The Spatial And Relative Magnitude Of The Improvement In The Brain Scans Is Beyond Anything Seen Previously In Trials Of Treatments For Parkinson’s Said Researcher Alan L Whone
Feb. 27 — Researchers have developed a new drug that could correct damage to the brain caused by Parkinson‘s disease and lead to improvement of symptoms, researchers report.
Patients who had implants to replace damaged brain cells showed 100 percent improvement in reawakening portions of their brains harmed by Parkinson’s, according to research published Tuesday in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
“The spatial and relative magnitude of the improvement in the brain scans is beyond anything seen previously in trials of surgically delivered growth-factor treatments for Parkinson’s,” Alan L. Whone, a researcher at University of Bristol and study author, said in a news release. “This represents some of the most compelling evidence yet that we may have a means to possibly reawaken and restore the dopamine brain cells that are gradually destroyed in Parkinson’s.”
The researchers used robot-assisted neurosurgery to implant a special delivery system to release Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor into the brain cells of Parkinson’s patients.
Why Scientists Believe Theyve Made New Breakthrough In Parkinsons Disease Treatment By Building On Gdnf Research
The Finnish researchers are now working to improve the properties of BT13 to make it more effective as a potential treatment that could benefit many people living with the disease.
The study, which was published online yesterday in the journal Movement Disorders, builds on previous research on another molecule that targets the same receptors in the brain.
GDNF – or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor – is an experimental treatment for Parkinson’s discovered in 1993 that has been shown to bring dying brain cells back to life and particularly effective in dopamine neurons.
It was the subject of a BBC documentary in February 2019 that followed a phase two trial in Bristol involving 42 patients. While the results weren’t clear cut, GDNF has shown promise to restore damaged cells in people with Parkinson’s.
However, the GDNF protein requires complex robot-assisted surgery to deliver the treatment to the brain because it’s a large molecule that can’t cross the blood-brain barrier – a protective wall that prevents some drugs from getting into the brain.
BT13 is a smaller molecule that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier – and therefore could be more easily administered as a treatment if shown to be beneficial in further clinical trials.
Dr Yulia Sidorova, lead researcher on the study, said: “We are constantly working on improving the effectiveness of BT13.
“Our ultimate goal is to progress these compounds to clinical trials in a few coming years.”
Scientists Have Made A Breakthrough In The Development Of A Nasal Spray For Parkinsons Disease Treatment
Researchers from the University of York have developed a new gel that can adhere to tissue inside the nose alongside the drug levodopa, helping deliver Parkinson’s disease treatment directly to the brain.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. This leads to a reduction in dopamine in the brain, which plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. The main symptoms include involuntary shaking, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles.
Latest News In Parkinson Disease: Treatment Progress Cognition Improvements And More
An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease reported across MJH Life Sciences™.
An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease reported across MJH Life Sciences™.
FDA Approves Investigational NDA for Ketamine in Levodopa-Induced Dykinesia
As the gold standard of treatment for PD, levodopa effectively reduces parkinsonian symptoms, although long-term use has been linked with several adverse events. Chief among these, frequency of OFF time and abnormal involuntary movements, known as levodopa-induced dyskinesia , have been shown to significantly impact quality of life and treatment efficacy.
There are no approved treatments to address LID; however, an article by NeurologyLive® indicates there may be some progress in addressing this issue. Last week, the FDA approved PharmaTher Holdings’ investigational new drug application for ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-modulating drug, in the treatment of LID in patients with PD.
A phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of ketamine compared with the active control treatment of midazolam is expected to begin patient enrollment in the third quarter of this year. Pending success, the manufacturer noted that it will seek an agreement with the FDA to proceed to a phase 3 clinical study next year.
Novel Treatment Associated With Cognition Improvement in PD, Alzheimer Disease
Neurological Disease Link With COVID-19 Severity, Death
Full List Of Medications Approved For The Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease In The Usa
Below is a full list of Parkinson’s medications that have been approved to treat Parkinson’s in the United States. This material is intended to provide you with information. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather as a source for discussion with the patient’s own physician. Work with your physician to determine which medications are best for you, and know the risks and benefits of each.
