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Health Tip: Wishing for Better Balance?

Posted 5 May 2016 by

-- If you're not as steady on your feet as you once were, a number of medical conditions may be responsible. Here are possible reasons for poor balance, courtesy of Harvard Medical School: Having a central nervous system disorder, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Having an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, such as Meniere's disease. Having vision problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. Having weakened muscles, notably those of the back, thigh or abdomen. Having nerve damage in the feet or legs. Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Spasticity, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Lower Limb Spasticity, Prevention of Falls

Nuplazid Approved for Parkinson's Hallucinations

Posted 3 May 2016 by

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – Nuplazid (pimavanserin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's disease. As many as half of people with Parkinson's may have psychosis that lead to hallucinations and delusions, the agency said in a news release announcing the approval. This can lead to behaviors including difficulty associating with loved ones or the inability to take care of oneself. Some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with Parkinson's, the FDA noted, and the total number of affected Americans is about 1 million. The neurological disorder typically affects people 60 and older, and is triggered when cells that are supposed to produce a brain chemical called dopamine become impaired or die. Dopamine helps transmit neurologic signals that lead to smooth, "purposeful" movement, the FDA said, during ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Psychosis, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Nuplazid, Pimavanserin

FDA Approves Nuplazid (pimavanserin) for Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis

Posted 3 May 2016 by

April 29, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets, the first drug approved to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with psychosis experienced by some people with Parkinson’s disease. Hallucinations or delusions can occur in as many as 50 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease at some time during the course of their illness. People who experience them see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations) and/or have false beliefs (delusions). The hallucinations and delusions experienced with Parkinson’s disease are serious symptoms, and can lead to thinking and emotions that are so impaired that the people experiencing them may not relate to loved ones well or take appropriate care of themselves. “Hallucinations and delusions can be profoundly disturbing and disabling,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Div ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Pimavanserin, Nuplazid

Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – New research suggests that Parkinson's patients who are given antipsychotics to treat dementia and psychosis may be more likely to die early. However, the medications provide important benefits and the study authors aren't suggesting that these patients stop taking them. And it's still not clear exactly why there seems to be an increased risk of early death. "This [study] does not necessarily answer whether the drugs themselves lead to more deaths, or if it's instead the reasons they were prescribed," said Dr. Mark Baron, interim director of Virginia Commonwealth University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. He wrote a commentary accompanying the new study. Antipsychotic drugs, despite their name, are used to treat a variety of mental conditions other than psychosis, including anxiety and dementia. As many as 60 percent of long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Risperidone, Parkinson's Disease, Seroquel XR, Quetiapine, Agitation, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Haldol, Agitated State, Psychiatric Disorders, Haloperidol, Symbyax, Thorazine, Chlorpromazine, Zyprexa Zydis, Risperdal Consta, Haldol Decanoate

Rosacea Might Boost Parkinson's Risk: Study

Posted 21 Mar 2016 by

MONDAY, March 21, 2016 – Rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes marked redness in the face, may be linked to an increased risk for Parkinson's disease, a large, new study suggests. Among more than 5 million Danes, those with rosacea were about twice as likely to develop Parkinson's as those without the skin condition, said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Egeberg of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen. "Rosacea is a common facial skin disorder affecting up to 10 percent of light-skinned individuals, women in particular," he said. "It is possible that rosacea, or rosacea-associated features, such as facial flushing, may contribute to Parkinson's disease diagnosis at an early stage." The link appears to be associated with rosacea itself, not the medications used to treat it, the researchers said. They actually found reduced risk of Parkinson's among patients who took ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Rosacea, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism

Thought Processing a Concern of Parkinson's Patients, Study Says

Posted 19 Mar 2016 by

FRIDAY, March 18, 2016 – Declines in thinking skills could have a greater impact on Parkinson's disease patients' ability to converse than physical problems, according to a British study. "Around 70 percent of people with Parkinson's have problems with speech and communication, which can really impact their quality of life," said lead investigator Maxwell Barnish, formerly of the University of East Anglia, in England. "Researchers and clinicians have in the past focused on the physical problems patients have with making their speech clear," he explained in a university news release. "But patients themselves say the problems are more complex and are more to do with . . . not being able to think quickly enough to keep up with conversations or not being able to find the right words." Cognitive impairment is the general term for these thinking difficulties. And patients say "this has the ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease

Agent Orange Linked to Bladder Cancer, Thyroid Problems, Panel Says

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 – There is stronger evidence of a link between the herbicide Agent Orange and bladder cancer and thyroid problems among U.S. military personnel exposed to the chemical during the Vietnam War, a new Institute of Medicine report shows. However, there is little to no evidence of an association between the birth defect spina bifida and a mother's or father's exposure to Agent Orange, according to the report. The report committee also concluded that military personnel exposed to Agent Orange who have Parkinson's disease-like symptoms can file a claim for the condition. Agent Orange is an herbicide sprayed during the Vietnam War to kill off trees and vegetation that the enemy used as cover. The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides during the war. For this report, the authors looked at studies published between Oct. 1, 2012, ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Thyroid Cancer, Poisoning, Bladder Cancer, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor

Study Questions Use of Physical Therapy for Early Parkinson's

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2016 – Physical therapy might not benefit people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that interferes with the ability to do daily tasks. Typically, physical therapy is used in the later stages of the disease, but this study assessed its effectiveness in earlier stages. Researchers randomly assigned 762 patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's to either physical therapy and occupational therapy, or a "control" group with no therapy. Over eight weeks, the patients in the therapy group did about four 58-minute sessions. After three months, there was no difference between the therapy group and the control group in the ability to do daily tasks, the study found. The results were published online Jan. 19 in the journal JAMA Neurology. It's possible that mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease may not ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Rytary, Parcopa, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 200, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Atamet, Larodopa

High Uric-Acid Levels, Lower Risk of Parkinson's?

