Texas A&m Agrilife Researchers Shed Light On Neurotoxicity In The Disorder
More than 10 million people worldwide have Parkinsons disease, which is progressively debilitating and, at present, incurable. Now, Texas A&M AgriLife researchers have found a new way to study the disorders progression on a molecular level. The team has also obtained new clues toward a treatment. ;
For continued work on the project, the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences has given the Outstanding Investigator Award and $1.4 million in funding to Dmitry Kurouski, Ph.D., assistant professor in the;Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
What Is The Trend Over Time In The Prevalence And Incidence Of Parkinsonism In Canada
Between 20042005 and 20132014, the number of Canadians living with diagnosed parkinsonism increased from approximately 61,000 to 84,000, while the number of Canadians newly diagnosed increased from approximately 8,000 to 10,000. However, during the same period, there was no significant change in the age-standardized prevalence proportion, which remained at 0.4%, or the incidence rate, which went from 51.6 per 100,000 to 52.6 per 100,000. The sex differential also remained constant over time for both indicators .
Figure 3: Age-standardized prevalence and incidence of diagnosed parkinsonism, including Parkinsons disease, among Canadians aged 40 years and older, by sex, 20042005 to 20132014
Notes: Age-standardized estimates to the 2011 Canadian population. The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values which is likely to include the true value 19 times out of 20. The 95% confidence intervals of the prevalence estimates are too small to be illustrated.Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories, July 2017.
Michael J Fox’s History With Parkinson’s Disease Explained
Ask any child of the ’80s about Michael J. Fox, and they’ll probably bring up Alex P. Keaton and Marty McFly . Even though Marty was a high school student, Fox was 28 years old when “Back to the Future Part III” hit theaters in 1990. A year later, he was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease, according to the;Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research’s website.
For the next 30 years, Fox came to terms with the disease, moving from hiding it and diving full force into his work to managing it openly by starting a foundation to search for a cure, according to the foundation’s site. His optimism was tested over the years and unlike Marty McFly, Fox doesn’t have a flying DeLorean that allows him to rewrite the past to create his ideal future. While the actor might see his future differently than he once did, he surely hasn’t given up on it. Here’s a look at his history with Parkinson’s disease.
Don’t Miss: Life Expectancy Of Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
What Genes Are Linked To Parkinsons Disease
Several genes have been definitively linked to PD:
- SNCA. This gene, which makes the protein alpha-synuclein, was the first gene identified to be associated with Parkinsons. Research findings by the National Institutes of Health and other institutions prompted studies of the role of alpha-synuclein in PD, which led to the discovery that Lewy bodies seen in all cases of PD contain clumps of alpha-synuclein. This discovery revealed the link between hereditary and sporadic forms of the disease.
- LRRK2. Mutations in LRRK2 were originally identified in several English and Basque families as a cause of a late-onset PD. Subsequent studies have identified mutations of this gene in other families with PD as well as in a small percentage of people with apparently sporadic PD. LRRK2 mutations are a major cause of PD in North Africa and the Middle East.
- DJ-1. This gene normally helps regulate gene activity and protect cells from oxidative stress and can cause rare, early forms of PD.
- PRKN . The parkin gene is translated into a protein that normally helps cells break down and recycle proteins.
- PINK1. PINK1 codes for a protein active in mitochondria. Mutations in this gene appear to increase susceptibility to cellular stress. PINK1 has been linked to early forms of PD.
- GBA . Mutations in GBA cause Gaucher disease , but different changes in this gene are associated with an increased risk for Parkinsons disease as well.
Ai Algorithm By Google Mayo Can Improve Brain Stimulation Devices
A new type of artificial intelligence algorithm, developed by the Mayo Clinic and the Google Research Brain Team, can potentially pave the way toward more directed brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinsons disease and other movement-related disorders. According to researchers, this algorithm can more accurately determine
Recommended Reading: Life Expectancy With Parkinson’s
Highlights From The Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System
Parkinsonism, including Parkinsons disease, can have significant impacts for those affected, their caregivers, and society. With a growing and aging population, it is estimated that the number of Canadians living with parkinsonism will double between 2011 and 2031 and that the incidence will increase by 50%.Footnote 1
The Public Health Agency of Canada , in collaboration with all Canadian provinces and territories, conducts national surveillance of parkinsonism to support the planning and evaluation of related policies, programs, and services. This fact sheet presents an overview of the data on diagnosed parkinsonism, including Parkinsons disease, from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System .
Do Symptoms Get Worse
PD does not affect everyone the same way. The rate of progression and the particular symptoms differ among individuals.
PD symptoms typically begin on one side of the body. However, the disease eventually affects both sides, although symptoms are often less severe on one side than on the other.
