Slowing The Spread Of Alpha Synuclein Pathology
There is a mantra that disease modifying treatments must be initiated early if they are to be of any use in preventing disease progression. This is because post mortem specimens suggest that> 50% of SNc dopaminergic neurons are already lost by the time that patients present with the classical motor features of the disease . Given that there are many effective symptomatic treatments to help the motor, dopaminergic deficits in PD, it can be argued that the important unmet needs in PD relate to cognitive, speech, gait and balance difficulties and autonomic failure. In this case any treatment that prevented onset/worsening of these symptoms, would be highly relevant even in patients with established motor PD, and would be addressing the major challenges that patients face in its long-term management. From another perspective, since many of these non-motor features of PD may precede the onset of motor symptoms, we may have an even earlier window to start therapy, and have an opportunity to slow or stop the development of even the first motor symptoms of PD.
Beyond this, the companies will have to look carefully at the emerging data to decide whether a strategy of enrichment might be advantageous, and/or whether to risk extending trial eligibility to patients with more established disease than those currently being recruited.
What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
How To Slow Parkinsons Disease
It begins with trembling or shaking, usually in the fingers of one hand. Over time the tremor worsens, and other symptoms such as slow movements, muscle rigidity, and difficulty walking appear. Patients with Parkinsons disease are eventually given prescriptions for l-dopa and other drugs, and they may be offered deep brain electrical stimulation, stem-cell or gene therapy somewhere down the road. But the one thing they want most, hope for improvement, they do not get.
Until now. Researchers have discovered that coenzyme Q10 and creatine, nutritional supplements that are sold in health food stores, offer something rare to those who suffer with Parkinsons disease: hope.
Parkinsons Disease and Free Radical Damage
Parkinsons disease is characterized by a sharp decline in dopamine, a key neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain and affects movement. This decline is caused by the destruction of neurons, or brain cells, that produce dopamine. As dopamine levels fall, other neurons compensate and become overactive, which further contributes to the symptoms of the disease.
Nobody knows why the dopamine-producing neurons die. A genetic predisposition has been identified, as has a link to certain environmental toxins. Another suspect, which is a factor in many degenerative diseases, is free radical damage. Levels of some free radical fighting antioxidants are known to be low in patients with Parkinsons, especially in the dopamine-generating neurons.
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Does Exercise Help Slow Down The Progression Of Parkinsons Disease
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What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disease that affects your ability to control movement. The disease usually starts out slowly and worsens over time. If you have Parkinsons disease, you may shake, have muscle stiffness, and have trouble walking and maintaining your balance and coordination. As the disease worsens, you may have trouble talking, sleeping, have mental and memory problems, experience behavioral changes and have other symptoms.
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How Bradykinesia May Appear
Patients with PD experience symptoms in varying severities, and with the progression of the disease, the severity of the symptoms changes over time. Bradykinesia may show up in a variety of ways, including:
- Difficulty with repetitive movements, like tapping a finger
- Trouble with everyday functions, like dressing themselves, cutting their food, or brushing their teeth
- Reduced facial expressions 1,2
Treating Bradykinesia In Parkinsons Disease
Currently, no cure exists for PD, and there are no known treatments to stop or slow the progression of the disease. Treatments are available that help manage the symptoms and may include medications, surgery , and complementary or alternative medicine.
Most patients with PD are started on medication to help manage their symptoms. Initial therapy is usually levodopa , dopamine agonists, and/or monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors. The combination of levodopa and carbidopa is the most effective treatment available for the management of motor symptoms of PD. However, it can cause a side effect known as dyskinesia, which are abnormal involuntary movements. Dopamine agonists are less effective on the motor symptoms of PD but have a lower rate of causing dyskinesia, although they have other side effects. MAO-B inhibitors are less effective than levodopa or dopamine agonists, however they have fewer side effects. Choice of therapy should be customized to the individual patient with an understanding of the risks and benefits of each class of medication.5
In addition to medication, physical therapy can help with muscle cramps, and regular exercise and stretching are beneficial to strengthen muscles and maintain flexibility. Assistive devices such as walkers or canes can be helpful.
