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Category Archives: Parkinson’s Treatment

Parkinson Disease Treatment & Management: Approach …

Posted: December 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

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Parkinson Disease Treatment & Management: Approach …

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Parkinson’s Foundation: Better Lives. Together.

Posted: December 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

With medical marijuana now legalized in 29 states and Washington, D.C., it is obvious that there is strong interest in its therapeutic properties. Researchers are testing marijuana, which is also called cannabis, as a treatment for many illnesses and diseases, including neurological conditions, with Parkinson’s disease (PD) high on the list. But despite several clinical studies, it has not been demonstrated that cannabis can directly benefit people with PD.

The Science Behind Marijuana

What is the science and pharmacology behind marijuana, and can it be used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms?

Theendocannabinoid systemis located in the brain and made up ofcannabinoid receptors(a receptor is molecular switch on the outside of a cell that makes something happen inside a cell when activated) that are linked toneurons(brain cells) that regulate thinking and some body functions.

Researchers began to show enthusiasm to study cannabis in relation to PD after people with PD gave anecdotal reports and posted on social media as to how cannabis allegedly reduced their tremors. Some researchers think that cannabis might be neuroprotective saving neurons from damage caused by PD.

Cannabinoids(the drug molecules in marijuana) have also been studied for use in treating other symptoms, like bradykinesia (slowness caused by PD) and dyskinesia (excess movement caused by levodopa). Despite some promising preclinical findings, researchers have not found any meaningful or conclusive benefits of cannabis for people with PD.

Researchers issue caution for people with PD who use cannabis because of its effect on thinking. PD can impair the executive function the ability to make plans and limit risky behavior. People with a medical condition that impairs executive function should be cautious about using any medication that can compound this effect.

The Pharmacology of Cannabis

Marijuana contains more than 100 neuroactive chemicals that work with two types of cannabinoid receptors,type 1 (CB1)located in the brain andtype 2 (CB2)located in the brain and peripheral immune system. Cannabinoidshave powerful, indirect effects on these receptors, but researchers are unsure how. People with PD have less CB1 receptors than people who do not have PD. A boost to the CB1 receptor through an agonist, like marijuana, can improve tremors and may alleviate dyskinesia. Similarly, the other receptor, CB2, is also being studied to determine if it can modify the disease or provide neuroprotective benefits. However, a unified hypothesis does not currently exist for either receptor because there is too much conflicting data on the effectiveness of cannabinoidsand these receptors.

Cannabis can contain two different types of molecules that interact with cannabinoid receptors: agonists and antagonists. Anagonistis a drug that attaches to the same receptor as a natural chemical and causes the same effect. Adopamine agonistis a drug that is not dopamine, but attaches to the dopamine receptor. Anantagonistis different as it attaches to the receptor, but blocks the action of the natural chemical. Medical marijuana can contain both cannabinoid agonistsandantagonists. Recreational marijuana use is derived from its effects on agonists.

The varying amounts of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists in different marijuana plants makes cannabis studies difficult to conduct. When researchers study the effects of a medication, dosages are controlled and often set to a specific number of milligrams. When testing medical marijuana, the dosage administered can vary dramatically depending on the plant and method of administration.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC)

THC is aprimary component of marijuana. Cannabidiol is the other primary component. THC has a long latency of onset and cannot be easily measured for a therapeutic or medicinal dose. Medical marijuana studies primarily provide participants with THC and/or cannabidiol as a capsule, nasal spray or liquid formulation.

PD-Related Medicinal Marijuana Trials

The use of cannabinoids has been suggested to help with managing neurological and non-neurological conditions. Literature on medical marijuana is incredibly varied. Studies have not clearly supported the use of marijuana for PD. The clinical studies of cannabis as a PD treatment that have been conducted did not use the clinical trial gold standard of a double blind, placebo controlled trial design. Some studies had as few as five subjects.

While some results have been positive, the effects of medical marijuana are probably not completely understood, which is why more studies, especially those with more subjects, are needed. Most doctors dont support study results because these studies do not meet minimum research standards.

Below are several PD-related medical marijuana studies that have been conducted to evaluate the use of cannabinoids:

Risks and Benefits for People with PD

There are risks and benefits associated with the use of cannabis for people with PD. Benefits include a possible improvement in anxiety, pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea. Potential adverse effects include: impaired cognition (impairment in executive function), dizziness, blurred vision, mood and behavioral changes, loss of balance and hallucinations. Chronic use of marijuana can increase risk of mood disorders and lung cancer.