Early symptoms of PD may be subtle and occur gradually. Affected people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of a chair. Activities may take longer to complete than in the past. Muscles stiffen and movement may be slower. The persons face may lack expression and animation . People may notice that they speak too softly or with hesitation, or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small. This very early period may last a long time before the more classical and obvious motor symptoms appear.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may begin to interfere with daily activities. Affected individuals may not be able to hold utensils steady or they may find that the shaking makes reading a newspaper difficult.
People with PD often develop a so-called parkinsonian gait that includes a tendency to lean forward, taking small quick steps as if hurrying , and reduced swinging in one or both arms. They may have trouble initiating movement , and they may stop suddenly as they walk .
Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Donations In Memory Of
Individualized Presentation: A Hallmark Of Parkinsons
If you have met a person with Parkinsons, then you have seen just one patient with Parkinsons. I heard a medical doctor say this at a Parkinsons disease support group meeting and presentation several years ago. After attending four different PD support groups, the truth of individualized presentation was
Antioxidant Urate Fails To Slow Early Disease Progression
The antioxidant urate failed to slow Parkinsons disease progression in newly diagnosed patients over two years, according to data from a Phase 3 clinical trial. While our study did not rule out a protective effect of urate in Parkinsons, it clearly showed that increasing urate did not slow disease
Read Also: Parkinson’s Disease Charity Donations
Mjff Offers Free Resources About Off Time
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has released a new suite of free educational resources that;focuses on so-called off periods when Parkinsons disease symptoms reappear or worsen as medications wear off. These new resources, available at michaeljfox.org/off, offer patients and their families tips for managing off time,
The Challenges Of Parkinson’s & How Kiziks Help
Sometimes Parkinsons disease can complicate the basic daily activities a person living with Parkinsons once did easily, like bathing, dressing, eating, sleeping and even walking. Tremors, rigidity, and unbalance that often come with Parkinson’s can feel like a setback to a “normal” life. The truth is that the management of these symptoms is no simple task, that’s why we want to help remove one of the challenges they present.
You May Like: Can Adderall Cause Parkinson’s
How Can People Cope With Parkinson’s Disease
While PD usually progresses slowly, eventually daily routines may be affectedfrom socializing with friends to earning a living and taking care of a home. These changes can be difficult to accept. Support groups can help people cope with the diseases emotional impact. These groups also can provide valuable information, advice, and experience to help people with PD, their families, and their caregivers deal with a wide range of issues, including locating doctors familiar with the disease and coping with physical limitations. A list of national organizations that can help people locate support groups in their communities appears at the end of this information. Individual or family counseling may also help people find ways to cope with PD.
People with PD may also benefit from being proactive and finding out as much as possible about the disease in order to alleviate fear of the unknown and to take a positive role in maintaining their health. Many people with PD continue to work either full- or part-time, although they may need to adjust their schedule and working environment to accommodate their symptoms.
Whats New In Parkinsons: September 2020
Fall has arrived with cooler temperatures and a wealth of new discoveries about Parkinsons. Weve rounded up some of the most important articles, podcasts, research, and living well stories that hit the news this month for you to check out. Let us know if we missed anything important. Happy reading!
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
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.
In Harmony: Navigating Relationships And Parkinsons
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many of us to realize how much relationships, interactions with others, and social support mean to us. We as humans were created to be social. For people with Parkinsons disease and other chronic illnesses, the isolation, anxiety, and depression may feel even greater. During
Also Check: Late Stage Parkinson’s Symptoms
How Parkinsons Disease Affects The Brain
What makes Parkinsons disease distinctive from other movement disorders is that cell loss occurs in a very specific region of the brain called the substantia nigra . The nerve cells, or neurons, in this region actually appear dark under a microscope .
Those dark neurons produce a specific type of neurotransmitter called dopamine. The neurotransmitter dopamine helps to regulate movement. This loss of dopamine is the reason that many treatments for Parkinsons Disease are intended to increase dopamine levels in the brain. Future research will hopefully tell us more about alpha-synuclein. Learn more about APDA research initiatives here.
In addition to decreases in dopamine and the cells that make dopamine, you might also read or hear about alpha-synuclein . We do not yet know what this protein does in the healthy brain, but in Parkinsons disease it clumps up in what are called Lewy bodies. Researchers believe that alphasynuclein build-up contributes to the cause of Parkinsons disease and that it may be possible to develop new treatments based on this idea.
