Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bbc News Parkinson’s Breakthrough

Who Gets Parkinsons Disease

The woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease – BBC News

Risk factors for PD include:

  • Age. The average age of onset is about 70 years, and the incidence rises significantly with advancing age. However, a small percent of people with PD have early-onset disease that begins before the age of 50.
  • Sex. PD affects more men than women.
  • Heredity. People with one or more close relatives who have PD have an increased risk of developing the disease themselves. An estimated 15 to 25 percent of people with PD have a known relative with the disease. Some cases of the disease can be traced to specific genetic mutations.
  • Exposure to pesticides. Studies show an increased risk of PD in people who live in rural areas with increased pesticide use.

Medgenesis Therapeutix Closes $32 Million Round Of Financing


MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc. announced today that it has successfully raised $3.2 Million in private equity financing. The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the clinical development of its lead therapeutic program and the filing of an IND to initiate human studies.

“Investors were very receptive to the uniqueness of our business model and to the potential for success of our development programs,”commented Dr. Erich Mohr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MedGenesis. “This financing will enable MedGenesis to enter into phase I/II clinical trials with our lead drug candidate by the end of 2007 and provide us with sufficient funding to meet our other business objectives.”

MedGenesis is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics with established safety and efficacy profiles for the treatment of serious Central Nervous System disease. The company utilizes Convection Enhanced Delivery as a method of direct and targeted delivery of molecules to the relevant area in the CNS. Key therapeutic focus areas include Neuro Oncology, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Disease

The four primary symptoms of PD are:

  • Tremor. Tremor often begins in a hand, although sometimes a foot or the jaw is affected first. The tremor associated with PD has a characteristic rhythmic back-and-forth motion that may involve the thumb and forefinger and appear as a pill rolling. It is most obvious when the hand is at rest or when a person is under stress. This tremor usually disappears during sleep or improves with a purposeful, intended movement.
  • Rigidity. Rigidity , or a resistance to movement, affects most people with PD. The muscles remain constantly tense and contracted so that the person aches or feels stiff. The rigidity becomes obvious when another person tries to move the individuals arm, which will move only in ratchet-like or short, jerky movements known as cogwheel rigidity.
  • Bradykinesia. This slowing down of spontaneous and automatic movement is particularly frustrating because it may make simple tasks difficult. The person cannot rapidly perform routine movements. Activities once performed quickly and easilysuch as washing or dressingmay take much longer. There is often a decrease in facial expressions.
  • Postural instability. Impaired balance and changes in posture can increase the risk of falls.

Recommended Reading: Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Medgenesis Announces Agreements With Amgen And Biovail


MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative treatments for patients with serious central nervous system diseases, announced today that it has successfully entered into an agreement with Amgen Inc. , granting MedGenesis an exclusive, worldwide license for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor protein in CNS and non-CNS indications, subject to the rights of a co-exclusive licensee for CNS indications in certain countries, as further described below.

As part of the license agreement, Amgen now holds a small equity stake in MedGenesis. In parallel, Biovail Laboratories International SRL, a subsidiary of Biovail Corporation , Canada’s largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company, and MedGenesis have concluded an agreement to collaborate on the development of GDNF in Parkinson’s disease and potentially other CNS indications. Biovail, which is also a party to the Amgen license for CNS indications and which has a co-exclusive license to exploit GDNF in certain countries , contributes significant development expertise, a broad-based commercialization track record, and a focus on CNS disorders.

Scientists Take The Next Step In Understanding The Role It Plays In The Disease

Study links Parkinson

There are currently no disease modifying therapies for Parkinsons disease available that can alter the course of the disease. Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are leading a group of experts from across the world who are attempting to change that.

Recently, they published a new study in the journal Brain that brings scientists one step closer to comprehending a crucial protein called -synuclein , which they discovered connects inflammation and Parkinsons disease.

The protein Syn is mostly expressed in neurons and has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia. This new study identifies a new mechanism linking interferon activation and Syn function in neurons as a possible trigger for Parkinsons disease development.

Its critical to understand further the triggers that contribute to the development of Parkinsons disease and how inflammation may interact with proteins found in the disease. With this information, we could potentially provide new approaches for treatments by altering or interfering with these inflammatory pathways that may act as a trigger for the disease, said David Beckham, MD, associate professor in the department of infectious disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine located on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

This study establishes the first clear link between inflammation and Syn, a protein connected to the development of Parkinsons disease.

