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Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 – Black and Hispanic people are less likely than white people to make an appointment to see a neurologist, according to a new U.S. study. Researchers found that black people with conditions that affect the brain, such as Parkinson's disease and stroke, tend to be treated in the emergency room and end up in the hospital more often than their white peers. "Our findings demonstrate that there are substantial racial and ethnic disparities in neurologic health care access and utilization in the United States," said study author Dr. Altaf Saadi, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "These disparities are concerning, not only because racial and ethnic minorities represent 28 percent of Americans, but because all Americans should have equitable access to health care regardless of who they are, where they live, or what resources ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Neurologic Disorder, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Head Imaging, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Study Looks at Parkinson's Effect on Life Span

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – People with brain diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia with Lewy bodies die about two years earlier compared with people who don't have these conditions, a new study suggests. The report provides new clues about the survival of patients with degenerative brain diseases, researchers at the Mayo Clinic said. "Our results may be helpful to guide clinicians counseling patients and caregivers," Dr. Rodolfo Savica and colleagues wrote in the report published May 15 in JAMA Neurology. The study initially looked at all residents of Minnesota's Olmsted County. The investigators then compared survival rates between 461 people with certain degenerative brain diseases and 452 healthy people in the general population. The study participants with degenerative brain diseases were diagnosed between 1991 and 2010. Just over 300 had Parkinson's disease; 55 had Parkinson's ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Lewy Body Dementia

Parkinson's Disease May Originate in Gut, Study Says

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 – New research suggests additional evidence that Parkinson's disease may originate in the gut. Though experts called the findings preliminary, Swedish scientists found that patients whose main trunk of the vagus nerve – which extends from the brain stem to the abdomen – was removed were markedly less likely to develop the movement disorder than others who didn't have the surgery. The patients were followed for at least five years. The study authors said the findings suggest Parkinson's may start in the gut and spread to the brain through the vagus nerve, which helps control unconscious body processes such as heart rate and digestion. "We were not largely surprised, as other research has also shown evidence for a link between the gut and Parkinson's disease," said study author Dr. Karin Wirdefeldt. She's an associate professor of medical epidemiology and ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

150-Year-Old Drug May Shorten 'Off' Time for Parkinson's Patients

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – An old standby drug seems to help patients with advanced Parkinson's disease through the difficult times when their usual medication stops working, a new trial suggests. As the movement disorder progresses, the effectiveness of the usual drug, levodopa, wears off more quickly after each dose, the researchers explained. Patients can experience so-called "off" times, which can result in stiffness and leave them immobilized until the levodopa kicks in again. During these off times, the injectable drug apomorphine (Apokyn) can significantly shorten the period before levodopa takes over, the investigators found. "The results confirm what had been expected based on decades of clinical experience with apomorphine infusion in Europe," said lead researcher Dr. Regina Katzenschlager, a guest professor at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. "When fluctuations in ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Sinemet CR, Rytary, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, APO-Go, Apokyn, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Duopa, Stalevo 75, Apomorphine, Stalevo 150, Dopar

Hepatitis Infection May Raise Risk for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 30, 2017 – People with the liver infection hepatitis may be at heightened risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a large new study suggests. The study, published online March 29 in Neurology, is the second in the past year to link hepatitis to Parkinson's. Specifically, the new study found that people who'd been infected with hepatitis B or C were 51 percent to 76 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's, compared to people who'd never had hepatitis. The researchers don't know why the connection exists. And the study cannot prove a cause-and-effect link. But the association between Parkinson's disease and hepatitis appears to be "strong," according to Dr. Michael Okun, national medical director of the Parkinson's Foundation. Last year, a study in Taiwan found that people with hepatitis C faced an increased risk of Parkinson's. Now the new findings, based on millions ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Parkinson's Disease, Hepatitis B, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Exposure to Hepatitis B Virus

Exercising 2.5 Hours a Week May Slow Parkinson's Progression

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Parkinson's disease can cause tremors, stiffness and trouble with walking. But a new study suggests that regular exercise can slow the progression of the disease. Even those with advanced Parkinson's can benefit from activity, the study authors said. The research included more than 3,400 patients in North America, the Netherlands and Israel who were followed for more than two years. During that time, Parkinson's-related changes in mobility were assessed by timing how long it took patients to rise from a chair, walk about 10 feet, turn and return to a sitting position. The results were published online recently in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. "We found that people with Parkinson's disease who maintained exercise 150 minutes per week had a smaller decline in quality of life and mobility over two years compared to people who did not exercise or exercised ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Xadago (safinamide) as an Add-On Treatment for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

March 21, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Xadago (safinamide) tablets as an add-on treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease who are currently taking levodopa/carbidopa and experiencing “off” episodes. An “off” episode is a time when a patient’s medications are not working well, causing an increase in Parkinson’s symptoms, such as tremor and difficulty walking. “Parkinson’s is a relentless disease without a cure,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We are committed to helping make additional treatments for Parkinson’s disease available to patients.” An estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, according to the National Institutes of Health, and about one million Americans have the condition. The neurological disorder ty ... Read more

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

New Parkinson's Drug Xadago Approved

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – Xadago (safinamide) tablets have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an add-on drug to treat Parkinson's patients who take levodopa or carbidopa but have instances of increased symptoms anyway, a condition doctors call "off" episodes. An "off" episode, when Parkinson's medication doesn't seem to work well, may include symptoms such as tremor and difficulty walking, the agency said in a news release. Some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with Parkinson's, and about 1 million Americans have the neurological condition, the FDA said, citing the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Typically diagnosed in people 60 and older, it occurs when brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine become impaired or die. The absence of enough dopamine leads to lack of smooth, purposeful movement during activities such as walking, eating, writing ... Read more

