Thursday, 15 September 2011

Blood urate levels as a biomarker for Parkinson's


"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."

More Smell Tests On Their Way

"Thank you to those who have been patiently waiting for their smell tests. There is a batch arriving from the US in the next couple of days, so we'll be sending them straight out to our participants. We will then add up then how many more we need to get to the 1000 figure mark and order the remaining smell tests. Thank you once again."

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Smell Test Delay

" Further apologies to those participants that are still waiting for smell tests to be delivered. We are yet to receive them from the US and will send them out as soon as we possibly can."

BRAIN test published online

"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."

Nike MAG trainers to raise money for Parkinson's

"American sports giant NIKE has released 1500 pairs of the Nike Mag training shoe, which are currently being auctioned on 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

Rasagiline (Azilect) improves motor OFF periods in Parkinson's


"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."

Botulinum toxin to treat excessive saliva in Parkinson's


"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

New research on the role of gut biopsies in PD


"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

Smell Test Delay

Unfortunately there has been a delay in receiving a batch of smell tests from the US and therefore many Predict PD study participants have not had their test delivered. We are hoping to get the tests in the coming days and will get these out to you as soon as possible. Please feel free to email if you have any questions.

Alastair Noyce
Predict PD

The Role of the Neurologist in PD


"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."

Plain English - LRRK2 G2019S Parkinson's disease with more benign phenotype than idiopathic

This research study compared patients with Parkinson's who carry the commonest gene mutation associated with the disease (called LRRK2),...