Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Allyson Jones C, Wayne Martin WR, Wieler M, King-Jesso P, Voaklander DC.
Sunday, 25 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
"This is a small study of treatment with caffeine in Parkinson's. Previous studies suggest that people who drink coffee are less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's. Reasons for this observation include: 1) caffeine protects you against Parkinson's, 2) coffee delays the onset of Parkinson's or 3) people with early undiagnosed Parkinson's do not get the normal positive effect from coffee and therefore don't use it. Whatever the reason, caffeine remains a good candidate drug for treating Parkinson's. This small study shows some benefit from treatment with caffeine in certain aspects of the disease and not in others. It also suggests a dose that can be tolerated. Clearly larger studies are warranted."
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Monoamine oxidase B inhibitors for the treatment of Parkinson's disease: a review of symptomatic and potential disease-modifying effects.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
"This is a free article in this week's Neurology Journal. It is a study which looked at the relationship between Parkinson's and peripheral neuropathy. It was been written to explain to the public how this particular research study was performed."
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Markers of inflammation in prevalent and incident Parkinson's disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Ton TG, Jain S, Biggs ML, Thacker EL, Strotmeyer ES, Boudreau R, Newman AB, Longstreth WT Jr, Checkoway H.
BACKGROUND:Studies demonstrate existence of inflammation in prevalent Parkinson's disease (PD). We assessed associations of baseline levels of inflammatory markers with prevalent PD at baseline (1989) and incident PD identified over 13 years of follow-up of the Cardiovascular Health Study.
METHODS:Blood samples at baseline were measured for fibrinogen, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, C-reactive protein, albumin, and white blood cells. The analysis included 60 prevalent and 154 incident PD cases.
RESULTS:Risk of prevalent PD was significantly higher per doubling of IL-6 among women (odds ratio [OR]=1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 2.4) and WBC among men (OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.9) in multivariate models. Risk of incident PD was not associated with higher levels of any biomarker after adjusting for age, smoking, African American race, and history of diabetes. Inverse associations with incident PD were observed per doubling of C-reactive protein (OR=0.9; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.0) and of fibrinogen among women (OR=0.4; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.8).
CONCLUSIONS:Although inflammation exists in PD, it may not represent an etiologic factor. Our findings suggest the need for larger studies that measure inflammatory markers before PD onset.
Diederich NJ, McIntyre DJ.
AbstractSleep symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) are frequent and have multifactorial and multilayered causes. Primary involvement of sleep/wake regulating centers in the brainstem, sleep problems caused by the nocturnal manifestation of motor and dysautonomic signs and medication-induced sleep problems are often impossible to disentangle in the individual patient. Two syndromes, hypersomnia and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), are increasingly recognized as harbingers of the core PD motor syndrome. RBD, associated with a panoply of other nonmotor symptoms, may predispose to a specific PD phenotype. Long-acting dopaminergic stimulation, when abating nocturnal akinesia, also improves subjective sleep quantity. While this strategy is backed up by several randomized controlled trials (RCT), other treatment recommendations are mostly based on case series or expert opinion. Thus we identified only two other RCT, one treating insomnia with eszopiclone, the other nocturnal behavioral abnormalities in demented PD patients with memantine. While the causal complexity of sleep problems in PD certainly hampers the design of therapeutic studies, multiple general treatment strategies against sleep disorders can however be applied efficiently in PD patients as well.
Changes in quality of life, burden and mood among spouses of Parkinson's disease patients receiving neurostimulation
Soulas T, Sultan S, Gurruchaga JM, Palfi S, Fénelon G.
Deep brain stimulation improves motor function and quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease. The impact of these changes on patients' spouses is largely unknown.
METHODS:Twenty-six spouses of patients undergoing surgery were evaluated before and 12 months after surgery, using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey for quality of life, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Zarit Burden Inventory.