Natural Remedies And Treatments For Parkinsons Disease That Get Powerful Results
To successfully treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s, andeven reverse this disorder, there are 4 things you must do…
a) Increase your natural dopamine levels
b) Detox your body of all heavy metals andpollutants
c) Reduce all inflammation in the body,especially the brain
d) Repair the neuro pathways
These 10 natural treatments and remedies do all four. Solet’s not waste any more time then. Here they are in order of importance…
Naturaltreatment For Parkinsons #9 Exercise And Other Alternative Therapies:
Regular exercise has been shown to help Parkinson’ssufferers by reducing muscle stiffness, increasing mobility, and enhancing postureand balance. Exercise also increases oxygen levels and neurotransmitters, alongwith releasing potent “mood elevating” chemicals called endorphins.
The type of exercise performed for PD is crucial. Aqua orwater aerobics can be particularly useful as traditional exercise is usuallyquite difficult for many Parkinson’s sufferers. Muscle decline, loss of strength,stiffness and loss of balance can make conventional exercises difficult toperform. The great thing about aqua aerobics is it still has the same benefits as other exercise regimens,but the risk of falling is eliminated.
Other types of exercises that can be beneficial for PDsufferers include Tai Chi, Yoga, dancing, walking, aerobic/jazzercise classes,and general stretching.
For more information on the different exercise programsavailable for Parkinson’s patients, you can check out this website… Exercise and Physical Therapy for Parkinson’sDisease
Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #3 Turmeric And Otherherbs And Spices:
A recent study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, foundthat the extracts in turmeric, particularly curcumin and the newly discovered Ar-turmerone,can regenerate “a damaged brain” and reverse neurological disorders. Researchers said Ar-turmerone is “a promising candidate to supportregeneration in neurologic disease.” Michigan State University researcherBasir Ahmad also found that a compound in turmeric may help fight Parkinson’sdisease by disrupting the proteins responsible for the disease.
Another study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine found that tumeric can prevent and evenreverse the toxic effects exerted on the brain from fluoride exposure. Fluorideis a nasty and dangerous heavy metal that destroys brain cells and the intricateworkings of the central nervous system. Fluoride poisoning has also beenimplicated in the development of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s,Parkinson’s, ALS and multiple sclerosis. 7
Turmeric is also a very potent anti-inflammatory spice. Because Parkinson’s is aninflammation type disease, turmeric will help immensely. A heaped teaspoon ofhigh quality turmeric powder taken 3 times daily in asmoothie will do the trick. Just make sure you combine it with 10-12 blackpeppercorns for enhanced absorption Turmeric is also fat soluble so you’ll need tocombine it with some coconut oil, red palm oil or fish/krill oil as well.
New Medication Istradefylline Gets Approved For Parkinsons Disease
On August 27, 2019, pharmaceutical company Kyowa Kirin received FDA approval for Istradefylline, a new medication for Parkinson’s disease to be used as an add-on treatment to carbidopa/levodopa for those experiencing OFF episodes.
The medication, which will be marketed in the US under the brand name NourianzTM, has been approved in Japan since 2013, but was not initially approved by the FDA when it was first reviewed back in 2008, due to concerns about lack of efficacy. To gain approval of the medication, Kyowa Kirin presented to the FDA the results of four successful placebo-controlled trials which tested the medication in 1,143 patients and demonstrated that the medication reduced OFF time as compared to placebo.
The medication is different than most other PD medications, in that it does not directly manipulate dopamine or the dopamine receptors. Instead, it is an adenosine inhibitor, and works to block the effects of the adenosine receptor. Like dopamine, adenosine is a neurotransmitter that works in the basal ganglia, the deep structures of the brain that are affected in PD. However, to some degree, adenosine and dopamine have opposite effects, so that inhibiting the adenosine receptor improves motor function.
Approval of NourianzTM is exciting news for the PD community as it adds a novel approach to improving PD symptoms. Here is the Kyowa Kirin’s press release announcing the approval.
What Are The Latest Approved Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Several medicines have been approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Here are some of the available medicines for Parkinson’s disease:
Nuplazid was approved for the treatment of patients with hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis by the Food and Drugs Administration on April 29, 2016. On December 3, 2020 The approved an update to the prescribing information for Nuplazid that will allow the medication to be taken more easily by Parkinson’s patients who have difficulty swallowing.
Ongentys is a medication used for the treatment of Parkinson disease. It is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Parkinson disease. It is used as an add-on to levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors in patients who are having fluctuations in the control of their condition.
