19th November 2011 - New research


Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi [2011] 102 (8) : 254-265 (Kiyohara C, Kusuhara S.)  Complete abstract

Movement Disorders [2011] Nov 16 [Epub ahead of print] (Searles Nielsen S, Gallagher LG, Lundin JI, Longstreth WT Jr, Smith-Weller T, Franklin GM, Swanson PD, Checkoway H.) Complete abstract

The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease has been found to be far lower in people that smoke. Current smokers reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease down to 31%. Those people that have ever been smokers reduce the risk down to 55%. Former smokers reduce the risk to 72%. The risk of Parkinson's Disease therefore effectively increases over time if somebody gives up smoking. These results were obtained by assessing all the possible studies concerning smoking and Parkinson's Disease. Even the risk for passive smokers was reduced to only 34%. What the results do not show is whether those people inclined to be smokers are for some reason less likely to develop Parkinson's Disease, or if smoking has an effect on the biochemistry involved in Parkinson's Disease.

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are MAO inhibitors. MAO inhibitors are a type of drug (such as Selegiline and Rasagiline) used commonly in Parkinson's Disease. MAO inhibitors affect Parkinson's Disease by maintaining dopamine levels. The main drug in tobacco, which is nicotine, is heavily involved in the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical in the body that affects the activity of dopamine. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


17th November 2011 - New research


Annals of Neurology [2011] Nov 14 [Epub ahead of print] (S.M.Goldman, P.J.Quinlan, G.W.Ross, C.Marras, C.Meng, G.S.Bhudhikanok, K.Comyns, M.Korell, A.R.Chade, M.Kasten, B.Priestley, K.L.Chou, H.H.Fernandez, F.Cambi, J.W.Langston, C.M.Tanner) Complete abstract

Exposure to the solvent Trichloroethylene has been found to multiply the risk of Parkinson's Disease by six times. Results were similar for estimates of exposure duration and cumulative lifetime exposure. Trichloroethylene is a solvent that is used extensively in industry and the military and is a common environmental contaminant. It has been used to extract vegetable oils, in coffee decaffeination, and in the preparation of flavouring extracts from hops and spices. Much of its use has been banned because of toxicity. Trichloroethylene is the most common organic contaminant in groundwater, and so can cause toxicity via the water supply. Around 30% of U.S. water supplies are contaminated by Trichloroethylene. For more information go to Trichloroethylene.

A previous study showed that workers with workstations adjacent to the source of Trichloroethylene and who were subjected to chronic inhalation and dermal exposure from handling Trichloroethylene soaked metal parts all had Parkinson's disease. Lesser chronic respiratory exposure to Trichloroethylene led to many features of Parkinsonism. For more information go to the Complete abstract. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


14th November 2011 - New blog


The Dopamine Chronicles is the new Parkinson's Disease blog of cartoonist Martin Bee. His blog specialises in Parkinson's Disease cartoons. In the words of Martin Bee "Any of you diagnosed with this disease probably can relate to the reaction. The Dopamine Chronicles is all about me continuing my art, my toons and so on. So I decided to do (almost) a cartoon a day about Parkinsonís and me." Martin Bee is a 60 year old Vietnam Veteran who was a Navy Corpsman stationed with the 1st Marine Division whilst he was in Vietnam. After leaving the Navy, he graduated in Art and then worked in design and illustration. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which included a shaking right hand, he could still draw. Although Parkinson's Disease hindered his drawing technique, he altered the techniques he used in order to overcome the problems it caused him.  For The Dopamine Chronicles web site click here. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


5th November 2011 - New research


Neurology [2011] Nov 2   [Epub ahead of print] (Y.A.Rajabally, J.Martey)  Complete abstract

Neuropathy has been found to be nearly seven times more prevalent in Parkinson's Disease. Neuropathy is the malfunction of nerves throughout the body. Neuropathy can cause a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness, burning pain, loss of vibration sense, and a loss of position sense, which is not knowing where the arms and legs are. Walking and even standing can become unsteady. The effects of neuropathy can progress to far more widespread and serious symptoms. For more information go to Polyneuropathy. The researchers found that Vitamin B12 deficiency was a more common cause of neuropathy. Vitamin B12 levels were found to be significantly lower in people with Parkinson's Disease. They believed that the Vitamin B12 deficiency in Parkinson's Disease could be related to the effect of long term use of L-dopa. They consequently suggested that both Vitamin B and Vitamin B12 monitoring and supplementation, as well as serial clinical assessment for neuropathy, may be advisable in people with Parkinson's Disease. In order to refer to this article on its own click here


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