RESULTS:The spouses' mean mood and quality of life scores changed little, while burden improved in younger spouses. There was no significant change in the spouses' overall status. However, at the individual level the effect of surgery was more frequently negative than positive. Changes in psychological status and quality of life in the spouses did not correlate with changes in the patients' motor status or quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS:Spouses' experience of neurostimulation for Parkinson's disease is variable and complex. The improvement in burden experienced by younger spouses may reflect a greater capacity to cope with new situations.
Above is a link to the Deloitte Access Economics report for Parkinson's Australia. This is freely accessible on the Parkinson's Australia website.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Why Do We Need Multifunctional Neuroprotective and Neurorestorative Drugs for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases as Disease Modifying Agents.
Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) are severe neurodegenerative disorders, with no drugs that are currently approved to prevent the neuronal cell loss characteristic in brains of patients suffering from PD and AD and all drug treatment are synptomactic. Due to the complex pathophysiology, including a cascade of neurotoxic molecular events that results in neuronal death and predisposition to depression and eventual dementia and etiology of these disorders, an innovative approach towards neuroprotection or neurorestoration (neurorescue) may be the development and use of multifunctional pharmaceuticals. Such drugs target an array of pathological pathways, each of which is believed to contribute to the cascades that ultimately lead to neuronal cell death. In this short review, we discuss examples of novel multifunctional ligands that may have potential as neuroprotective-neurorestorative therapeutics in PD and AD. The compounds discussed originate from synthetic chemistry as well as from natural sources.
The risk of Parkinson's disease is reduced by cigarette smoking, which raises some unanswered questions. Nicotine, a major component of tobacco smoke, could exert either non-receptor-mediated biological effects or, more importantly, act on the different subtypes of nicotinic brain receptors, in particular those associated with the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. There is now robust experimental evidence for a neuroprotective effect of nicotine upon dopaminergic neurons. By contrast, in animal models of Parkinson's disease, nicotine alone has slight or no motor effects. However, nicotine may modulate dopamine transmission and has clear motor effects when associated with L-DOPA, reducing L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias. Clinical trials have yielded inconclusive results thus far and are hampered by different designs and small cohorts. Ongoing studies address either symptomatic motor or non-motor symptoms, or neuroprotection. There is still no agreement on the daily dosage of nicotine or the method of administration. Together, these data suggest that nicotine or nicotinic receptor drugs have therapeutic potential for Parkinson's disease, although the specific treatment regimens remain to be determined.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Intranasally applied l-DOPA alleviates parkinsonian symptoms in rats with unilateral nigro-striatal 6-OHDA lesions.
Controversies in Neurology: why monoamine oxidase B inhibitors could be a good choice for the initial treatment of Parkinson's disease
BMC Neurology 2011, 11:112doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-112
"This meta-analysis supports the long-standing observation that people with Parkinson's tend to have lower BMI than members of the general population. BMI is a proxy for body fat in humans and is calculated using height and weight. This observation was not dependent on the duration of disease.
A number of studies have looked at whether changes in BMI occur prior to the movement features of Parkinson's. These studies are largely in disagreement with one another and differences in the BMI ranges used make them difficult to compare directly. As it stands, there is no compelling literature to suggest that changes in BMI predate the movement problems."
Monday, 21 November 2011
"This case control study shows that passive smoking is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's. A previous study has shown similar reduction in risk if both parents smoked. Whilst a protective effect of cigarette smoke has long been suspected, this not yet prove. What is certain is that regardless of its role in Parkinson's, smoking causes a large number of other illnesses including heart disease, stroke and cancer."
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
"This is a new report of a twin study from the US looking at the role that specific solvents/chemicals may have in causing Parkinson's. A number of other chemicals have also been suggested to increase individual risk of Parkinson's. The authors acknowledge the need for further work in this area."