Opicapone was approved for treating patients with Parkinson’s Disease as an add-on to levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors in patients who are having fluctuations in the control of their condition by the European Medicines Agency on June 24, 2016 and by the Food and Drug Administration on April 24, 2020.
Nourianz/Nouriast was approved by the Food and Drug Administration , USA, on August 27, 2019 and by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency , Japan, in June 2013.
Promising New Drugs For Parkinsons Patients Are On The Horizon Brian Krans
Three Parkinson’s studies released Thursday address blood pressure drops, the ‘wearing-off’ effect of levodopa, and symptoms in early-stage patients.
Three studies on new treatments for Parkinson’s disease address common concerns for patients currently undergoing treatment.
Dr. Robert A. Hauser of the University of South Florida and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology authored all three studies and will present them at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego next week.
“All of these treatments are promising news for people with Parkinson’s disease, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s,” he said in a press release.
Medication is a fact of life for Parkinson’s patients. Because no cure is currently available, treatments only address symptoms, namely motor issues such as tremors, slow movements, stiffness, and lack of balance.
Celebrities like Muhammad Ali, Johnny Cash, and Michael J. Fox have helped raise awareness of the condition, with help from charities that have funneled money into Parkinson’s research.
The studies Hauser authored address numerous gaps in current Parkinson’s treatments, paving the way for more effective medications to control the most debilitating symptoms.
None of these treatments, however, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , so they’re not yet available to patients outside of clinical trials.
Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #1 Cannabis/medicalmarijuana:
Cannabis, aka medical marijuana, is an incredibletreatment for Parkinson’s disease. You can have a Parkinson’s patient shakingviolently and uncontrollably, and yet within 30-40 minutes of self-administering with some cannabis, their symptoms will almost completely disappear. Watch this short 2minute video from Parkinson’s sufferer, Ian Frizell, who shows you what he waslike before self-medicating with cannabis and then again after. The change is truly astonishing!
Taylor French is another Parkinson’s patient thatundergoes a remarkable transformation once he ingests what he calls “nutritional vegetable extract” . This guy has an advanced form ofParkinson’s and is normally confined to a wheelchair with limited use of hisbody due to stiff and rigid muscles . But after ingestingsome cannabis he’s able to walk, and incredibly, in his video he even getsinto his car and drives off down the road!
You can view it here…
Elyse Del Francia also tells the story of her Parkinson’ssuffering husband, and the time she decided to smother his morning pancakes withsome canabutter. She said…
“Within45 minutes of eating a pancake with marijuana on it, he stopped shaking. Thatwas my lightbulb moment. That’s when I knew that I was onto something thatwould relieve his pain and suffering, because it’s horrible, horrible, to haveParkinson’s Disease and not have any relief. I feel that this is something thathelps so many people in so many ways with pain and suffering.” 5
New Form Of Drug Helping Some Patients With Parkinsons Disease
For more than 40 years, a drug called levodopa has been the most effective treatment for the uncontrolled movements associated with Parkinson’s disease. Many Parkinson’s patients have taken a pill form of the medicine – also known as L-dopa – for years to control their motor fluctuations.
But the pills can lose effectiveness over time, greatly reducing their value for people in the later stages of the disease.
Now there’s a new form of the drug that is making a positive difference for some Parkinson’s patients. Duopa is a drug that’s delivered continuously by a pump system instead of pills.
“This takes care of the fluctuations in the movement symptoms that advanced Parkinson’s patients experience on a daily basis, and they don’t have to rely on pills while the pump is on,” said movement disorders specialist Dr. Mustafa Saad Siddiqui, an associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist. “It can mean a very significant improvement in the quality of life of these patients.”
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps people control body movements. While tremors are the best-known sign of Parkinson’s, it can also cause muscle rigidity and slowing of movement. There is no cure for the disease, which afflicts approximately 1 million people in the United States, including actor Michael J. Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
Current Parkinsons Treatments Cant Slow Down Onset Of Disease
Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which mainly the area of the brain that controls movement – leading to a slow onset of symptoms including tremors, rigidity and slow movement.
More than 10 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinson’s disease, according to the US-based Parkinson’s Foundation, with the Parkinson’s News Today website saying it affects 1,900 per 100,000 among those aged over 80,
Typically, by the time people are diagnosed with the condition, they have already lost between 70% and 80% of their dopamine-producing cells, which are involved in co-ordinating movement.