Medical Marijuana and Legislation by State

Washington, D.C., and 29 states passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana-based products for medical purposes. Three of those states (Minnesota, New York and Ohio) do not allow it to be smoked. In some states patients must register to possess and use cannabis. Other states require patients to acquire a document from a physician stating that the patient has an approved condition. Under federal law doctors cannot prescribe cannabis, but many states authorize them to issue certifications that allow patients to obtain medical marijuana.

PD is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Medicalmarijuanais legal in: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Washington,D.C. In Texas, medical marijuana is only approved for people with epilepsy.

Parkinsons Foundation Centers of Excellence and Medicinal Marijuana

The Parkinsons Foundation, in partnership with Northwestern University researchers, studied attitudes about cannabis at 40Centers of Excellence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide data on the practices, beliefs and attitudes of expert PD physicians concerning cannabis use.

The results were interesting: most experts said they knew what cannabis did, but disagreed on the details. While there is no general agreement on what the benefits might be for people with PD, the survey confirmed that cannabis is a popular subject within Parkinsons Foundation centers as 95 percent of neurologists reported patients have asked them to prescribe it.

Cannabis study results also included:

This graph shows how physicians expect cannabis would improve, worsen, or show no effect to PD-related symptoms given their expertise and observations of patients with PD.

The study emphasized that physicians would be more apt to the use of medical marijuana as a treatment if the drug was approved through regulation instead of legislation. Nearly all medications are only approved after passing a science-based evaluation proving their effectiveness in a process overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since cannabis has been approved through legislation rather than regulation, there are no labels, dosage recommendations or timing instructions that physicians can reference.

Is Medical Marijuana an Option for Me?

What’s next for a person with PD who wants to know if medical marijuana is an option? “Marijuana should never be thought of as a replacement for dopaminergic and other approved therapies for PD,” said Dr. Michael S. Okun, the Parkinson’s Foundation National Medical Director.

Research is still needed to determine how medical marijuana should be administered and how its long-term use can affect symptoms of PD. To keep patients safe, states that legalize medical marijuana will eventually need to develop training programs for doctors and medical teams that prescribe medical marijuana. Consult your doctor to see if medical marijuana is an option for you.

Page reviewed by Dr. Bhavana Patel, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

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Parkinson’s Foundation: Better Lives. Together.

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Parkinson Secrets – Treatment tips for patients …

Posted: at 4:44 pm

Breakthrough ideas and therapies in Parkinsons disease stretch far beyond a single drug or stem cell. There is, in fact, a broader and more exciting picture and portfolio of breakthroughs spanning drug, cell, vaccine, device, genetics, care, and behavior. Patients and families with personal investments in Parkinsons disease should be informed and updated about all of the potential breakthrough therapies.

Every challenge you encounter in life is a fork in the road. You have the choice to choose which way to go: backward, forward, breakdown or breakthrough.

Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

There are several potential breakthroughs that should be on every patient and family members radar screen. Here is a TOP TEN LIST OF PARKINSON’S THERAPIESfor patients and families watching in 2015-2016

Disease Modifying Drugs and Biomarkers- these are drugs that may slow Parkinsons disease progression; also imaging and fluid (e.g. blood, spinal fluid) markers that can track the effects of Parkinsons drugs are needed and under development

Coffee, Tea, Exercise, Interdisciplinary Teams and Caregivers- there is mounting evidence that these approaches have symptomatic and perhaps even other benefits in Parkinsons disease

Extended Release/Novel Delivery Systems for Parkinsons Disease Drug and When to Start Drug Therapy- Parkinsons disease desperately needs longer acting drugs to reduce the number of pills burden

Marijuana and Synthetic Cannabinoids- surprising to some experts has been the revelation that there are cannabinoid receptors in the brain and tickling them may be beneficial to some Parkinsons disease symptoms

New Drugs for Hallucinations, Sleep, Constipation and Dizziness- these problems are vexing for patients and caregivers, but several new drugs are poised to make a difference

Therapies While Hospitalized and Avoiding Hospitalization- we now know that the hospitalization risk is very high in Parkinsons disease, and that hospitals can be dangerous places for patients; the focus needs to shift toward avoiding hospitalizations

Advancing Deep Brain Stimulation Technology, Earlier Intervention and Dopamine Pumps- the technology has been refining our approach to the symptomatic management of Parkinsons disease and new therapies are now reaching the bedside

Stem Cells and Stem Cell Tourism- there has been a shift away from the idea that stem cell transplants will cure Parkinsons disease, however stem cells are proving powerful in drug screening

