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Clinical Studies

What's Hot in PD? Update on the Use of Mucuna Pruriens for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

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.

What's Hot in PD? Is DBS Plus a Viable Future Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?

Date: 
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

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.

What's Hot in PD? Lymphoctye Activation Gene 3 (LAG3) Antibodies as a Potential Future Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

Date: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Ted Dawson, PhD, and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, have uncovered a potential new approach to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD). Researchers in Dawson’s laboratory focused on a protein called lymphocyte-activation gene 3, known as LAG3. This protein has been shown to be important in cell to cell transfers of α-synuclein (Lewy bodies), which is a protein found in the brain of a person with PD.

What's Hot in PD?: Challenges for a New Blood Test for Parkinson’s Disease Detection

Date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

In January 2012 we reported on the possibility of a blood test for Parkinson’s disease detection. Four years have now passed, and this week a different group from La Trobe University led by Paul Fisher say they have developed and potentially effective blood test for Parkinson’s disease detection. In this month’s What’s Hot in PD? Column, we will update our previous article and comment on this new observation.

What's Hot in PD? Will Drinking Tea Help My Parkinson’s Disease?

Date: 
Monday, January 4, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Tea is an ancient, centuries-old beverage that is consumed by virtually all of the world’s population. Tea is composed of polyphenols, methylxanthine, caffeine, fats, amino acids and other substances. Tea has been thought to reduce cancer risk, prevent heart disease and even aid in weight loss. The flavonoids, caffeine and theanine have been tested in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and have shown protection against cell loss in similar areas of the brain that are affected in the human Parkinson’s patient.

Research Roundup: Sex and Parkinson's Disease

Date: 
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Nabila Dahodwala

This is the first part of a series of videos discussing sex differences in Parkinson's disease. The video was created from a presentation given by Dr. Nabila Dahodwala from the University of Pennsylvania. The Parkinson's Foundation recently announced that it awarded Dr. Dahodwala a two-year grant to study issues that result in differences in caregiving and to explore whether there may be options to improve caregiving. Dr.

What's Hot in PD? Should We Be Working Harder to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease Hospitalizations?

Date: 
Monday, December 7, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Recently the Parkinson's Foundation sought to identify risk factors for hospitalization (emergency room visits or admissions) among Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients followed in our Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. The initiative was modeled after a similar effort put together by Gerry O’Connor at the Dartmouth Health Outcomes Center. O’Connor had a crazy but practical idea.

What's Hot in PD? What Led Scientists to Believe a Cancer Drug Could Treat Parkinson’s?

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

The recent media blitz about a leukemia drug named Nilotinib as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease resulted in thousands of patients and family members phoning their doctors and our 1-800-4PD-INFO Helpline requesting access to this drug. The Parkinson's Foundation quickly responded with a public statement recommending that patients not pursue this therapy unless under a clinical trial.

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?

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