Read Also: Early Parkinson’s Symptoms Mayo Clinic

Dpag Hosts Successful First Science In The Park Event

3 August 2022

More than 100 children, along with around 50 parents, grandparents and caregivers enjoyed an exciting variety of activities on the theme of How the Body Works in University Parks on Tuesday 26 July. This Science in the Park event was run by DPAGs Outreach and Public Engagement Working Group and volunteers comprising research scientists, clinical anatomy teaching staff, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Diet And Lifestyle Changes

Additional therapies for Parkinsons disease treatment include eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise.

Some individuals may benefit from participating in physical and occupational therapy. These therapies often focus on balance, improving your gait, or tactics to allow you to complete your work.

Other alternative options center on promoting holistic well-being while living with Parkinsons disease. These are not shown to stop the diseases progression but can help you manage symptoms and stay hopeful:

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Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms ‘reversed’ By Mini Implant Trial Suggests

A hospital in Bristol is believed to be the first in the world to implant the smallest device into a brain to reverse the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Southmead Hospital surgeons used a tiny deep brain stimulation device to override abnormal brain-cell firing patterns caused by Parkinson’s.

Tony Howells, the first person to receive the treatment as part of a trial, said the impact was “amazing”.

Twenty-five patients have been selected for the trial that concludes next year.

Mr Howells, who had the operation in 2019, said: “Before the operation I went for a walk on Boxing Day with my wife and I got 200 yards from the actual car.

“I had to turn around and go back because I just couldn’t walk.”

“Then after the operation, which was 12 months later, I went on Boxing Day again and we went for 2.5 miles and we could’ve went further.

“It was amazing,” he added.

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, which leads to parts of the brain becoming progressively damaged over years.

Symptoms include involuntary shaking of parts of the body, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.

Most people develop symptoms when they are over 50 but about 5% of sufferers first experience symptoms when they are under 40.

Traditional operations for Parkinson’s involve implanting a fairly large battery into the chest with wires run under the skin through to the top of the head.

It then delivers electrical impulses directly to targeted areas of the brain.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease

The woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease – BBC News

Parkinsons disease is movement disorder of the nervous system that worsens over time. As nerve cells in parts of the brain weaken or are damaged or die, people may begin to notice problems with movement, tremor, stiffness in the limbs or the trunk of the body, or impaired balance. As these symptoms become more obvious, people may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. Not everyone with one or more of these symptoms has PD, as the symptoms appear in other diseases as well.

No cure for PD exists today, but research is ongoing and medications or surgery can often provide substantial improvement with motor symptoms.

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Medgenesis Appoints Ken Newport To Board Of Directors


MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc. is pleased to announce that Mr. Ken Newport has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.

Ken brings to the MedGenesis Board a wealth of experience in business development and corporate finance and we believe his leadership and complementary skill set will be an invaluable asset to the strategic direction and growth of our organization,” said Dr. Erich Mohr, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of MedGenesis.

Ken Newport is an entrepreneur and life sciences business executive and a chartered accountant. He was a co-founder and President of CroMedica Global Inc. Prior to its merger with PRA International, CroMedica had annual revenues of over $40 million with 600 employees in offices in 9 countries. From 2002-2005, Mr. Newport served as a Senior Vice President and Executive Committee member of PRA International. Mr. Newport was also a founding member of Global Biomedical Capital Corporation, Zelos Therapeutics Inc., Prime Trials Inc. and other life science organizations. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Ottawa Life Science Council.

“I am looking forward to contributing to the growth of MedGenesis. The business model is extremely unique and potentially allows for the Company to have products in the clinic as early as next year,” said Mr. Newport.

Seth Macfarlane To Host 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony On November 9 Honoring Worlds Foremost Scientists

Discovery Channel And Science Channel To Simulcast Premiere Gala On November 15 In The U.S.

BBC World News To Air Worldwide Weekend Of November 22.

Presenters to Include Kate Beckinsale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Diaz, John Hamm and Eddie Redmayne.

