Saturday, 13 August 2011

Interesting article about sham surgery in Parkinson's

Why Fake It?

"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."

Pilot Study Reaches Target

"After a very busy end of July and beginning of August, I am pleased to say that the pilot study has recruited well over 1000 participants. If you joined after we reached 1000 or indeed want to join and haven't done so yet, please don't be put off. We need to spend some time establishing carefully that everyone is eligible for the study before sending a smell test to them.

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

New research on sleep disorders and Parkinson's

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(11)70152-1/abstract

"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."

Experimental evidence that smoking might be protective in Parkinson's

http://www.fasebj.org/content/25/8/2563.abstract

"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"