Prions, Spreading Proteins, Vaccines and Growth Factors- several novel approaches are in trial, and a Parkinsons vaccine may be on the horizon

The Drug Development Pipeline- understanding the drug development pipeline will help patients and families to gain access to the newest Parkinsons disease therapies

Check out the new book 10 Breakthrough Therapies in Parkinson’s Diseaseat

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Parkinson’s Stem Cell Treatment | Parkinson’s Disease Story

Posted: December 10, 2017 at 6:50 am

Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinsons Disease

Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by Parkinsons Disease. StemGenex Medical Group provides Parkinsons stem cell therapy to help those with unmet clinical needs achieve optimum health and better quality of life. A clinical study registered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been established to evaluate the quality of life changes in individuals with Parkinsons Disease following stem cell therapy.

Parkinsons Disease stem cell therapy is being studied for efficacy in improving the complications in patients through the use of their own stem cells. These procedures may help patients who dont respond to typical drug treatment, want to reduce their reliance on medication, or are looking to try stem cell therapy before starting drug treatment.

To learn more about becoming a patient and receiving stem cell therapy through StemGenex Medical Group, please contact one of our Patient Advocates at (800) 609-7795. Below are some frequently asked questions aboutstem cell therapy for Parkinsons Disease.

The majority of complications in Parkinsons patients are related to the failure of dopamine neurons to do their job properly. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. It lets your muscles move smoothly and do what you want them to do. Once the nerve cells break down you no longer have enough dopamine, and you have trouble moving and completing tasks.

This stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease is designed to target these neurons and to help with the creation of new dopamine producing neurons. In addition, stem cells may release natural chemicals called cytokines which can induce differentiation of the stem cells into dopamine producing neurons.

Upholding the highest levels of ethical conduct, safety and efficacy is our primary focus. Five clinical stem cell studies for Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are registered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at Each clinical study is reviewed and approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure proper oversight and protocols are being followed.

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and have the ability to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate tissues in the body. When a disease or injury strikes, stem cells respond to specific signals and set about to facilitate the healing process by differentiating into specialized cells required for the bodys repair.

There are four known types of stem cells which include:

StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.

StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult adipose-derived stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.

We tap into our bodys stem cell reserve daily to repair and replace damaged or diseased tissue. When the bodys reserve is limited and as it becomes depleted, the regenerative power of our body decreases and we succumb to disease and injury.

Three sources of stem cells from a patients body are used clinically which include adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow and peripheral blood.

Performed by Board Certified Physicians, dormant stem cells are extracted from the patients adipose tissue (fat) through a minimally invasive mini-liposuction procedure with little to no downtime.

During the liposuction procedure, a small area (typically the abdomen) is numbed with an anesthetic and patients receive mild to moderate sedation. Next, the extracted dormant stem cells are isolated from the fat and activated, and then comfortably infused back into the patient intravenously (IV) and via other directly targeted methods of administration. The out-patient procedure takes approximately four to five hours.

StemGenex Medical Group provides multiple administration methods for Parkinson’s Disease patients to best target the disease related conditions and symptoms which include:

Since each condition and patient are unique, there is no guarantee of what results will be achieved or how quickly they may be observed. According to patient feedback, many patients report results in one to three months, however, it may take as long as six to nine months. Individuals interested in stem cell therapy are urged to consult with their physician before choosing investigational autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapy as a treatment option.

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate. Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.

StemGenex Medical Group team members are here to help assist and guide you through the patient process.

Patients travel to StemGenex Medical Group located in Del Mar, California located in San Diego County for stem cell treatment from all over the United States, Canada and around the globe. Treatment will consist of one visit lasting a total of three days. The therapy is minimally invasive and there is little to no down time. Majority of patients fly home the day after treatment.

We provide stem cell therapy for a wide variety of diseases and conditions for which traditional treatment offers less than optimal options. Some conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The side effects of the mini-liposuction procedure are minimal and may include but are not limited to: minor swelling, bruising and redness at the procedure site, minor fever, headache, or nausea. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours and are experienced mostly by people with sensitivity to mild anesthesia. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.

The side effects of adipose-derived stem cell therapy are minimal and may include but are not limited to: infection, minor bleeding at the treatment sites and localized pain. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.

StemGenex Medical Group provides adult stem cell treatment with mesenchymal stem cells which come from the person receiving treatment. Embryonic stem cells are typically associated with ethical and political controversies.