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Slowing Down The Progression Of Parkinsons Disease
We have all heard that keeping active is good for you and has immediate benefits for your health both short-term and long-term. Regular activity reduces the risk of developing some cancers, cardiovascular disease, as well as obesity and the health issues associated with this. What you may not have heard is regular exercise has also shown to slow the progression of Parkinsons disease.
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disease which targets and progressively damages nerve cells in a particular area of the brain over a long period of time. These nerve cells are very important for their role in producing a chemical called Dopamine. Without this chemical, the brain is not able to control normal bodily movement and the typical presentation of Parkinsons beings to show in the individual. This can range from balance issues, difficulty with memory and smell, as well as the well-known involuntary shaking. The cause of Parkinsons is still unclear, however, there is thought to be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
The link between exercise and reducing Parkinsons progression is believed to be focused on a particular protein known as the DJ-1 gene. As we all become more and more sedentary in our day-to-day lives, scientists have noticed an increase of a normal neural protein alpha-synuclein, which is important for relaying messages and normal brain function. However, in excessive clumps this could potentially be an issue.
How Does Parkinsons Disease Affect The Brain
The part of the brain that is affected is called the basal ganglia, which functions like the autopilot of your brain, facilitating subconscious movements. Because PD causes the brain cells in this deep circuitry to deteriorate, patients natural movements become slow and stiff. Many patients describe feeling as if they had aged overnight.
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How Does Parkinsons Progress
Parkinsons is a chronic and slowly progressive disorder. This means that symptoms normally appear slowly and develop gradually over time. The stage at which symptoms appear, speed at which they progress and the severity of those symptoms will vary from person to person. The most important point is that Parkinsons affects everyone differently.
There are a wide range of symptoms, but it is highly unlikely that you will experience every possible symptom. Some of the early symptoms of Parkinsons include handwriting changes, reduced sense of smell, tiredness and constipation. As Parkinsons progresses symptoms will change over time, and new symptoms will emerge. It can take many years for symptoms to progress to a point where they cause problems.
Ultimately symptoms will begin to impact on your day to day life. Many symptoms are related to physical movement, so you may find that walking becomes difficult. You may also experience non-movement symptoms such as mood changes, disrupted sleep or difficulty communicating. As these symptoms worsen it may become difficult to manage all of your daily activities.
Currently, there is no known way to slow the progression of Parkinsons. However, medications and other treatments can help to effectively manage your symptoms. To ensure the effectiveness of medications, they will need to be reviewed regularly by your specialist or doctor.
What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease
Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinsons disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.
Currently, you and your healthcare teams efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinsons disease can live fulfilling lives.
The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:
- Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
- Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
- Using a naturally occurring human protein glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.
Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.
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Does Parkinsons Affect Voice
The voice is affected too, because the voice box is ultimately controlled by the basal ganglia as well. Thus the voice becomes soft, slurred and hushed. Others may comment that the patient is mumbling. The mumbling goes away temporarily once the patient becomes aware of it but soon returns to the soft, slurred state.
This temporary improvement when attention is paid is true of many of the motor symptoms of PD because the condition primarily affects subconscious movements, and does not directly affect nerve or muscle control at the most basic level. Thus, conscious awareness can override the slowness to a certain extent. This fact is one reason why physical therapy and physical activity are so useful and necessary in treating PD.
- Slowness of walking and other movements
- Trouble with dexterity
- Reduced arm swing or stride length
- Delayed reactions physically
- Reduced facial reactions
- Softer or slurred speech
- Tremor in one or both limbs with the limb at rest
- Sometimes also tremor with holding a posture or with actions
- Usually asymmetric
Imbalance, loss of balance reflexes
- May fall backwards
Parkinsons Disease Progression Slowed Down By Experimental Diabetes Drug
Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onDecember 9, 2016
Parkinsons disease progression can be slowed down by experimental diabetes drug. The researchers studied a drug that binds to the peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor gamma agonist medications, such as GZT drugs, which has been shown to offer protection for nerve cells in animal models of Parkinsons disease. PPARy regulates how the body uses fats and sugars. This type of medication is often used in diabetics with high blood sugar levels.
Although studies have been conducted on animals, it is unknown if this class of drugs offers the same benefits in humans. The researchers then conducted data on a group of diabetics to determine an association between the drug and Parkinsons disease.