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
"This is a new research article reporting on a case control study of the rate of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in early untreated Parkinson's and healthy controls. RLS is a diagnosis made on the basis of certain criteria and is not simply isolated leg restlessness. This is an important point because this study shows that isolated leg restlessness is more common in persons with early Parkinson's than healthy controls, but there is no difference in the rate of true RLS between these two groups."
Monday, 14 November 2011
"A number of Predict PD participants have asked about the role of the bacteria H. pylori and Parkinson's following some publicity on the subject earlier this year. This Cochrane review looks at the current literature on how H. pylori may reduce response to treatment and concludes that at the moment there is insufficient evidence in this area. A further study is ongoing which may serve to answer this question."
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
I will post a link to the abstract as soon as it is available."
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
"This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that hand dominance appears to have a role in how Parkinson's disease presents. It shows that symptoms are twice as likely to begin in the dominant hand than in the non-dominant hand."
Thursday, 13 October 2011
"Some laboratory-based studies have previously suggested that levodopa administration may lead to degeneration of dopaminergic nerve cells. This has not been shown in studies in patients. This latest report shows that there is no evidence that long term dopamine replacement has toxic effects on nerve cells."
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
"A study in a small number of Parkinson's patients suggesting that ultrasound scanning across the skull and smell testing could help in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. If combined, they may be even more helpful. However, such tests need further investigation and as such should not currently be used routinely when making a diagnosis of Parkinson's."
Friday, 7 October 2011
This case-control study suggests that previous use of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) in women may increase the risk of subsequent Parkinson's. There is no demonstrable effect conveyed by previous post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy. It is worth pointing out that 4 previous reports have considered an association between the oral contraceptive pill and subsequent Parkinson's. One showed a decreased risk of Parkinson's in previous users of the OCP, two studies showed no association at all and one showed a minor risk increase but only if there was over 5 years of OCP use. In summary, any link remains uncertain and more work is required.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
"This article demonstrates the potential use of blood levels of urate in differentiating individuals with true Parkinson's that have abnormal dopamine transport on imaging studies and individuals that have symptoms of Parkinson's without the characteristic imaging findings."
Sunday, 11 September 2011
"Many of you will have been wondering about the Tap test we asked you to do as part of the Predict PD pilot study. The Tap test's other name is the BRAIN test, which stands for the Bradykinesia, Akinesia, Incoordination test and pays reference to some of the abnormalities of movement that exist in Parkinson's. The BRAIN test was originally published about 10 years ago, but this year is the first time that it has been available online. This 'Letter to the Editor' of Movement Disorders Journal describes the findings from it's use in a small number of patients with Parkinson's. There is no abstract available but the results will also be presented at the Association of British Neurologists next month and I will upload this in due course."
"American sports giant NIKE has released 1500 pairs of the Nike Mag training shoe, which are currently being auctioned on ebay.com. These replica trainers were originally worn by Michael J. Fox's character, Marty McFly, 20 years ago in the film Back to the Future II. The estimated price of each pair will be in the region of $5000, however the highest price paid so far is $37,000 on 8th September. All revenue generated will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research."
Thursday, 8 September 2011
"Patients treated with levodopa for a number of years often recognise periods through the day when they feel a good effect from their medication ('ON' periods) and times when the effect wears off ('OFF' periods). New results from the LARGO study show that Rasagiline (Azilect) in addition to levodopa improves scores of motor function and activities of daily living during 'OFF' periods."
"Excessive saliva is a common problem in Parkinson's and is due to reduced frequency of swallowing. This placebo-controlled study demonstrates improvement of this troublesome symptom with injection of botulinum toxin type B into the salivary glands. It is more common to treat excessive saliva with drugs that affect the autonomic nervous system, but these can cause side effects such as confusion. Botulinum toxin offers an alternative treatment option."
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
"The nervous system of the gut is affected by some of the same abnormalities as the brain in individuals with Parkinson's. The idea has therefore been put forward that the gut might provide a 'window to the brain' through which we can see the changes of Parkinson's whilst the disease is in it's earliest stages. This might have implications, not only for diagnosis, but also for monitoring of early disease.