The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products was held in September 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Currently, stem cell treatment is not FDA approved.

In March 2016, bipartisan legislation, the REGROW Act was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.

Stem cell treatment is not covered by health insurance at this time. The cost for standard preoperative labs are included. Additional specific labs may be requested at the patients expense.

People suffering from Parkinson’s Disease often suffer from the following complications::

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Parkinson’s Disease Medication | Parkinson’s Disease

Posted: December 6, 2017 at 5:44 am


A number of medications are available for the management of both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). All of them are directed at easing symptoms and improving quality of life. At this time, no cure or disease-modifying therapy — one that stops or slows disease progression — has been proven. Significant work is ongoing in this area, though, as well as in the development of improved medications for motor symptoms and expanded options for non-motor symptoms. (Read more on the Therapies in Development page and visit the Recently Approved Therapies page to see which drugs have reached market in the last few years.)

Drugs for motor symptoms primarily target tremor, stiffness and slowness while those for non-motor symptoms focus on the associated symptoms (such as depression, sleep disturbances and low blood pressure) that may arise throughout the course of disease. To learn more about specific medications for motor and non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, click on the tabs below.

Medication treatments are tailored to each person’s unique symptoms so there is no “one-size-fits all” approach. Most often, drug therapy is started when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to do what they want or need to do. If, when and which medication to begin are personal decisions best made in conjunction with your movement disorder specialist. You should take into account your symptoms and how and to what degree they interfere with your life as well as the potential benefits, side effects and costs of the currently available medications. Your doctor will also consider your age and other medical conditions and medications outside of Parkinson’s.

Research and foundation news straight to your inbox.

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Forced exercise: cycling in the treatment of Parkinsons …

Posted: December 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm

I dont have Parkinsons when Im on my bike, says Larry Smith. Apparently even advanced Parkinsons patients can cycle. The bike gives Larry independence and makes him feel good.

With all the antagonism and negativity about whether or not cyclists have a right to share the road, or deserve infrastructure safety improvements, it pleases me to be able to share stories like this.

On New Years Day I rode my bike 35 miles to a friends party in Bellevue, WA. It was there I had the good fortune to meet a guy who told me about a program he was volunteering for in which Parkinsons patients were paired with cyclists on stationary tandem bikes for a study on the benefits of forced exercise. Forced exercise doesnt mean the person doesnt want to exercise. Its that their body is unable to move at a particular pace without being forced by their tandem partner. The film clip below will show you what thats about.

Cycling and Parkinsons Disease: Whats the link?

In the past few years, several studies have begun to show a beneficial relationship between cycling and Parkinsons in both disease diagnosis and in potential neuroprotective benefit. An important research trial funded by the Davis Phinney Foundation has brought together two of the leading researchers in this field, Dr. Jay Alberts of Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Bastiaan Bloem of Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands to continue to explore this link.

Ride With Larry: a short documentary film

This documentary focuses on Larry Smith, a retired police captain, beloved small-town baker, and avid cyclist who has had Parkinsons for the last 20 years.

Northwest Parkinsons Foundation needs you to be part of their STP Team.

I contacted Alecha Newbern, Program Director for Northwest Parkinsons Foundation for information so I could bring you this story. I knew, after hearing about this many people in the cycling community would want to get involved. The forced exercise tandem cycling program is still too new and small scale to accept a major influx of new volunteers, though that time may yet come.

However, Northwest Parkinsons Foundation has an STP team and is in serious need of cyclists to join their team. The number of STP team participants has been declining for several years. I suggested this story had the potential to boost participation since many readers may already be riding the STP. Alecha told me they go all out to support team members and that some of the team riders have Parkinsons.

Upon fundraising a minimum of $500 each Team Parkinsons rider will receive the care and pampering usually reserved for elite cycling teams. Joining the team doesnt mean you have to ride with the team as a group. You can still ride at your own pace.

Benefits include:

Other resources

Tagged as:forced exercise, Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s, STP, Team Parkinson’s

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Parkinson Canada | Parkinson Canada

Posted: November 30, 2017 at 3:44 am

Supporting Canadians with Parkinson’s Since 1965

Thanks to generous contributors we are here for you online and in person. Working with experts, we share trusted information so that you can live your best life..

Thanks to generous contributors we are here for you online and in person. Working with experts, we share trusted information so that you can live your best life.

Parkinsons is a complex disease and everyone experiences it differently. Discover more about its diagnosis, symptoms, treatments and progression. Learn how you and your family can live well with Parkinsons.