An Art Exhibition In Santa Fe
UNSEEN an International Juried Exhibition of Book Arts
Lauras book features 26 women with Parkinsons, yours truly included, as she explores her journey with Parkinsons.;Included are an abecedarian or ABC listing of PD symptoms, and the greatest fears from the women in the book. All gross proceeds from the sale of this deluxe limited-edition artist book will be donated to organizations supporting women with Parkinsons Disease.
Many of the women featured in the book participate in our Sunday Mornings with Twitchy Woman series of webinars.; Thank you Laura for including me in this terrific group of women.
If you happen to be in Santa Fe on October 9, Laura will be speaking about the book at 2:00 PM that day. If not, you can see her on the curators talk/video walk through on opening day.
Read Also: Does Sam Waterston Have Parkinson
Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This;leads to a reduction;in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use the knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. NINDS conducts and supports three types of research: basicscientific discoveries in the lab, clinicaldeveloping and studying therapeutic approaches to Parkinsons disease, and translationalfocused on tools and resources that speed the development of therapeutics into practice. The goals of NINDS-supported research on Parkinsons disease are to better understand and diagnose PD, develop new treatments, and ultimately, prevent PD. NINDS also supports training for the next generation of PD researchers and clinicians and serves as an important source of information for people with PD and their families.
Recommended Reading: End Stages Parkinsons
His Symptoms Began Subtly
Did Michael J. Fox have any warning that he had Parkinson’s disease? Technically, yes. He woke up one morning to notice his pinkie shaking, the;Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico;detailed. And while fingers can twitch for a whole host of reasons, even small tremors can hint at larger health issues.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s disease occurs in five stages. While symptoms can vary from person to person, tremors, and issues with walking, posture, and making facial expressions are all common signs of stage one. These symptoms usually worsen by stage two and are accompanied by rigidity. By stage three, an individual with Parkinson’s may experience problems with balance and may have difficulty with everyday tasks like eating. In stage four, that same individual may not be able to walk without assistance and loses their independence. And by stage five, a wheelchair is typically required, as well as round-the-clock care.
In addition to these symptoms, Parkinson’s can impact a person’s memory, as Fox conveyed in an interview with People;magazine. “My short-term memory is shot,” Fox reflected in 2020, adding “I always had a real proficiency for lines and memorization. And I had some extreme situations where the last couple of jobs I did were actually really word-heavy parts. I struggled during both of them.”
Homeostasis And Parkinsons: Understanding The 2nd Dopamine Center
In my book Possibilities with Parkinsons: A Fresh Look, the insular cortex is described as the second dopamine center. Researchers surmise that the second dopamine center contributes to the nonmotor symptoms associated with the disease and its individualistic presentation. The second dopamine center is largely responsible for
Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
Whats New In Parkinsons
; Parkinsons disease affects nearly one million people in the U.S. and 4,000 of them live in Brevard. For Parkinsons patients and their family members, new information brings hope and greater understanding of the progressive disease of the nervous system, which chiefly affects middle-aged and older people. The public is invited to join One Senior Place in Viera at 10 AM on Wednesday, September 8 when they present Whats New in Parkinsons?; The marketplace of senior resources at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road will welcome Dr. Anwar Ahmed, Medical Director of Neurology for AdventHealth in Winter Park, for a discussion on the latest research, medication and treatments for Parkinsons disease. To obtain a Zoom link or confirm in-person attendance, call One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at 321-751-6771.
Barbara Fradkin is the Director of One Senior Place in Viera, a source of free onsite advice, education and events.; Whats New in Parkinsons? is co-presented by the Brevard Parkinsons Support Group.
Research is crucial to patients with Parkinsons disease, said Fradkin. New treatments are constantly being developed that can give real hope to those suffering with the disease. Dr. Ahmed will discuss the latest research and the best treatments currently in use. People newly diagnosed with Parkinsons and those keeping up with advancements will enjoy this talk.
# # #
A Niche Therapy Emerges
Rapidly acting abortive agents have emerged as a niche therapy for Parkinsons disease, said Thomas L. Davis, MD, Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The purpose of these drugs is to reduce motor fluctuations and unpredictable off periods that sometimes limit patients social activities. The only approved treatment of this kind is an autoinjector that delivers apomorphine subcutaneously. The device allows the patient to adjust the dose and delivers it reliably. Many patients dislike giving themselves injections, however.
Thomas L. Davis, MD
Several other rapidly acting abortive agents under investigation may soon become available. A sublingual formulation of apomorphine is currently in phase III trials. These self-dissolving strips avoid the potential inconvenience of self-injection, but one challenge is the possibility that patients may swallow the strips before they dissolve fully. These formulations also do not permit fine control of the dose. The phase III trials are almost complete, and this drug could be available in the near future, said Dr. Davis.
Don’t Miss: Severe Hip Pain Parkinson’s