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National Parkinson Foundation's blog

What's Hot in PD? Leaps in Deep Brain Stimulation Technology

Date: 
Friday, May 1, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

One surprising fact in DBS technology is that the human deep brain stimulation (DBS) A surgical treatment for Parkinson's disease. A special wire (lead) is inserted into a specific area of the brain responsible for movement. The lead is connected to a pacemaker-like device implanted in the chest region.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

Caregiver Corner: Tips for Parkinson's Caregivers to help improve quality of life.

Date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Author: 
Lana Gelb, MS

Finding the right exercise program is extremely important for PD which is characterized by movement disorders such as slow or shuffling walk, tremors in the hands, fingers, forearms, feet, mouth, or chin, rigid or stiff muscles, including muscles that suddenly freeze for no reason, muscle pain and unsteady gait and balance. 

Category: 
Caregiver Corner

What's Hot in PD? What to tell Parkinson’s patients about diet and taking statin drugs

Date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Recently there has been a surge of interest in cholesterol and cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patients and families with a personal interest in the outcomes of these studies simply want to know whether they should consider starting a statin medication or they should change their diet. In this month's What’s Hot column we will examine the evidence and offer a recommendation for those considering a statin drug.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

What's Hot in PD? Everything a Parkinson’s Disease Patient Needs to Know About the New Dopamine Pump

Date: 
Monday, March 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

One of the common dreams shared by Parkinson’s disease patients around the globe is the possibility of living a pill free existence, and one year ago we shared the news of a therapy coming to the United States with the possibility to make this a reality for a select group of patients.  This month we will update the previous blog post from 2014, and bring to you all of the information you need to know about the therapy.  The therapy has received a full FDA approval and

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

What's Hot in PD? Tips for Parkinson’s Disease Patients Switching from Sinemet or Madopar to Rytary (IPX066)

Date: 
Monday, February 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

The What’s Hot in Parkinson’s disease blog written in April 2013 featured a new extended release dopamine A chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that regulates movement and emotions. drug called IPX066. This new dopamine formulation achieved full FDA approval in January 2015. The drug is now sold under the name Rytary.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

Caregiver Corner: Lewy What? Explaining Lewy Body Dementia

Date: 
Friday, January 9, 2015
Author: 
Elizabeth Patrick

Dementia with Lewy bodiesAbnormal aggregation of proteins that develop inside nerve cells in people with Parkinson’s, named after Fritz Heinrich Lewy, the first person who noticed that some unusual proteins in the brain can make people act and think differently. Alpha-synuclein is the main component of Lewy bodies. (DLB) is a common progressive brain disease that affects thinking, movement, behavior and sleep.

Category: 
Caregiver Corner

What's Hot in PD? More Evidence Linking Gut Bacteria to Parkinson’s Disease: A Guide for Patients

Date: 
Friday, January 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Considerable evidence has been mounting supporting a relationship between the gastrointestinal system and Parkinson’s disease. Many pathologists and neurologists believe that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut, however this view remains speculative. Additionally, there are many GI symptoms such as constipation that occur as prominent and disabling features of Parkinson’s disease.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

What's Hot in PD? Two New Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease Patients to get Excited About: Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies

Date: 
Monday, December 1, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

In September 2012, the What’s Hot in Parkinson’s Disease? blog featured a new therapy that at that time had entered into human testing. The Austrian company AFFiRiS A.G.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

What's Hot in PD? The Importance of a Monitoring Strategy When Prescribing Dopamine Agonists: Lessons from the Parkinson's Foundation Data

Date: 
Monday, November 3, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Impulse control disorders including behaviors such as gambling, shopping, pathological eating and hypersexuality can occur in 1 out of every 6 people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) taking a dopamine agonist A class of medications used to treat Parkinson's disease. Agonists enhance the activity of a neurotransmitter – in this case, dopamine.

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

What's Hot in PD? Is Midlife Migraine Related to Late Life Parkinson’s Disease?

Date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There has been speculation that migraine headache syndromes may have an important relationship to Parkinson’s disease. Though most associations uncovered by research studies have been speculative, two interesting papers appeared in the literature in the past few months, and investigators around the world have now rekindled the question, could headaches be related to Parkinson’s disease?

Category: 
What's Hot in PD?

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