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

Posted 14 days ago 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, Parkinsonian Tremor, Diagnosis and Investigation, 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: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

2 in 10 Alzheimer's Cases May Be Misdiagnosed

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – Alzheimer's disease is often misdiagnosed, possibly causing undue stress for those who don't have the disease but are told they do, and delays in treatment for others, two new studies reveal. Although no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease exists, a correct diagnosis is essential because some drugs can delay its progress and help preserve quality of life for as long as possible. An early diagnosis also gives patients time to plan for their end-of-life care, experts say. "There are drugs that are beneficial for at least a short amount of time that can be given at a very early stage and possibly boost memory," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives, medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association. "Planning your care and finances is extremely important," he said. "With a correct diagnosis people can also be put into a ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Alcoholic Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features, Drug-Induced Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body 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, Parkinsonian Tremor, Nilotinib, 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, Parkinsonian Tremor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Health Tip: Wishing for Better Balance?

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you're not as steady on your feet as you once were, a number of medical conditions may be responsible. Here are possible reasons for poor balance, courtesy of Harvard Medical School: Having a central nervous system disorder, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Having an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, such as Meniere's disease. Having vision problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. Having weakened muscles, notably those of the back, thigh or abdomen. Having nerve damage in the feet or legs. Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Spasticity, Parkinsonism, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Lower Limb Spasticity, Prevention of Falls

Nuplazid Approved for Parkinson's Hallucinations

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – Nuplazid (pimavanserin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's disease. As many as half of people with Parkinson's may have psychosis that lead to hallucinations and delusions, the agency said in a news release announcing the approval. This can lead to behaviors including difficulty associating with loved ones or the inability to take care of oneself. Some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with Parkinson's, the FDA noted, and the total number of affected Americans is about 1 million. The neurological disorder typically affects people 60 and older, and is triggered when cells that are supposed to produce a brain chemical called dopamine become impaired or die. Dopamine helps transmit neurologic signals that lead to smooth, "purposeful" movement, the FDA said, during ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Psychosis, Nuplazid, Pimavanserin, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

FDA Approves Nuplazid (pimavanserin) for Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

April 29, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets, the first drug approved to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with psychosis experienced by some people with Parkinson’s disease. Hallucinations or delusions can occur in as many as 50 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease at some time during the course of their illness. People who experience them see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations) and/or have false beliefs (delusions). The hallucinations and delusions experienced with Parkinson’s disease are serious symptoms, and can lead to thinking and emotions that are so impaired that the people experiencing them may not relate to loved ones well or take appropriate care of themselves. “Hallucinations and delusions can be profoundly disturbing and disabling,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Div ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Nuplazid, Pimavanserin

Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – New research suggests that Parkinson's patients who are given antipsychotics to treat dementia and psychosis may be more likely to die early. However, the medications provide important benefits and the study authors aren't suggesting that these patients stop taking them. And it's still not clear exactly why there seems to be an increased risk of early death. "This [study] does not necessarily answer whether the drugs themselves lead to more deaths, or if it's instead the reasons they were prescribed," said Dr. Mark Baron, interim director of Virginia Commonwealth University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. He wrote a commentary accompanying the new study. Antipsychotic drugs, despite their name, are used to treat a variety of mental conditions other than psychosis, including anxiety and dementia. As many as 60 percent of long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Parkinson's Disease, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Agitation, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Haldol, Agitated State, Psychiatric Disorders, Haloperidol, Symbyax, Thorazine, Zyprexa Zydis, Chlorpromazine, Risperdal Consta, Parkinsonian Tremor

Rosacea Might Boost Parkinson's Risk: Study

Posted 21 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 21, 2016 – Rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes marked redness in the face, may be linked to an increased risk for Parkinson's disease, a large, new study suggests. Among more than 5 million Danes, those with rosacea were about twice as likely to develop Parkinson's as those without the skin condition, said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Egeberg of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen. "Rosacea is a common facial skin disorder affecting up to 10 percent of light-skinned individuals, women in particular," he said. "It is possible that rosacea, or rosacea-associated features, such as facial flushing, may contribute to Parkinson's disease diagnosis at an early stage." The link appears to be associated with rosacea itself, not the medications used to treat it, the researchers said. They actually found reduced risk of Parkinson's among patients who took ... Read more

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

Thought Processing a Concern of Parkinson's Patients, Study Says

Posted 19 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 18, 2016 – Declines in thinking skills could have a greater impact on Parkinson's disease patients' ability to converse than physical problems, according to a British study. "Around 70 percent of people with Parkinson's have problems with speech and communication, which can really impact their quality of life," said lead investigator Maxwell Barnish, formerly of the University of East Anglia, in England. "Researchers and clinicians have in the past focused on the physical problems patients have with making their speech clear," he explained in a university news release. "But patients themselves say the problems are more complex and are more to do with . . . not being able to think quickly enough to keep up with conversations or not being able to find the right words." Cognitive impairment is the general term for these thinking difficulties. And patients say "this has the ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease

Agent Orange Linked to Bladder Cancer, Thyroid Problems, Panel Says

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 – There is stronger evidence of a link between the herbicide Agent Orange and bladder cancer and thyroid problems among U.S. military personnel exposed to the chemical during the Vietnam War, a new Institute of Medicine report shows. However, there is little to no evidence of an association between the birth defect spina bifida and a mother's or father's exposure to Agent Orange, according to the report. The report committee also concluded that military personnel exposed to Agent Orange who have Parkinson's disease-like symptoms can file a claim for the condition. Agent Orange is an herbicide sprayed during the Vietnam War to kill off trees and vegetation that the enemy used as cover. The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides during the war. For this report, the authors looked at studies published between Oct. 1, 2012, ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Thyroid Cancer, Poisoning, Bladder Cancer, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism

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