While current treatments mask the symptoms, there is nothing that can slow down its progression or prevent more brain cells from being lost.
As dopamine levels continue to fall, symptoms get worse and new symptoms can appear.
Patients Should Seek A Medication Review At Least Annually
There have been several exciting recent developments in the realization of advanced treatment options and new medications for Parkinson’s disease. From surgical treatments to drug development to a pump that infuses medication to patients throughout the day, individuals with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from the latest developments for treatment of PD.
Most patients with Parkinson’s disease can be adequately treated the first several years after the disease has begun presenting symptoms with medications that deliver levodopa, used alone or in combination with carbidopa. Later in the disease, individuals with PD may consider highly effective surgical treatments such as Deep Brain Stimulation and/or other medications or combinations of medications to manage their symptoms.
Trey Eskew, a physician’s assistant who has treated patients at Neurology Solutions Movement Disorders for the past six years, said that many patients aren’t aware of the new PD medications that have become available, including several that were released in 2015.
Here are some facts and findings about the latest PD medications.
Levodopa: The Most Effective Drug For Treating Parkinsons
Levodopa, also known as L-DOPA, has long been, and continues to be, the most effective drug in treating Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Most people with Parkinson’s disease will take this drug at some point. There are side effects that can occur with Levodopa including nausea, fatigue and orthostatic hypotension. Often these side effects can be successfully treated so that Levodopa can be tolerated better. In addition, as the disease progresses and the brain has less ability to produce and process dopamine, dyskinesias, or involuntary movements can develop from Levodopa.
Natural Remedies And Treatments For Parkinsons Finalnote
So there you have our top 10 natural remedies andtreatments for reversing Parkinson’s disease. We believe this is one of the most informative andthorough health articles on this disease you’ll find anywhere on the internet. Ifyou follow these 10 tips to-the-letter and continue to use them consistently,we guarantee that in 3-6 months’ time you will be truly astounded at themiraculous level of improvement you’ll see. In 12 months’ time you will scarcely recognize yourself! . But of course, you must stickwith them and follow through with each remedy every day if you want them towork. We sincerely hope you do.
Good luck and best wishes.
P.S. Because Parkinson’s is closely linked to Alzheimer’s disease and actually goes under the “dementia umbrella”, we recommend you take the time to read our “Powerful Natural Remedies for Dementia and Alzheimer’s” article for a more complete and comprehensive understanding on the causes and treatments for these diseases. You can click on the link below to go there…
What Future Medications May Be Available For Parkinsons
There are numerous studies investigating new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
There has been new information about the role of autoimmunity and T-cells in the development of Parkinson’s disease, possibly opening the door to a role for biologics.
Stem cells are also being investigated as a treatment option for Parkinson’s disease.
Searching To Control Symptoms: New Methods Of Delivery
In recent months, symptomatic treatment of PD has had some new developments as well. A new drug for PD, rotigotine, has been introduced in Europe and elsewhere as Neupro. This compound is a dopaminergic agonist, a class of drugs that also includes drugs that have been available for many years in the U.S., including Mirapex, Requip, and Permax . Neupro is unique in how it is delivered: it is absorbed through the skin and so has been marketed as a transdermal patch with continuous delivery over 24 hours. So far, experience with Neupro suggests that it is effective and well tolerated. However, whether this drug or its unique mode of delivery will offer a significant advantage over currently marketed medications of the same class still remains to be learned.
PD still presents many challenges for the medications of the future. Among the unmet needs are ways to reverse the problem of imbalance, especially falling backward. The flexed posture of PD, swallowing and speech difficulties, and situation-specific “freezing” are all challenges for improved drug therapy. Scientists have not yet determined where in the brain and what types of biochemical disturbance underlie these problems.
Naturaltreatment For Parkinsons #6 Magnesium & Iodine:
Magnesium is vital for the health of the entire nervoussystem, especially the protective layer that surrounds the nerves . Magnesiumis also essential for the production of dopamine and helps protect dopaminergicneurons in the substantia nigra from degeneration. In addition to this, new evidence is showing that low levels of magnesium in the brain causes a build-up ofheavy metals – a major factor in the development of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s,epilepsy and MS. In a recent trial, 30 epileptics were given 450 mg ofmagnesium daily and this successfully controlled their seizures. Ifmagnesium can help epilepsy patients, it can certainly help Parkinson’s sufferers. Worldrenowned magnesium expert and author, Dr Carolyn Dean, has both Parkinson’s andAlzheimer’s disease in her “top 55 health conditions caused by amagnesium deficiency” list and says that magnesium is 100% essential for the preventionand treatment of both of these diseases… Dr Carolyn Dean Interview
In regards to iodine, well-known researcher and author,Dr James Howenstein, says…
“Iodineis found in large quantities in the brain and the ciliary body of the eye. A lackof iodine may be involved in the production of Parkinson’s disease andglaucoma.”
