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New Parkinson's Drug May Combat Movement Difficulties

Posted 13 days ago 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, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonian Tremor, Rytary, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 200, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Atamet, Larodopa, Duopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar

Welders Showed Increased Risk of Parkinson-Like Symptoms in Study

Posted 19 days ago 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, Cogentin, Benztropine, Emsam, Azilect, Carbidopa, Bromocriptine, Cabergoline, Selegiline, Amantadine, Benadryl Allergy, Neupro

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

Cellular Defect May Be Linked to Parkinson's: Study

Posted 8 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2016 – Researchers say they've discovered a cellular defect that may be common to all forms of Parkinson's disease. The defect plays a major role in the die-off of a group of nerve cells whose loss is a hallmark of Parkinson's, according to the Stanford University team. The researchers conducted a series of experiments with cells from Parkinson's patients and healthy people. "We've found a molecular biomarker that characterizes not just familial cases of Parkinson's, in which a predisposition for the disease is clearly inherited, but also the condition's far more prevalent sporadic forms, for which the genetic contribution is either nonexistent or not yet discovered," said senior author Dr. Xinnan Wang, an assistant professor of neurosurgery. This defect prevents cells from quickly eliminating their internal power sources (mitochondria) when they wear out. So instead ... Read more

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

Experimental Test Detects Parkinson's Disease Earlier

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – Scientists appear to have moved a step closer to developing a test that can detect Parkinson's disease in the early stages. The researchers developed a technique to identify a Parkinson's-associated molecule in spinal fluid samples from patients. In experiments, the technique accurately identified 19 of 20 samples from Parkinson's patients, plus three samples from people at risk for the disease, the study authors said. The technique detects a protein molecule called alpha-synuclein, which forms sticky clumps – called Lewy bodies – inside the brain cells of people with Parkinson's and some types of dementia, according to the researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The scientists also tested the new technique on 15 healthy people to see if there were any false-positives. There were none. The new test didn't detect disease in any of the healthy ... Read more

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

Scientists Zero in on Brain Area Linked to 'Parkinson's Gait'

Posted 12 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – The brain's prefrontal cortex may play a role in walking difficulties that afflict Parkinson's disease patients, new research suggests. The prefrontal cortex is involved in cognitive function, which includes thinking, reasoning and remembering. This new finding is a new approach in understanding these walking problems and may lead to new treatments, according to the researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel. Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive movement disorder. Patients often walk with a shuffle, their steps alternately slow and fast. Sometimes, they freeze in place. Together, these symptoms are known as "Parkinson's gait." Along with reducing patients' mobility, impaired walking can lead to dangerous falls. Parkinson's patients were asked by the researchers to walk and do a mental task – such as naming fruits or doing subtraction – at the same ... Read more

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

Deep Brain Stimulation Tested for Early Alzheimer's

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Deep brain stimulation appears safe for people with early Alzheimer's disease – and might even slow down memory loss in some, a preliminary study suggests. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is already used to treat some cases of Parkinson's disease and certain other brain-based disorders. It involves implanting electrodes in specific areas of the brain, then connecting them to a pulse generator placed under the skin of the chest. Once the generator is programmed, it delivers continual electrical pulses that alter the activity in specific brain "circuits." While it's far too early to know whether deep brain stimulation helps those with early Alzheimer's, the initial findings suggest the technique is worth further study, said lead researcher Dr. Andres Lozano. He is a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, in Canada. In his small pilot study of people with early ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Cancer Drug Shows Early Promise for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 13 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 12, 2016 – A drug used to treat leukemia has shown initial signs of promise for advanced cases of Parkinson's disease, researchers are reporting. Experts stressed that the study was small, and primarily designed to see whether the drug – called nilotinib (brand name Tasigna) – is even safe for Parkinson's patients. It did appear "relatively safe" among the dozen patients studied, said Dr. Charbel Moussa, the senior researcher on the work. One patient had to withdraw from the study because of heart complications. But the drug was "well tolerated" in the remaining patients, according to Moussa, an assistant professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Plus, he said, there were hints of benefit. The researchers found signs that the drug boosted the brain's production of dopamine, a chemical that helps regulate movement. It also ... Read more

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

Study Links Severe Head Injury to Parkinson's Risk

Posted 12 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 11, 2016 – A traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness may increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, new research suggests. "It could be that the head injury itself initiates a cascade of effects that ultimately lead to Parkinson disease," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Crane, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Or, Crane added, the head injury may not cause Parkinson's, but make it "more difficult for people who have sustained a head injury to recover, adjust to or deal with the cascade of events leading to Parkinson disease that are separate from the head injury itself." However, the study did not prove that a traumatic brain injury causes the risk of Parkinson's to rise. Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms worsen with ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Head Injury, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Hundreds of U.S. Clinics Sell Unapproved Stem Cell 'Therapies'

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Hundreds of clinics across the United States are marketing unapproved stem cell treatments for conditions ranging from aging skin to spinal cord injuries, a new study finds. In an online search, researchers found at least 570 clinics offering unapproved stem cell "therapies." They tend to be concentrated in a handful of states – including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Texas – but are scattered across many other states, too. Most often, the clinics market stem cell procedures for orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis and injured ligaments and tendons. This does have science behind it, but is still experimental, medical experts said. In other cases with little or no supporting evidence, clinics hawked stem cell "facelifts" and therapies for serious conditions such as chronic lung disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. If ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Respiratory Tract Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Stem Cell Transplant Conditioning

Donated Blood Won't Transmit Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease

Posted 27 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 – People who've received a blood transfusion can breathe a bit easier: A new study finds no evidence that degenerative brain disorders can be transmitted via donated blood. "This study provides reassurance to individuals who have received blood transfusions from patients with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Irving Gomolin, a geriatrician who reviewed the Swedish study findings. "It demonstrates that the transmission of these diseases via blood either is not biologically possible or, at worst, must be exceedingly rare," said Gomolin. He is chief of geriatric medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. In the study, a team led by Dr. Gustaf Edgren, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, tracked data on more than 40,000 patients in Denmark and Sweden. All of the patients had received blood transfusions between 1968 and 2012 from people ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Blood Transfusion, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Blood Cell Transplantation, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Parkinson's Rates Rising Among American Men

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Rates of Parkinson's disease may be on the rise for U.S. men over the past three decades, and the trend could be tied to declines in smoking, a new study suggests. "I believe this will be the first of several reports in the United States to demonstrate what the Parkinson's Disease Foundation has come to realize – that the number of people living with Parkinson's is dramatically undercounted," said one expert who reviewed the findings, James Beck. He is vice president of scientific affairs at the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. In the new study, a team led by the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Walter Rocca tracked long-term data on people living in Olmsted County, Minn. The research showed that rates of Parkinson's disease nearly doubled for men between 1996 and 2005, and the increase was steepest for men aged 70 and older. Rates of a related condition called "parkinsonism" ... Read more

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

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