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Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

Posted 10 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, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Head Imaging

Study Looks at Parkinson's Effect on Life Span

Posted 12 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, 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, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Sinemet CR, Rytary, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, APO-Go, Apokyn, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, APO-Go Pen, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Atamet

Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Can a slight charge of electricity improve an ailing memory? Maybe, according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania. Timed correctly, deep brain stimulation can help people whose memory is lapsing. The treatment can restore the normal flow of "traffic patterns" in the brain, the study authors said. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that provides a mild electrical stimulation to certain areas of the brain. It is commonly used in people with Parkinson's disease. In DBS, a wire to deliver the stimulation is placed in the brain. The device that generates the charge is usually implanted underneath the collarbone, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "Technology based on this type of stimulation could produce meaningful gains in memory performance," one of the study authors, Daniel Rizzuto, director of cognitive ... Read more

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

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 Allows Marketing of First Direct-to-Consumer Tests that Provide Genetic Risk Information for Certain Conditions

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

April 6, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of 23andMe Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk (GHR) tests for 10 diseases or conditions. These are the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests authorized by the FDA that provide information on an individual’s genetic predisposition to certain medical diseases or conditions, which may help to make decisions about lifestyle choices or to inform discussions with a health care professional. “Consumers can now have direct access to certain genetic risk information,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “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.” The GHR tests are intended to provide genetic risk information to consumers, but the ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Celiac Disease, Dystonia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor Deficiency

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

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, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Atamet, Larodopa

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

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