The recent forecasting estimates for Parkinson’s disease (PD) are staggering. If accurate, the numbers suggest an urgent need to wake up and recognize that we are on the cusp of an emerging pandemic (Okun, 2013).
What's Hot in PD?
Parkinson’s disease (PD) specialists have long debated the potential value of Parkinson’s-specific physical therapy. All great medical debates are usually settled by two factors: time and data. In this month’s What’s Hot, we review a paper recently published in Lancet Neurology (Ypinga 2018) that provides insight and data for whether people with Parkinson’s should begin or continue specialized physiotherapy.
Many people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) struggle with gastrointestinal issues. More specifically, the movements of the digestive system (known as gastrointestinal motility).
Mucuna pruriens variant utilis (MP) has long been used as an alternative to over the counter levodopa. MP is a leguminous plant that grows in both tropical and subtropical environments. Hidden in its seed is levodopa, which is the most important medication for a Parkinson’s disease patient. In this month’s What’s Hot we will review the studies supporting MP use and discuss future directions and global implications for this therapy.
Should we consider subcutaneous apomorphine infusions for Parkinson’s disease patients who do not want deep brain stimulation or a dopamine pump? There is a growing interest among people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and families for a “nonsurgical” alternative to deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery or to Duopa pump therapy. The idea of brain surgery or a feeding tube have been cited as being undesirable for large numbers of PD patients.
Safinamide (Xadago) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) medication fluctuations. Safinamide is a pill that when absorbed in the bloodstream travels to the brain and affects dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic systems.
Hope is something that is critical for everyone living with Parkinson’s disease.Hope for improvement in symptoms. Hope for a better life. Hope for a treatment that may one day arrest disease progression or even deliver a cure. We should embrace hope, but we should also protect everyone living with Parkinson’s disease and their family members from emotionally as well as financially draining opportunities which may overpromise and under-deliver.
Over the past two decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been extremely successful. It has been estimated that DBS has meaningfully helped tens of thousands of patients worldwide, improving tremor, dyskinesia, on-off fluctuations and several other Parkinson’s symptoms. DBS has however, fallen short in addressing disease progression issues including walking, talking and thinking.
There has long been a fascination about the relationship between welding, mining and Parkinson-like symptoms. In this month’s What’s Hot blog and in my NEJM Journal Watch blog I explore this murky history and relationship. Doctors and health care professionals long ago identified a Parkinson-like syndrome that developed in welders and manganese miners. Manganese, the chemical, has been linked to Parkinson-like symptoms (also referred to as parkinsonism).
Considerable evidence has been mounting in support of a relationship between the gastrointestinal (GI) system and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Many pathologists and neurologists even believe that Parkinson’s may start in the gut, but this view remains speculative. Many GI symptoms, such as constipation, occur as prominent and disabling PD symptoms. In the July 2013 What’s Hot in PD? column, I addressed H.