is now under way at six sites, with all sites expected to be recruiting by year-end. The study is testing the most promising biomarker candidates through neuroimaging, the collection of blood, urine, and spinal fluid, and clinical and behavioural tests. For more information go to the  News release and to the web page of the Parkinsonís Progression Markers Initiative.

It is claimed that valid measures could allow scientists to predict, objectively diagnose, and monitor diseases as well as definitively determine which medications work and which will not.  It is already known that Parkinson's Disease is primarily due to insufficient dopamine. The assessment of biomarkers for Parkinson's Disease has always proven inadequate for diagnosing Parkinson's Disease because they can not directly measure dopamine formation. Biomarkers are at best only indirect and partial indicators of Parkinson's Disease and so could not provide information concerning dopamine formation, which is already known anyway, and thereby lead to effective treatments. In order to refer to this article on its own click here.




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