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Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Where does that idea come from? Past research has shown that people with high cholesterol tend to have a lower risk of Parkinson's, explained Dr. Xuemei Huang, a professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine. Since many of those people are treated with statins, that led to speculation that the drugs – rather than high cholesterol itself – might be protective. But so far, studies have come to mixed conclusions, according to Huang. Some have tied statins to a lower Parkinson's risk, while others have found either no connection or an increased risk. Enter ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Parkinson's Disease, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Does a Low-Fat Dairy Habit Boost Parkinson's Risk?

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Though you might think eating low-fat dairy foods is a healthy move, new research suggests the habit is tied to a slight rise in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Experts who reviewed the study stressed that the findings are preliminary – the effect was a modest one and the research wasn't designed to prove cause and effect. In the study, researchers analyzed data on about 130,000 men and women, tracking their dietary habits every four years and the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's. After 25 years, more than 1,000 people developed Parkinson's, a progressive neurodegenerative illness affecting coordination and movement. Those who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day had a 34 percent higher risk of getting the disorder than those who only consumed one serving a day. Looking specifically at milk consumption, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dietary Supplementation, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

Posted 18 May 2017 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, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Head Imaging

Study Looks at Parkinson's Effect on Life Span

Posted 15 May 2017 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: Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

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, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonian Tremor, 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, Stalevo, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Sinemet CR, Rytary, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Stalevo 200, Parcopa, APO-Go, Apokyn, Apomorphine, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Larodopa, Uprima, Duopa, Stalevo 75

Deep Brain Stimulation May Ease Tourette 'Tics'

Posted 11 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Some young people with severe cases of Tourette syndrome may benefit from having electrodes implanted in the brain, a small study suggests. The procedure, known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), has long been used to treat certain cases of Parkinson's disease and other brain-based disorders. But DBS is still considered experimental in the context of Tourette syndrome – a disorder that causes people to habitually make involuntary sounds or movements, commonly known as "tics." The new findings, published online April 7 in the Journal of Neurosurgery, add to evidence that DBS can help ease severe tics. The "hope" is that there will eventually be enough evidence for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Dr. Alon Mogilner, the senior researcher on the study. In the United States, it's estimated that Tourette syndrome affects 0.6 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Head Imaging

FDA OKs 1st At-Home Genetic Tests for 10 Disorders

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first home genetic tests for 10 health risks, including Parkinson's disease and late-onset Alzheimer's. The approval – granted to the California-based company 23andMe Inc. – could help test users make lifestyle choices or spark important discussions with health care providers, the FDA said. "Consumers can now have direct access to certain genetic risk information," Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said Thursday in an agency news release. "But, it is important that people understand that genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle. It does not mean they will or won't ultimately develop a disease," he added. Along with genetics, many things can contribute to disease and illness, including lifestyle and environmental factors, the FDA said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Celiac Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Hemophilia, Gaucher Disease

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, Alka-Seltzer, DayQuil, Levodopa, Delsym, Daytime, Carbidopa, St. John's Wort, Bromfed DM, C-Phen DM, Promethazine DM, Tylenol Cold, Amrix, Tussin DM

Is It Parkinson's or Something Else? Blood Test Might Tell

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinson's disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests. The potential blood test is "not ready for prime time," Parkinson's disease experts said. But, it marks progress in the quest for an objective way to diagnose Parkinson's and similar conditions known as atypical parkinsonian disorders, they noted. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The root cause is unclear, but as the disease progresses, the brain loses cells that produce dopamine – a chemical that regulates movement. As a result, people suffer symptoms such as tremors, stiff limbs, and balance and coordination problems that gradually worsen over time. Right now, there is no blood test, brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Sinemet, Levodopa, Stalevo, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Sinemet CR, Diagnosis and Investigation, Rytary, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Stalevo 200, Parcopa, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Body Imaging, Atamet, Larodopa, Duopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50

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

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