“Inthe brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brainthat has been associated with Parkinson’s disease.”
David Brownstein M.D. 9
Best Sources of Magnesium and Iodine…
-What You’ll Need
1 cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes
1 cup of Distilled Water
Natural Remedy For Parkinsons #4 Chlorella And Borax:
If you have a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s orAlzheimer’s, the importance of removing heavy metals from the body – especiallyfrom the brain and nervous system – cannot be overstated. Heavy metalsaccumulate in the brain and nervous system at a rapid rate and cause damage tothe neurological pathways and “brain inflammation”. Fluoride is one ofthe worst, however, mercury, lead, aluminium and cadmium are also extremely dangerous.Chlorella and borax not only remove these heavy metals completely, theycontinue to prevent further toxic build-ups.
Chlorella is a miracle blue-green algae and one of themost powerful detoxifiers and chelators yet discovered. Whenit’s combined with cilantro, its benefits are enhancedsignificantly. A Russian study found that chlorella, combined with cilantro,was able to remove all heavy metals from the body, including fluoride and mercury,with no adverse or harmful side effects. You can purchase chlorellain powdered form online or from most health food stores. Just make sure you buythe Broken Cell Wall Chlorella as this is the strongest and most bio-available.For dosage recommendations, simply follow the directions on the container.
Naturalremedy For Parkinsons #10 Foods You Must Avoid
There are certain foods that are known to worsen thesymptoms of Parkinson’s and certain foods that are known to help. Healthadvocate, Dr Joseph Mercola, says that Parkinson’s disease is primarily relatedto poor lifestyle choices, particularly poor dietary habits. Increasing yourbody’s natural dopamine levels is also extremely important in your fight againstPD.
The foods and liquids you should be eating and drinkingmore of to help you along include:
· Clean Filtered Water – Clean filtered water helpsto flush toxins from the body and hydrate the cells .Try and aim to drink at least two liters of water every day, and under nocircumstances drink tap water! Tap water is laced with toxic fluoride and otherchemicals and heavy metals so NEVER drink it. Buy yourself a good quality waterfilter. It’s worth the investment.
· Whole Foods and Raw Foods – Eat plenty oforganic mixed berries, green leafy vegetables, liver , fish,eggs, nuts and seeds such as chia and flaxseeds, along with plenty of herbs andspices. When it comes to buying any of these remember fresh is alwaysbest.
· Consume Lots of Probiotics – Good gutbacteria are needed for strong immunity and healthy digestive function, whichin turn produces healthy brain and nerve function. You can learn how to makeyour own probiotic rich foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt here…Cultures for Health.
The foods you should be avoiding or not eating at allinclude:
Home Remedyfor Parkinsons #5 Vitamin D & Vitamin E:
Inflammation and low immunity are two powerful factorsthat contribute to the development and worsening of Parkinson’s disease. Bothvitamin D and vitamin E are strong anti-inflammatories and immune boosters. VitaminD & E also protect our brain cells and can even help damaged neurons regenerate. A deficiency of these key vitamins has also been linked to brain difficultiessuch as poor memory and recall attainability.
In regards to PD, a study of 157 Parkinson’s patientsfound that the vast majority of them had severe to chronic vitamin Ddeficiencies. The findings, published in the Archives of Neurology in March of 2011, revealed a strong linkbetween inadequate levels of vitamin D and the onset of early Parkinson’sdisease.4
Back in 2002, another study was published in the Archives of Neurology which tracked themental decline of 3,000 men and women diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over a period of 7 years. The study found the participants whose supplemental vitamin E intakewas higher experienced a 36% reduction in theseverity of their symptoms compared to the rest of the group. Another study, whichappeared in the Lancet Neurology onlinemagazine in 2005, showed that vitamin E may actually prevent Parkinson’sdisease from developing in the first place! 8
Where to Get Your Vitamin D and Vitamin E From?