San Francisco, CA, October 29 Honoring the worlds top scientists and mathematicians, the 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane. The special, produced again by the Emmy Award-winning Don Mischer Productions, will be televised in the U.S. as a simulcast on Discovery Channel and Science Channel on November 15 at 6 PM ET/PT and globally the weekend of November 22 on BBC World News.

The Breakthrough Prize, which awards each laureate in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics $3 million with a total awarded amount of $36 million, is sponsored by Breakthrough Prize Founders Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The goal is to celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

The exclusive ceremony, co-hosted by the Breakthrough Prize founders and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, will take place in Silicon Valley on November 9.

Award presenters include Kate Beckinsale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Diaz, Jon Hamm and Eddie Redmayne.

Read Also: Parkinson’s How Fast Does It Progress

Artificial Intelligence Model Can Detect Parkinsons From Breathing Patterns

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Parkinsons disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose as it relies primarily on the appearance of motor symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and slowness, but these symptoms often appear several years after the disease onset. Now, Dina Katabi, the Thuan and Nicole Pham Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and principal investigator at MIT Jameel Clinic, and her team have developed an artificial intelligence model that can detect Parkinsons just from reading a persons breathing patterns.

The tool in question is a neural network, a series of connected algorithms that mimic the way a human brain works, capable of assessing whether someone has Parkinsons from their nocturnal breathing i.e., breathing patterns that occur while sleeping. The neural network, which was trained by MIT PhD student Yuzhe Yang and postdoc Yuan Yuan, is also able to discern the severity of someones Parkinsons disease and track the progression of their disease over time.

Over the years, researchers have investigated the potential of detecting Parkinsons using cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging, but such methods are invasive, costly, and require access to specialized medical centers, making them unsuitable for frequent testing that could otherwise provide early diagnosis or continuous tracking of disease progression.

How Can People Cope With Parkinson’s Disease

Voice algorithms spot Parkinson

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.

Also Check: Does Parkinson’s Cause Tremors

A New Era For Parkinsons Disease Treatment

March 2, 2022 | By

A non-invasive ultrasound treatment for Parkinsons disease that was tested in a pivotal trial led by University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers is now broadly available at the University of Maryland Medical Center .

Howard Eisenberg, MD, Dheeraj Gandhi, MD, MBBS, Paul Fishman, MD, PhD, Bert W. OMalley, MD.

The device, called Exablate Neuro, was approved in November by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced Parkinsons disease on one side of the brain. The approval was based on findings from the UMSOM clinical trial and effectively expands access to focused ultrasound beyond clinical trial participation.

Rapid Reversal of Symptoms

Focused ultrasound is an incisionless procedure, performed without the need for anesthesia or an in-patient stay in the hospital. Patients, who are fully alert, lie in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, wearing a transducer helmet. Ultrasonic energy is targeted through the skull to the globus pallidus, a structure deep in the brain that helps control regular voluntary movement. MRI images provide doctors with a real-time temperature map of the area being treated. During the procedure, the patient is awake and providing feedback, which allows doctors to monitor the immediate effects of the tissue ablation and make adjustments as needed.

Patient: Focused Ultrasound Changed My Life

A New Era for Parkinsons Disease Treatment

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.

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Woman Who Can ‘smell Parkinson’s Disease’ Helps Scientific Breakthrough

Joy Milne says she can smell people who have the disease while in supermarkets and walking down the street

  • 13:52, 7 SEP 2022

A womans hyper-sensitive sense of smell has helped scientists to develop a test to determine whether people have Parkinsons disease. The test has been years in the making after academics realised that Joy Milne could smell the condition.

The 72-year-old from Perth, Scotland, has a rare condition which gives her a heightened sense of smell. She noticed that her late husband Les developed a different odour when he was 33 some 12 years before he was diagnosed with the disease, which leads to parts of the brain becoming progressively damaged over many years.

Mrs Milne, dubbed the woman who can smell Parkinsons described a musky aroma, different from his normal scent. Her observation piqued the interest of scientists who decided to research what she could smell, and whether this could be harnessed to help identify people with the neurological condition.

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Years later, academics at the University of Manchester have made a breakthrough by developing a test which can identify people with Parkinsons disease using a simple cotton bud run along the back of the neck. Researchers can examine the sample to identify molecules linked to the disease to help diagnose whether someone has the disease.

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