Helping your care team deliver the best care possible. Access the Canadian Guidelines on Parkinsons Disease, online learning and other resources.

It’s hard to know where to begin once you’ve been diagnosed. Get help through our resources for those who have been newly diagnosed.

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Lena Barretto:”I never give up”

Over twenty years ago, Lena Barretto was diagnosed with Parkinsons. When her family looked for information about the disease, they found something they werent expecting.

They found a community, a family.

Watch the full video and triple your gift today.

Research holds the key to unlocking better treatments, improving quality of life and finding a cure. Learn about the Parkinson Canada Research Program and how Canadas scientists are making a difference with your support.

Today is a new day. How will you be relentless in your quest to beat Parkinsons disease? What can you do to make it better? How can we help, together?

Join our Ambassador network.

Subscribe through email and social media to stay up to date on all news relating to Parkinsons Disease, new research, and emerging treatments.

Since 1965, Parkinson Canada has worked to provide support services and education to people living with Parkinsons disease, their families, and the health care professionals who treat them. We advocate on issues that affect the Parkinsons community in Canada, and we aggressively fund innovative research for better treatments and a cure.

Parkinson Canada is a national registered charity accredited under the Imagine Canada Standards Program. We achieve our mission through the support of people like you.

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Parkinson Canada is accredited by Imagine Canadas Standards program, recognizing a quality of excellence in five fundamental areas: board governance, financial accountability and transparency, fundraising, staff management, and volunteer involvement.

Donor Rights

With your support, you inspire the kind of action that will make a profound difference in the well-being of Canadians living with Parkinsons disease. Together, we will continue the global quest for a cure and create a world without Parkinsons disease.

Charitable Registration Number 10809 1786 RR0001

Phone: 416-227-9700Toll Free: 1-800-565-3000Fax: 416-227-9600

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Parkinson’s disease cure: THIS common drug could slow progression of condition –

Posted: September 7, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Researchers have found evidence that an antidepressant drug could slow progression of Parkinsons disease.

A study by Michigan State University discovered that a drug – nortriptyline – can stop the growth of abnormal proteins that can build up in the brain.

The drug has been around for more than 50 years and is used to treat depression and nerve pain.

However, scientists believe it could have a new purpose.

Depression is a very frequent condition associated with Parkinson’s, so we became interested in whether an antidepressant could modify how the disease progresses,” said Tim Collier, lead study author of the research published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

Scientists looked at whether patients who had been on antidepressants needed to go on standard Parkinsons treatment later than people who hadnt used antidepressants.

Parkinsons sufferers are commonly prescribed a therapy called levodopa.

It increases levels of dopamine, which is a natural chemical in the body that sends signals to other nerve cells.

The disease can cause levels of dopamine to significantly decrease.

“We found that those on a certain class of antidepressant, called tricyclics, didn’t need the levodopa therapy until much later compared to those who weren’t on that type of antidepressant medication,” said Collier.

They discovered that the antidepressant decreased the amount of abnormal protein build up in the brain in rats.

The protein – called alpha-synuclein – can cause the brain’s nerve cells to die when in a clustered state.

Researchers believe that understanding how these proteins clump together could help them develop other drugs for Parkinsons.

“What we’ve essentially shown is that an already FDA-approved drug that’s been studied over 50 years and is relatively well tolerated could be a much simpler approach to treating the disease itself, not just the symptoms,” added Collier.

In the future they hope to test the antidepressant drug in a human clinical trial.

Parkinsons disease affects 127,000 people in the UK.

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Brain chemical lost in Parkinson’s may contribute to its own demise – Science News Magazine

Posted: at 5:47 pm

The brain chemical missing in Parkinsons disease may have a hand in its own death. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps keep body movements fluid, can kick off a toxic chain reaction that ultimately kills the nerve cells that make it, a new study suggests.

By studying lab dishes of human nerve cells, or neurons, derived from Parkinsons patients, researchers found that a harmful form of dopamine can inflict damage on cells in multiple ways. The result, published online September 7 in Science, brings multiple pieces of the puzzle together, says neuroscientist Teresa Hastings of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The finding also hints at a potential treatment for the estimated 10 million people worldwide with Parkinsons: Less cellular damage occurred when some of the neurons were treated early on with antioxidants, molecules that can scoop up harmful chemicals inside cells.

Study coauthor Dimitri Krainc, a neurologist and neuroscientist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues took skin biopsies from healthy people and people with one of two types of Parkinsons disease, inherited or spontaneously arising. The researchers then coaxed these skin cells into becoming dopamine-producing neurons. These cells were similar to those found in the substantia nigra, the movement-related region of the brain that degenerates in Parkinsons.