When A Rapid Drop In Blood Pressure Leads To Falls
Many Parkinson’s patients have trouble with balance, particularly a sense of dizziness when standing up. This is caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure when moving from a sitting to a standing position. This blood pressure drop affects about 18 percent of people with Parkinson’s because their autonomic nervous system—which controls involuntary functions such as heart rate and breathing—fails to release enough norepinephrine, a signalling chemical in the brain.
Researchers administered the drug droxidopa , which the body converts into norepinephrine, and placebos to 225 Parkinson’s patients in randomized trials. After one week, those taking droxidopa had a two-fold decrease in dizziness and lightheadedness, which translated into fewer falls. After 10 weeks, patients taking droxidopa saw an even greater decrease in their likelihood of falling.
Chelsea Therapeutics, which owns the rights to droxidopa, supported the research after it was accepted for review by the FDA in November of 2011, according to their website.
How Could Stem Cells Help People With Parkinson’s
Stem cells are the parent cells of all tissues in the body. This means they can turn into any type of cell. The hope is that they will eventually be able to make these cells into specific types of cells, like dopamine-producing neurons, that can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. However, there are concerns that patients may have the same risk of increased involuntary movements as those who undergo fetal cell transplantation. And, like fetal cell transplantation, stem cell therapy is surrounded by moral and ethical controversy.
Types Of Medications To Treat Parkinsons Disease
Medications in the research pipeline can be divided into two main categories: those that treat the symptoms of PD and those that are disease modifying . Of note, all medications currently available for PD are symptomatic treatments. There is no medication at this time that can affect the progression of the disease. Of course, the PD research community is extremely eager to find a medication that is disease modifying or neuroprotective . There have been many attempts over the past number of years to demonstrate through clinical trials that particular compounds have neuroprotective effects but, to date, these attempts have not been successful.
If you are interested in getting involved in a clinical trial, Clinicaltrials.gov is a database of all clinical trials for all diseases worldwide. When a clinical trial is registered with the site, it is assigned a unique number called the National Clinical Trial number or NCT number. Where available, I will provide the NCT number for each clinical trial that I reference in case you are interested in learning more.
Drugs For Parkinsons: The Shocking Side Effects July 2, 2015
There are 2 main categories of drugs for Parkinson’s Disease, and both have powerful side effects: levodopa, which makes many patients shaky with dyskinesia, and dopamine agonists, which can make turn people into gamblers, sex addicts or hit them with ‘sleep attacks’— including when they’re driving. This is the story of DA.
At least 1 million people in the US and an estimated 10 million worldwide live with Parkinson’s, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disorder . Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the central nervous system, is caused by a degeneration of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain that produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine, commonly known for it’s role in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure center, is partly responsible for starting a circuit of messages that coordinate normal movement.
In the absence of dopamine, the neurons — called dopamine receptors— in the brain’s striatum are not adequately stimulated. In simple language, as a person’s brain slowly stops producing dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate his or her movements, body, and emotions. The result is impaired movement with tremors, slowness, stiffness or balance problems. Lesser known symptoms include depression, apathy and dementia.
Article continues below
Impulse Control Disorders Up Close And Personal Michael J. Fox and people from answer questions about Parkinson’s in a Google Hangout
Interestingly, Daniel Weintraub, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, says that ICDs are most likely to manifest in men as gambling and hyper sexuality, whereas in women it expresses as shopping and overeating.
Needless to say, these compulsive behaviors can have serious repercussions.
“I’ve seen marriages break up and lives ruined as a result of dopamine agonists,” says Howard Weiss, director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Programs at the LifeBridge Health Brain & Spine Institute in Baltimore. “I’ve had at least three patients who have lost their homes because of bankruptcy after taking the drugs. It sounds like a joke, but it’s not.”
What’s more, ICDs are shockingly common. Weintraub cites a study that demonstrated about 14% of people with PD experience 1of 4 of the typical ICD behaviors. He says his own guess is more like 17% to 20%, perhaps even 25%.
The reason that ICD might be even more prevalent than statistics show lies in the fact that they can easily slip under a doctor’s radar. Many patients aren’t forthcoming about the symptoms, and doctors may not take the time to ask the right questions.
“Most doctors have no idea how to diagnose ICDs,” says Weiss, “and most patients are in the dark.”