9 July 2014
Sleep Disturbances, Common in Parkinson’s Disease, Can Be Early Indicator of Disease Onset
Up to 70% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience sleep problems that negatively impact their quality of life. Some patients have disturbed sleep/wake patterns such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, while other patients may be subject to sudden and involuntary daytime sleep “attacks.” In the extreme, PD patients may exhibit REM-sleep behavior disorder (RBD), characterized by vivid, violent dreams or dream re-enactment, even before motor symptoms appear. A review in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease discusses the underlying causes of sleep problems in PD, as well as medications, disease pathology, and comorbidities, and describes the most appropriate diagnostic tools and treatment options.
24 June 2014
Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Non Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease as well as Motor Symptoms
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non- pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson’s disease. Evidence now indicates that DBS can decrease the number and severity of non motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well, according to a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
13 May 2014
Exenatide Has Potential as a Disease Modifying Agent in Parkinson’s Disease
A follow-up study of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who participated in an earlier “proof of concept” clinical trial using exenatide showed that improvements persisted twelve months after discontinuing exenatide therapy. These data provide strong encouragement for the further study of this drug in patients with PD, report researchers in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
17 January 2014
Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated with Better Cognition and Mood in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
A new study exploring vitamin D levels in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) opens up the possibility of a new avenue of early intervention that may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment and depression. The findings are published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
16 January 2014
New Research Suggests Changes in Parietal Brain Gray Matter Volume Associated with Memory Deficits in Early PD
Research by a team of investigators in Finland suggests that the free recall memory deficits common even in early stages Parkinson’s disease (PD) are related to structural changes in the brain, specifically parietal cortical gray matter volume. Their findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
8 October 2013
New Study Links Depression in Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease Patients to Reduced Striatal Dopamine Synthesis
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, up to 60% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit mild to moderate depression, which is often underdiagnosed. It is unclear whether depression results from having a debilitating disease or reflects a parallel abnormal change in the brain caused by PD pathophysiology.
6 June 2013
PD-Like Sleep and Motor Problems Observed in α-Synuclein Mutant Mice
The presence of Lewy bodies in nerve cells, formed by intracellular deposits of the protein α-synuclein, is a characteristic pathologic feature of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In the quest for an animal model of PD that mimics motor and non-motor symptoms of human PD, scientists have developed strains of mice that overexpress α-synuclein. By studying a strain of mice bred to overexpress α-synuclein via the Thy-1 promoter, scientists have found these mice develop many of the age-related progressive motor symptoms of PD and demonstrate changes in sleep and anxiety. Their results are published in the latest issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
1 July 2012
Years before Diagnosis, Quality of Life Declines for Parkinson’s Disease Patients
Growing evidence suggests that Parkinson’s disease (PD) often starts with non-motor symptoms that precede diagnosis by several years. In the first study to examine patterns in the quality of life of Parkinson’ disease patients prior to diagnosis, researchers have documented declines in physical and mental health, pain, and emotional health beginning several years before the onset of the disease and continuing thereafter. Their results are reported in the latest issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
19 June 2012
Sleep Improves Functioning in Parkinson’s Patients, but Reasons Remain Elusive
Some Parkinson’s patients report that their motor function is better upon awakening in the morning, which is contrary to what would be expected after a night without medication. This phenomenon, known as sleep benefit, has been studied but no consistent variables have been found and in the last decade there has been little new research. A new study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, assesses a large sample of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and confirms that some patients experience sleep benefit, both overnight and following afternoon naps, but finds no significant variables between those who do benefit and those who do not.
23 April 2012
19th Century Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease May Help Patients Today
In the 19th century, the celebrated neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, developed a “vibration chair” to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He reported improvements in his patients, but he died shortly thereafter and a more complete evaluation of the therapy was never conducted. Now a group of scientists at Rush University Medical Center have replicated his work, and they report that while vibration therapy does significantly improve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the effect is due to placebo or other nonspecific factors, and not the vibration. Their study is published in the April issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.