The researchers identified 44,597 patients with diabetes. Some were exposed to GTZ drugs and matched with other participants on other diabetic drugs. The participants were followed until the end of the study or until the development of Parkinsons disease. During the study, 175 GTZ users and 517 non-GTZ users developed Parkinsons disease. Rates of Parkinsons disease among GTZ users were 6.4 per 10,000, compared to 8.8 per 10,000 among non-users.
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A Blessing And A Curse
Having been an athlete most of my life tennis player, weight trainer, roller-skater, race walker, dancer, and cyclist I was very much in tune with my body and in touch with its capabilities. This has been both a blessing and a curse. The discipline to work out, along with the muscle memory I have built over the years, is serving me well in fighting PD. However, I am also very aware of how much ability I have lost. Before PD, my balance was excellent. Now it is probably closer to what someone my age has now. However, my frustration level is so high since I still expect to be able to accomplish what once came so naturally to me.
Where I was once strong, fluid, and graceful, I now feel weak, inflexible, rigid, and non-rhythmic. Most people who look at me see no signs of PD. However, I know what I have lost, and for me, that loss is huge.
Although I sometimes wish I had never been an athlete , I do accept that my years of training and athletics will be my saving grace in fighting this disease.
A Way To Slow Parkinson’s
Blocking Specific Form of a Brain Chemical Could Slow Brain Cell Loss, Researchers Find
In the animal model, the researchers found they could slow the death of affected brain cells by about half by blocking the chemical, called soluble TNF.
The finding offers a target for new drugs that could slow the progression of the debilitating and deadly disease. And it may apply to Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease as well, suggest University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers Melissa K. McCoy, MalÃº G. Tansey, PhD, and colleagues.
The researchers report their study in the Sept. 13 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
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Why Does Parkinsons Disease Cause Bradykinesia
PD damages many areas of the brain. Scientists believe that PDs effects on the basal ganglia and the cortex of the brain cause bradykinesia. The basal ganglia are a group of neurons located deep in the brain that process information on movement and play an important role in planning actions to achieve specific goals, such as using hands to catch a ball. The basal ganglia work in cooperation with the cortex to signal and activate muscles. As PD progresses, the impulses from the basal ganglia are insufficient to prepare and execute the commands to move. Several additional factors that contribute to bradykinesia in people with PD include muscle weakness, rigidity, tremor, movement variability , and slowing of thought.3,4
Why Exercise Can Help Delay The Onset Of Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease affects more than a million people in the United States alone, and it is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the country. It is also the most common of movement disorders, which also include neurological disorders like Dystonia, Huntingtons disease, Tourettes syndrome, and others. In fact, there are 60,000 new patients diagnosed with PD each year, and men are one and a half times more likely to develop the disease than women.
PD affects both motor and non-motor related faculties and could include symptoms such as tremors, limb rigidity, gait and balance difficulties, slowness of movement, depression, constipation, sleep issues, and cognitive impairment. Though these symptoms may not be readily apparent, they develop and progress as the disease spreads.
Experts remain unsure exactly what causes Parkinsons a combination of environmental and genetic factors seems to be at play but the good news is that there are ways to slow its onset and protect against its development. One helpful method is to maintain good health through a balanced diet high in fiber and antioxidant-rich foods . Other preventative measures include getting proper sleep, minimizing stress, limiting exposure to toxins, and avoiding head injuries.
Research shows that something else is also promising in preventing and delaying the onset of PD: regular exercise.
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How Often Do Patients Need To Exercise To Benefit
Patients need to engage in at least 150 minutes of exercise each week to see an impact. In a paper published in JAMA Neurology, researchers were able to delay the progression of PD for six months through exercise alone, splitting exercise into three sessions per week, with each session increasing the participants heart rate to a maximum of 80-85%.
Dementia With Lewy Bodies
- Dementia with Lewy bodies is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder in which abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein build up in multiple areas of the brain.
- DLB first causes progressive problems with memory and fluctuations in thinking, as well as hallucinations. These symptoms are joined later in the course of the disease by parkinsonism with slowness, stiffness and other symptoms similar to PD.
- While the same abnormal protein is found in the brains of those with PD, when individuals with PD develop memory and thinking problems it tends to occur later in the course of their disease.
- There are no specific treatments for DLB. Treatment focuses on symptoms.
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