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 – Men with high levels of uric acid in their blood may be less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers compared about 400 people in ongoing studies who developed Parkinson's disease and more than 1,200 people in the same studies who did not develop the movement disorder. Men with the highest levels of uric acid (also called urate) were nearly 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those with the lowest levels, according to the study published online Jan. 13 in the journal Neurology. "These results suggest that urate could protect against Parkinson's or slow the progression of the disease in its very early stages before symptoms are seen," study author Dr. Xiang Gao, of Pennsylvania State University, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "The findings support more research on whether ... Read more

Related support groups: Gout, Parkinson's Disease, Gout - Acute, Gouty Arthritis, Parkinsonian Tremor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Gout - Prophylaxis

Dementia Drug May Lower Risk of Falls Among Parkinson's Patients

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 – A widely used dementia drug shows potential in reducing the risk of falls among Parkinson's patients, new research suggests. "With the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells, people with Parkinson's often have issues with unsteadiness when walking. As part of the condition, they also have lower levels of acetylcholine, a chemical which helps us to concentrate – making it extremely difficult to pay attention to walking," said study lead author Emily Henderson, from the University of Bristol in England. The study included 130 people with Parkinson's disease who had fallen in the past year. Half took the drug rivastigmine (Exelon), while the other half took a placebo. After eight months, those who took the rivastigmine capsules were much steadier when walking and 45 percent less likely to fall than those who took the placebo, according to the researchers. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Exelon, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Rivastigmine, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Prevention of Falls, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Early Weight Loss With Parkinson's May Be a Red Flag

Posted 11 Jan 2016 by

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2016 – People who lose weight in the early stages of Parkinson's disease may have a more serious form of the movement disorder, according to a new study. Parkinson's is a chronic and progressive disease marked by tremors, impaired coordination, and slowness and/or stiffness. The cause and cure are unknown. Weight loss is common in Parkinson's patients, according to background information from the study. But the study findings, published online Jan. 11 in the journal JAMA Neurology, suggest that weight loss in the early stages of the disease could be a red flag for doctors. "I suspect we may be looking at several subtypes of this disease," study lead author Dr. Anne-Marie Wills, of Massachusetts General Hospital's neurological clinical research institute, said in a hospital news release. "The patients who experience early weight loss appear to have a more severe, ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor

Hepatitis C May Be Tied to Greater Risk for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 24 Dec 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 – Hepatitis C is an infection that affects the liver, but people with the virus may also be at greater risk for Parkinson's disease, a new report shows. "Many factors clearly play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease, including environmental factors," study author Dr. Chia-Hung Kao, of China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This nationwide study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, suggests that hepatitis caused specifically by the hepatitis C virus may increase the risk of developing [Parkinson's] disease," Kao said. However, the association seen in the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. And "more research is needed to investigate this link," Kao added. One expert in Parkinson's disease agreed that it's too soon to draw firm ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor

Pesticide in Milk Years Ago May Be Linked to Signs of Parkinson's: Study

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Men who drank milk that may have been tainted with a pesticide when they were young might be more likely to develop signs of Parkinson's disease, a new study out of Hawaii suggests. A pesticide called heptachlor epoxide was found at high levels in milk in the early 1980s in Hawaii, according to the study authors. The pesticide was used in the pineapple industry, and can also be found in well water. Use of the pesticide was banned in the United States around the same time, the researchers noted. The current study can't prove that the pesticide or milk consumption directly causes Parkinson's disease; it can only show an association, according to study author R. D. Abbott, of Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Japan. The study authors also pointed out that they don't know for sure if the milk consumed by these men had heptachlor epoxide in it or not. ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor

New Clues to Easing Side Effects From Parkinson's Drug

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – The drug levodopa is a leading treatment for Parkinson's disease, but for most patients the medication also brings debilitating side effects. Now, scientists say animal studies are pointing to a compound that might reduce those unwanted effects. "If clinical trials confirm our preliminary findings, the eventual drug developed could make a significant improvement in the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease," lead researcher D. James Surmeier, chair of physiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release. According to the researchers, Parkinson's disease affects more than one million Americans, and that number is expected to double by 2030. Levodopa is widely used to treat the stiffness, tremors and poor muscle control caused by the illness. But the drug can also trigger uncontrolled movement – ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Rytary, Parcopa, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 200, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Atamet, Larodopa

Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer

Posted 16 Nov 2015 by

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 – Coffee lovers may live longer than those who don't imbibe – with lower risks of early death from heart disease and neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, a large U.S. study finds. Researchers said the study, published online Nov. 16 in Circulation, adds to a large body of evidence on the good side of coffee. People often think of coffee-drinking as a bad habit that they need to break, said study leader Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. But, Hu said, many studies have linked moderate coffee intake to lower risks of developing various diseases – from heart disease and diabetes, to liver cancer, to neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. His team's study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, adds another layer of evidence. It found ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Caffeine, Alzheimer's Disease, Fioricet, Excedrin, Alert, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Cafergot, Fiorinal with Codeine, Esgic, Valentine, Fioricet with Codeine, Norgesic, Headache Relief, Esgic-Plus, Keep Going, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte

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Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Central Nervous System Disorders

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