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

FDA OKs Parkinson's Add-On Drug

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for Parkinson's disease. Xadago (safinamide) pills were given the green light as an add-on treatment for people taking levodopa/carbidopa and experiencing "off" episodes. These are periods when medication effectiveness wanes, leading to a rise in symptoms such as tremor and difficulty walking. "Parkinson's is a relentless disease without a cure," Dr. Eric Bastings said in an FDA news release. "We are committed to helping make additional treatments for Parkinson's disease available to patients," added Bastings, deputy director of neurology products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The FDA's approval of the drug is based on two clinical trials. The studies included a total of nearly 1,200 patients who were taking levodopa and experiencing "off" time. Those who added Xadago to ... Read more

Related support groups: Flexeril, Cyclobenzaprine, Parkinson's Disease, Dry Cough, Dextromethorphan, Mucinex DM, Sinemet, DayQuil, Alka-Seltzer, Delsym, Levodopa, St. John's Wort, Daytime, Carbidopa, Bromfed DM, C-Phen DM, Tylenol Cold, Tussin DM, Rondec-DM, Carbidopa/Levodopa

New Parkinson's Drug May Combat Movement Difficulties

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – New research suggests that people with Parkinson's disease may achieve better and more reliable motor control by taking an experimental drug called opicapone alongside the standard medication levodopa. A study of several hundred Parkinson's patients found that the drug – opicapone – boosts levodopa's ability to control the motor difficulties associated with Parkinson's, said study co-author Dr. Patricio Soares-da-Silva. These motor problems include tremors, stiffness, and slowed movement. Opicapone (Ongentys) appears to be an improvement over current treatment options, said Soares-da-Silva. He is director of research and development for the drug's maker, Bial-Portela & Ca. SA, in Portugal. There's no known cure for Parkinson's, a progressive neuro-degenerative disease. Nor is there any treatment that effectively slows or stops disease progression, according to ... Read more

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

Welders Showed Increased Risk of Parkinson-Like Symptoms in Study

Posted 28 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 2016 – Welders are in danger of developing symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, according to a new study that suggests exposure to fumes containing manganese makes things worse. Welding has been linked in previous research to a higher risk for parkinsonism. The term refers to a group of disorders that causes movement problems that mimic those seen with Parkinson's disease, such as slow movement and stiffness. "These welders are developing parkinsonian symptoms even though their exposure to manganese is below the current regulatory limits," study author Dr. Brad Racette said in an American Academy of Neurology news release. "This study suggests that we need more stringent workplace monitoring of manganese exposure, greater use of protective equipment and monitoring and systematic assessment of workers to prevent this disabling disease," he added. Racette ... Read more

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

Exercise May Be Real Medicine for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – Almost any exercise is good medicine for someone with Parkinson's disease, a new study confirms. Although physical activity may seem impossible for some Parkinson's patients, the new research review reaffirms what many specialists already believe: that exercise can have a long-term impact, improving gait and reducing risk of falls, in particular. "I pretty much never see a Parkinson's disease patient without recommending exercise," said Dr. Michael Okun, medical director of the Parkinson's Foundation. He is also chairman of neurology at the University of Florida. Parkinson's disease causes the brain to produce less dopamine, which leads to a loss of movement control. Physical symptoms include shaking, slowness and stiffness, but vary widely between individuals. The review measured the combined outcomes of more than 100 studies conducted over the past 30 years ... Read more

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

Was Football Safer Back in the Day?

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – In a finding that suggests football used to be a less dangerous sport, a small study shows that men who played in high school in the 1950s and 1960s may not be at increased risk for dementia or memory problems. Nor did they show increased rates of Parkinson's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The study used a small group of men, the researchers acknowledged. But, they added, the results are in line with an earlier study that examined men who'd played high school football in the 1940s and 1950s. "What we can say is, for that era, football did not increase the risks of neurodegenerative disease compared with other sports," said senior researcher Dr. Rodolfo Savica, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. That might sound surprising, given evidence that former professional football players can face ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

New Parkinson's Gene Identified

Posted 29 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Researchers say they've identified a gene mutation that could be associated with early onset Parkinson's disease in white people. The mutation occurs in a gene that produces dopamine in the brain, and its impact is particularly strong in people younger than 50, according to the Iowa State University researchers. Rigidity and loss of muscle function in Parkinson's patients is linked with reduced levels of dopamine in the part of the brain that controls movement, the researchers said. Parkinson's is a progressive movement disorder that causes tremors and muscle rigidity. The researchers compared 289 people recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, but not on medication, and 233 healthy people. Overall, whites with one mutated version of the guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase-1 (GCH1) gene had a 23 percent increased risk of Parkinson's and developed disease symptoms ... Read more

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

Inhaled Version of Parkinson's Drug May Help Keep Symptoms at Bay

Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – An inhaled version of the Parkinson's drug levodopa can help when patients experience symptoms between doses of the pill form of the medication, a new, small study finds. Levodopa can control the tremors, rigidity and difficulty maintaining balance and coordination associated with Parkinson's disease. However, within two years, as many as half of all patients have rapid and unexpected loss of motor control during "off" periods, when the drug wears off between doses, the researchers explained. "Off periods are considered one of the greatest unmet medical needs in the treatment of Parkinson's, and typically increase in frequency during the course of the disease," said lead researcher Michael Lipp. He is vice president of pharmaceutical development and technical operations at Acorda Therapeutics, the drug's maker and funder of the study. Inhaled levodopa could ... Read more

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

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