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Finding Disease Cures Can Take Up to a Century: Analysis

Posted 16 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 – A team of scientists has looked back over decades of discovery to conclude that it can take dozens of years, even a century, for cumulative research to lead to a cure for a single disease. The finding is disheartening given the current U.S. government underfunding of the basic science needed to investigate diseases, said a team led by Dr. R. Sanders Williams, president of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institutes, a biomedical research organization. "As shown by our analysis, new treatments depend upon a broad base of scientific knowledge plus special contributions from a few exceptional scientists," Williams said in an institute news release. For anyone suffering from an illness, the dream word is "cure." True cures for disease remain rare, though. But, in the new study the Gladstone team traced the long investigative paths linking generations of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Parkinson's Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Type 1, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Yervoy, Ipilimumab, Kalydeco, Ivacaftor/lumacaftor, Ivacaftor, Orkambi

Researchers Explore Memory Problems Related to Parkinson's

Posted 4 Sep 2015 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 4, 2015 – Many people with Parkinson's disease have memory problems, researchers report. The study included 40 people with early stage Parkinson's disease and 40 healthy older adults. While the disease is generally viewed as a movement disorder, about half of the Parkinson's patients had difficulty with some aspect of memory, such as learning and retaining information, or recalling spoken information, the investigators found. "And then half of those participants, or nearly one-quarter of all participants with Parkinson's, were really having a difficult time consistently with their memory, enough that it would be noticeable to other people," said study author Jared Tanner. Tanner is an assistant research professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Still, there was good news: Most of the Parkinson's patients did ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease

Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Lower Risk for Parkinson's

Posted 21 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – A class of diabetes meds that include widely used drugs such as Actos and Avandia may help protect users against Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. The study included nearly 44,600 British diabetes patients who took what are known as glitazone drugs – Avandia's generic name is rosiglitazone, while pioglitazone is the generic name for Actos. Researchers compared the medical records of those diabetes patients against the records of more than 120,000 diabetes patients who did not take a glitazone. The investigators tracked these records from 1999 – when glitazones were introduced to treat diabetes – until 2013. During that time, patients who used glitazones were 28 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease than those who never took one of the meds, the study found. This association between glitazones and lower risk of Parkinson's ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Parkinson's Disease, Actos, Pioglitazone, Avandia, ActoPlus Met, Avandamet, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Metformin/Pioglitazone, Rosiglitazone, Oseni, Alogliptin/pioglitazone, ActosPlus Met, Glimepiride/Pioglitazone, Avandaryl, Duetact, Glimepiride/Rosiglitazone, Metformin/Rosiglitazone

Brain Chemical Dopamine May Boost Risk-Taking in Healthy People

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine may increase risk-taking behaviors in healthy people, much like dopamine-boosting drugs have been shown to do in people with Parkinson's disease, a small new study finds. British researchers discovered that raising dopamine levels in healthy adults led to them taking greater risks when gambling. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with reward-based learning. Previous research has linked drugs that increase dopamine, such as L-DOPA, with compulsive gambling in Parkinson's disease patients. The new study included 30 people. They were asked to choose between safe and risky gambling options that resulted in monetary gains and losses. They did this after receiving L-DOPA and again after receiving an inactive placebo. The participants took more risks to get bigger rewards after receiving L-DOPA, but not the placebo. ... Read more

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

Exercise Benefits People With Parkinson's Disease: Study

Posted 24 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – Parkinson's disease patients who begin regular exercise earlier have a much slower decline in quality of life than those who start exercising later, a new study finds. National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) researchers looked at information from nearly 3,000 patients. More than 1,300 reported doing little regular exercise before taking part in the study. Over two years, 500 of the inactive patients began to exercise more than 2.5 hours a week. The researchers compared patients who exercised regularly for the entire two years to people who were inactive at the start of the study, but then began a regular exercise routine. The study didn't note the type of workouts, just the total amount of exercise. After two years, scores on a questionnaire that measured the impact of Parkinson's on daily life in a number of areas – including mood, movement and social ... Read more

Related support groups: Benadryl, Parkinson's Disease, Diphenhydramine, Mirapex, Requip, Sinemet, Ropinirole, Pramipexole, Emsam, Azilect, Bromocriptine, Cogentin, Levodopa, Selegiline, Cabergoline, Benztropine, Carbidopa, Benadryl Allergy, Artane, Amantadine

Brain Stimulation Device Approved for Parkinson's and Essential Tremor

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – The Brio Neurostimulation System has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat tremors, difficulty walking and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. The implanted stimulation device is sanctioned when medication alone doesn't provide adequate relief of symptoms, the FDA said in a news release. Some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with Parkinson's, and the neurological disorder affects a total of about 1 million Americans, the agency said. Typically diagnosed among people aged 60 and older, it's caused by the death or impairment of brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine. A similar condition, essential tremor, affects several million people and is usually diagnosed among people aged 40 and older. The new product consists of a battery-powered small transmitter implanted in the upper chest that's connected ... Read more

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

Depression Tied to Some Risk of Parkinson's Disease

Posted 20 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 – People with a history of depression seem to have a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a large new study reports, adding to the growing body of research linking the two conditions. The Swedish study found that people diagnosed with depression were more than three times as likely as people without a history of the mood disorder to develop Parkinson's disease within the first year of depression. By 15 to 25 years later, those with depression were about 50 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease. "There's substantial evidence of an association with depression in the last years before a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease," said study author Peter Nordstrom, professor and chief physician in the department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation at Umea University in Sweden. But Parkinson's experts warned that the study does not prove a ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Parkinson's Disease, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism

Parkinson's Protein May Spur Immune Response

Posted 12 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – A protein known to accumulate in Parkinson's disease and other degenerative brain disorders activates the brain's immune defenses, researchers say. The protein is called a-synuclein. The researchers noted that diseases such as Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia are characterized by the abnormal accumulation of this protein. The immune response appears to increase inflammation. The researchers said the high blood pressure drug candesartan and an experimental drug both reduce the immune response triggered by the protein. But much more research is needed on these findings. "We have made important progress in understanding how a-synuclein sets up the chronic brain inflammation that is a hallmark of these diseases," study senior author Kathleen Maguire-Zeiss, an associate professor in the department of neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center in ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Lewy Body Dementia

Ex-Baseball Star Kirk Gibson Has Parkinson's Disease

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – Kirk Gibson, who played 17 seasons of Major League Baseball and is perhaps best known for a dramatic pinch-hit, ninth inning home run to win a World Series game in 1988, said Tuesday he has Parkinson's disease. Gibson, 57, a Michigan native who played 12 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, said in a statement that "I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles. "While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs," he added. "With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible." According to the U.S. National Institutes of ... Read more

Related support groups: Benadryl, Parkinson's Disease, Diphenhydramine, Mirapex, Requip, Sinemet, Ropinirole, Pramipexole, Emsam, Azilect, Bromocriptine, Cogentin, Levodopa, Selegiline, Cabergoline, Benztropine, Carbidopa, Benadryl Allergy, Artane, Amantadine

Deep Brain Stimulation May Ease Some Parkinson's Pain for Years

Posted 23 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 – People with Parkinson's disease who undergo deep brain stimulation may experience long-term pain relief, a small, new study from Korea suggests. However, three-quarters of the patients developed new pain in muscles and joints eight years after the procedure was performed, the researchers found. "It is potentially important that some pain types improved, but also important to understand why other types of pain did not benefit from stimulation," said Dr. Michael Okun, national medical director for the National Parkinson Foundation. Deep brain stimulation involves surgically implanting a battery pack called a neurostimulator in the brain. This sends out tiny electrical pulses to targeted areas of the brain, to block signals that cause the tremors and other motor symptoms of Parkinson's, according to the foundation. While this and other advances have helped ease ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonism

Skin Test for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Shows Early Promise

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – A small, early study hints that a skin test may someday be able to help diagnose people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Researchers found that skin biopsies can reveal elevated levels of abnormal proteins associated with the two disorders. The study is being released ahead of its presentation in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Washington, D.C. As it stands now, a definite diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in a living person has not been possible, so the illness is often "unrecognized until after the disease has progressed," Dr. Ildefonso Rodriguez-Leyva, of the Central Hospital at the University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, explained in an academy news release. "We hypothesized that since skin has the same origin as brain tissue while in the embryo, that they might also show the same abnormal proteins," he ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease

Creatine Doesn't Treat Parkinson's Disease, Study Says

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Creatine doesn't appear to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, a new study finds. Creatine monohydrate is an amino acid believed to play an important role in energy production in cells, a process that may be impaired in people with Parkinson's disease. Previous research in mice suggested that creatine supplements might potentially protect nerve cells. Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes tremors and affects movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. The new study included more than 1,700 people in the United States and Canada who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease within the previous five years. All were receiving treatment for Parkinson's disease. As part of the study, they were randomly assigned to take creatine or a placebo in addition to their usual treatment. The patients were enrolled from March ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Creatine

Blood Test Aims to Detect Parkinson's in Early Stages

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Researchers have developed a blood test that they say could help neurologists detect Parkinson's disease and track the illness as it progresses. "If successful, we expect our findings will translate into a valuable diagnostic tool for Parkinson's disease," said study co-author Judith Potashkin, professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. An estimated 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. There is no cure for the disease, which can cause tremors and severely hamper movement. While medications can be helpful, the illness gets worse over time, and medications do not stop its progression. Physicians traditionally diagnosed Parkinson's by analyzing symptoms. Now, brain scans are available ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation

Study Underscores Power of Placebo Effect

Posted 28 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 – A new study – this one involving patients with Parkinson's disease – adds another layer of insight to the well-known "placebo effect." That's the phenomenon in which people's symptoms improve after taking an inactive substance simply because they believe the treatment will work. The small study, involving 12 people, suggests that Parkinson's patients seem to feel better – and their brains may actually change – if they think they're taking a costly medication. On average, patients had bigger short-term improvements in symptoms like tremor and muscle stiffness when they were told they were getting the costlier of two drugs. In reality, both "drugs" were nothing more than saline, given by injection. But the study patients were told that one drug was a new medication priced at $1,500 a dose, while the other cost just $100 – though, the researchers assured ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Levodopa, Larodopa, Dopar

FDA Approves Duopa (carbidopa and levodopa) Enteral Suspension for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 12 Jan 2015 by

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AbbVie's (NYSE: ABBV) Duopa (carbidopa and levodopa) enteral suspension for the treatment of motor fluctuations for people with advanced Parkinson's disease. DUOPA is administered using a small, portable infusion pump that delivers carbidopa and levodopa directly into the small intestine for 16 continuous hours via a procedurally-placed tube. Duopa was approved by the FDA as an orphan drug, a designation granted to products intended for the treatment of rare diseases or conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the U.S. "There is unmet need for treatment options for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. As the disease advances, it can be difficult to control motor features," said C. Warren Olanow, M.D., Professor, Department of Neurology and Department of ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Carbidopa/Levodopa

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