This new study reports the likelihood of picking up these gut abnormalities in individuals with Parkinson's and shows that the likelihood is site dependent. Biopsy of the gut is not a standard investigation in people with Parkinson's currently and is unlikely to be in the near future. However, this study is relevant because clinical trials of early disease may consider using gut biospies, and this study shows that biospy of the rectum alone is unlikely to be adequate."
Thursday, 1 September 2011
"This is an article from the US that considers the role of Neurologists in the management of Parkinson's. The findings, whilst interesting, are less relevant for us in the UK due to differences in the way that our healthcare is delivered. For example, our guidelines from NICE state that all individuals with suspected Parkinson's should be referred untreated to a neurologist or doctor with a special interest in movement disorders. Therefore the aim is that all patients with Parkinson's are seen by an expert early on, who can then make subsequent management decisions."
Saturday, 13 August 2011
"This is an interesting article about the use of sham (or placebo) surgery in trials of surgical treatments for Parkinson's. It examines the viewpoints of Neurologists from the U.S. and Europe about the role and ethics of sham surgery."
We have already sent out a massive number of smell tests to participants and are just waiting for some more to arrive from the U.S. I hope that these will be sent out in the next week or so."
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
"This study followed individuals with an established diagnosis of REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) and shows that in proportion of them the appearance of their DaTSCANs (a scan used to look for evidence of reduced dopamine in the brain) changes towards an appearance seen in Parkinson's. RBD has previously been found to be a risk factor for Parkinson's and other degenerative conditions of the neurological system. Further work is needed to determine how RBD could be used to identify these diseases at an earlier stage."
"New research reported in this week's FASEB Journal. This group's experimental animal model suggests a protective benefit of nicotine on the dopamine cells that are lost in Parkinson's. Such experimental findings support epidemiological studies that show that Parkinson's is less common in smokers. However, as it stands the harmful effects of all the toxins contained within cigarettes far outweigh any potential benefits that nicotine might have in isolation. As such, it would be against medical advice for patients and the public to start or continue smoking in attempt to protect against Parkinson's"
Friday, 29 July 2011
We have now sent out 300 smell tests and aim will aim to get another 300 out next week, and more the week after.
Thank you to all of you that are supporting the project."
Saturday, 23 July 2011
The smell tests should be with you in 1-2 weeks. But given the high rate of participation, please be patient if it takes a little longer.
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an questions"
Friday, 22 July 2011
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Thank you to all those who have registered and participated so far. Your smell tests will be dispatched and should get to you in 1-2 weeks (we have more on order). I have been looking through the feedback and want to thank many of you for your kind comments. Those that have asked questions in the feedback, I will be getting round to answering them as soon as possible.
Thank you to Parkinson's UK for their wonderful ongoing support and thank you to Grass Roots Group who support our web site and tests.
I hope that many more of you will join and invite friends and colleagues you think may also like to participate."
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Biomarker candidates of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease for the evaluation of disease-modifying therapeutics.
Gerlach M, Maetzler W, Broich K, Hampel H, Rems L, Reum T, Riederer P, Stöffler A, Streffer J, Berg D.
J Neural Transm. 2011 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]
"Biomarkers are biological markers that can be objectively measured to monitor normal physiological processes, pathological/disease processes and responses to drug treatment. This article reviews candidate biomarkers for Parkinson's disease that may help us monitor disease progression, but most importantly could be used to measure response to new drug treatments"
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Saturday, 16 July 2011
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Enlarged substantia nigra hyperechogenicity and risk for Parkinson disease: a 37-month 3-center study of 1847 older persons.
Berg D, Seppi K, Behnke S, Liepelt I, Schweitzer K, Stockner H, Wollenweber F, Gaenslen A, Mahlknecht P, Spiegel J, Godau J, Huber H, Srulijes K, Kiechl S, Bentele M, Gasperi A, Schubert T, Hiry T, Probst M, Schneider V, Klenk J, Sawires M, Willeit J, Maetzler W, Fassbender K, Gasser T, Poewe W.