After neurons carrying a mutation that causes the inherited form of Parkinsons had grown in a dish for 70 days, the researchers noticed some worrisome changes in the cells mitochondria. Levels of a harmful form of dopamine known as oxidized dopamine began rising in these energy-producing organelles, reaching high levels by day 150. Neurons derived from people with the more common, sporadic form of Parkinsons showed a similar increase but later, beginning at day 150. Cells derived from healthy people didnt accumulate oxidized dopamine.

This dangerous form of dopamine seemed to kick off other types of cellular trouble. Defects in the cells lysosomes, cellular cleanup machines, soon followed. So did the accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which is known to play a big role in Parkinsons disease.

Those findings are direct experimental evidence from human cells that the very chemical lost in Parkinsons disease contributes to its own demise, says analytical neurochemist Dominic Hare, of the University of Technology Sydney. Because these cells churn out dopamine, they are more susceptible to dopamines potential destructive forces, he says.

When researchers treated neurons carrying a mutation that causes inherited Parkinsons with several different types of antioxidants, the damage was lessened. To work in people, antioxidants would need to cross the blood-brain barrier, a difficult task, and reach the mitochondria in the brain. And this would need to happen early, probably even before symptoms appear, Krainc says.

Without this human model, we would not have been able to untangle the pathway, Krainc says. In dishes of mouse neurons with Parkinsons-related mutations, dopamine didnt kick off the same toxic cascade, a difference that might be due to human neurons containing more dopamine than mice neurons. Dopamine-producing neurons in mice and people have some very fundamental differences, Krainc says. And those differences might help explain why discoveries in mice havent translated to treatments for people with Parkinsons, he says.

Over the past few decades, scientists have been accumulating evidence that oxidized dopamine can contribute to Parkinsons disease, Hastings says. Given that knowledge, the new results are expected, she says, but still welcome confirmation of the idea.

These toxic cellular events occurred in lab dishes, not actual brains. Cell cultures arent the perfect re-creation of whats going on in the human brain, Hare cautions. But these types of experiments are the next best thing for monitoring the chemical changes in these neurons, he says.

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Sumitomo Dainippon Seeks Japanese Approval for Trerief to Treat Parkinsonism in Dementia Patients – Parkinson’s News Today

Posted: at 5:47 pm

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has asked Japanese authorities to approve itsTrerief (zonisamide) as a new therapy for parkinsonismin dementia patients with Lewy bodies, the company announced in a press release.

Trerief went on sale in Japan in March 2009 as a treatment for Parkinsonspatients who saw insufficient results with levodopa and other Parkinsons-specific drugs. After a 2013 expansion of its originalapproval, Trerief is now accepted as a treatment option inJapan, where a2014 Patient Surveyreported some144,000 patients suffering from vascular dementia and unspecified dementia,including dementia with Lewes bodies (DLB).

Parkinsonism is a general term used to describe a group of neurological disorders that cause movement problems similar to those observed in Parkinsons disease, like tremors, slow movement and stiffness.

The DLB form of dementia causes progressive cognitive impairment. Parkinsonism is one of the four core features of DLB, alongside fluctuating cognition, recurrent visual hallucinations and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder.

DLB is classified as part of the Lewy body disease spectrum, which also includes Parkinsons disease. Since symptoms of parkinsonism virtually mimic those of Parkinsons disease, Sumitomo Dainippon is now seeking approval for Trerief as another therapeutic option for treating parkinsonism in DLB, under the assumption that its action will be equally effective.

If approved, Trerief will be the worlds first drug to treatparkinsonism in DLB. Sumitomo Sainipponbased its application on data from a Phase 3, multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week study of Trerief in patients with parkinsonism accompanying DLB. Topline results were disclosed in early April.

The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Trerief in 351 patients randomized to receive the active compound at 25 mg/daily, 50 mg/daily, or placebo.

Using the Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale a rating scale thatmeasures disability and impairment in Parkinsons and also the primary outcome measure in most clinical trials of Parkinsons therapeutics the primary endpoint of the study at 12 weeks was significantly higherin the groups receiving Trerief, compared to placebo.

According to the April report of topline results, the incidence of treatment emergent adverse effects was no different than those previously reported. Incidence at 25 mg/daily was 48.7 percent, rising to 54.5 percent at 50 mg/daily, while in the placebo group, it was 47.1 percent.

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