Arch Neurol. 2011;68(7):932-937. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.141
"These are the emerging data from the novel PRIPS study taking place in Germany and Austria, which looks at markers for early Parkinson's disease. This article shows how ultrasound scanning of brain structure through the temple of the head can be used to identify people at increased risk of Parkinson's. Whilst there are some problems with this technology, such as it cannot be used in 10% of people due to differences in skull bones, this report underlines the potential for this technique in predicting Parkinson's. It is a cheaper and simpler imaging technique than other imaging options that look to achieve the same thing."
Monday, 11 July 2011
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Thursday, 7 July 2011
"23andMe is a project running in the US that invites people to submit a sample of saliva for genetic testing and recruits people over the Internet. Using thousands of participants, both those that are healthy and those with diseases, it then compares differences in genetic make-up between groups. In this new report, the scientists from 23andMe present 2 new genetic areas of interest in Parkinson's. Whilst these are potentially important in unravelling the biology of Parkinson's, it also demonstrates the power and potential of research conducted over the Internet. Research like we are doing at Predict PD"
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Monday, 4 July 2011
Berendse HW, Roos DS, Raijmakers P, Doty RL.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print]
"The DaTscan is of great interest to us. If this scan can be used in the pre-symptomatic phase of PD, that is before PD'ers are are aware that they have the disease, we may be able to target PD at a time-point with the greatest potential to modify the course of the disease."
Friday, 1 July 2011
Valadas A, Coelho M, Mestre T et al.
Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Jun 27
Important survey of patients to determine willingness and motivation to be involved in research into drug treatments against Parkinson's.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Yong-Hwan Kim, Anand Rane, Stephanie Lussier, Julie K. Andersen
Journal of Neuroscience Research
Article first published online: 24 JUN 2011
An interesting article published this week online. Whilst this is an encouraging finding given that lithium was shown to reduce cell loss in this animal model of Parkinson's, it is important to remember that this is very early work and must be investigated further. The animal models of Parkinson's, whilst similar to the disease in humans, are not identical and therefore what works in animals may not perform the same in humans. However, if these results could be replicated, this would be important. Lithium is a well established drug that has been used for many years in psychiatric medicine and the safety/side effects are well known. It would also be much cheaper than emerging, newly designed drugs.
In summary, an interesting finding but one that needs a lot more study.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
This link takes you to an article on the BBC's website about the Oxford University team that are using a variety of approaches to try and cure Parkinson's. Their exciting project has 3 different strands of investigation that are all complimentary and will hopefully lead to significant advances in the field.
Researchers in this area think it is important not just find out about the symptoms that precede typical Parkinson's, but also what is going on under the microscope in various organs of the body including the brain, eyes, skin and gut. That is why so many projects in this field ask their participants if they will contribute biological samples such as blood, for further analysis.
Monday, 20 June 2011
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Syam Krishnan, Gangadhara Sarma, Sankara Sarma and Asha Kishore
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/mds.23826
Background: Non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease are frequent and affect health-related quality of life of patients. The severity and domains of nonmotor symptoms involved in Parkinson's disease and normal aging have not been compared before.Methods: We performed a prospective case–control study to assess the frequency and severity of non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease (n = 174) and age-matched normal controls (n = 128) using the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale.Results:Nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson's disease were ubiquitous, more frequent, and more severe than in normal aging, particularly in women. Cardiovascular, mood/cognition, and perceptual problems/hallucinations domains were rarely involved in age-matched controls. Age had no effect and sex some influence on nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. In contrast, in controls, nonmotor symptoms increased with age, and sex had no effect.Conclusions: Non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease differ from those in aging in frequency, severity, sex predilection, and domain involvement.