Friday, February 16, 2024

Who Discovered Parkinson’s Disease

Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited

New drug target for Parkinson’s

Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

Chemical That Triggers Parkinsons Disease Discovered

Saint Louis University
The key brain chemical that causes Parkinsons disease has been discovered. This is a breakthrough finding that could pave the way for new, far more effective therapies to treat one of the most common and debilitating neurological disorders.

Researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have discovered the key brain chemical that causes Parkinsons disease a breakthrough finding that could pave the way for new, far more effective therapies to treat one of the most common and debilitating neurological disorders.

Currently, the main approach for treating Parkinsons disease, which afflicts more than 1.5 million Americans, is to replace dopamine thats lost when the cells that produce it die off and cause the disorder. With this new research, however, scientists can better work toward neuroprotective therapies those that actually block dopamine cells from dying off in the first place.

We believe this work represents a very significant breakthrough in understanding the complicated chemical process that results in Parkinsons disease, said William J. Burke, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the studys lead author.

For the first time, weve identified the chemical that triggers the events in the brain that cause this disorder, Burke added. We believe these findings can be used to develop therapies that can actually stop or slow this process.

Story Source:

Whats Different About Young

The age of diagnosis matters for a variety of reasons, from probable causes of early cases to symptoms and treatment:

  • Genetics. As with any case of Parkinsons disease, the exact cause is usually unknown. That said, The young-onset cases of Parkinsons disease are, on average, a bit more likely to be familial or genetic, says Gregory Pontone, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Movement Disorders Psychiatry Clinic.
  • Symptoms. In many patients with YOPD, dystonia is an early symptom. People with YOPD also report more dyskinesia . They also tend to exhibit cognitive problems, such as dementia and memory issues, less frequently.
  • Progression. Patients with young-onset Parkinsons appear to have a slower progression of the disease over time, says Pontone. They tend to have a milder course, staying functional and cognitively intact for much longer.
  • Treatment. Most patients with Parkinsons take the medication levodopa. However, other drugs, such as MAO-B inhibitors, anticholinergics, amantadine, and dopamine receptor agonists, may be used before levodopa.

Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Disease And Vision Problems

Parkinsons Disease Is Not One But Two Diseases

Aarhus University
Researchers around the world have been puzzled by the different symptoms and varied disease pathways of Parkinsons patients. A major study has now identified that there are actually two types of the disease.

Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinsons disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines. Which explains why patients with Parkinsons describe widely differing symptoms, and points towards personalised medicine as the way forward for people with Parkinsons disease.

This is the conclusion of a study which has just been published in the leading neurology journal Brain.

The researchers behind the study are Professor Per Borghammer and Medical Doctor Jacob Horsager from the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

With the help of advanced scanning techniques, weve shown that Parkinsons disease can be divided into two variants, which start in different places in the body. For some patients, the disease starts in the intestines and spreads from there to the brain through neural connections. For others, the disease starts in the brain and spreads to the intestines and other organs such as the heart, explains Per Borghammer.

He also points out that the discovery could be very significant for the treatment of Parkinsons disease in the future, as this ought to be based on the individual patients disease pattern.

Story Source:

From Doctor To Naturalist And Social Activist

World Parkinsons Disease Day: The life of the man who ...

Bristol University researcher Cherry Lewis notes in The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson, one of the most recent biographies of the English physician, that Parkinson was not only a pioneer in medicine but also internationally famous for his works on fossils. He revealed an unknown world His exquisitely illustrated Organic Remains of a Former World placed the study of fossils on the scientific map of Britain before the subject even had a name. Lewis also adds that the gold medal Parkinson received from the Royal College of Surgeons was not for his publications, not even for his Essay on the Shaky Palsy, but for his groundbreaking work on fossils.

Throughout his medical career, Parkinson showed a concern for social justice. In one of his works in 1799 he tried to help families with fewer resources to recognize illnesses and to understand when they should pay for medical help. Vaccination was one of the fields in which he was most closely linked: he became one of the first people in London to offer smallpox vaccines.

You May Like: Iowa Parkinson’s Disease Association

Michael J Fox Credits His Wife Tracy Pollan For Helping Him Through His Diagnosis And Beyond

When diagnosed with a chronic disease as Michael J. Fox was, it’s only natural to ask, “Why?” Perhaps there’s a comfort in understanding the cause and effect in this situation. Maybe just being able to connect the dots creates some control. However, the “why” is often the most difficult if not impossible factor to determine.

Despite all of the research into Parkinson’s, the exact cause of it remains unknown, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Several components are connected to the disease, but like random jigsaw puzzle pieces, it is still not clear how these elements come together to cause Parkinson’s. What we do know is that early-onset Parkinson’s usually has a genetic factor . In fact, research is finding connections between certain genes and the likelihood of developing this form of Parkinson’s disease. Yet, it is possible to have these genes and never develop the disease at any point in your life.

Despite all of the unknowns, Fox has maintained an optimistic outlook in part because of the support of his wife Tracy Pollan. “We didn’t know what to expect,” Fox tells NBC’s Today. “One of the things I’ll always love Tracy for is that at that moment, she didn’t blink.” And according to a teary-eyed Fox, through all the ups and downs that followed, she still hasn’t blinked.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Average survival 8 years from diagnosis
Frequency About 0.4% of persons older than 65

Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of characterized by changes in sleep, , , movement, and . Memory loss is not always an early symptom. The disease and is usually diagnosed when cognitive decline interferes with . Together with , DLB is one of the two . It is a common form of dementia, but the is not known accurately and many diagnoses are missed. The disease was first described by in 1976.

in which people lose the that normally occurs during and act out their dreamsis a core feature. RBD may appear years or decades before other symptoms. Other core features are , marked fluctuations in or alertness, and . A presumptive diagnosis can be made if several disease features are present, such as symptoms or certain results of , , , and . A definitive diagnosis usually requires an .

Don’t Miss: What Kills A Person With Parkinson’s Disease

The Chase: Paul Sinha Gets Annoyed Over Incorrect Answer

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways youve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Paul Sinha, 51, has shared how he first discovered he may have Parkinsons disease after he suspected something was wrong when his shoulder became frozen. The Chase star said he looked up his symptoms while he was on tour in New Zealand and it offered up a life-changing diagnosis.

Parkinsons Disease Brain Science

Eye Test May Reveal Parkinsons Disease Earlier

PD results from a lack of dopamine in the brain. PD destroys a part of the brain stem known as the substantia nigra. Over time, dopamine-producing nerve cells in this area die, and the resulting decrease in dopamine levels leads to tremors, rigidity, and difficulty with motor skills. Researchers are trying to find ways to prevent or reverse the damage. Their work is coming at the problem from many different angles areas of current research include:

Title: Memory impairment in PD

Stage: Enrolling patients, treatment pilot trial

Principal investigator: Gregory Pontone, MD, MHS

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, MD

Dr. Pontone and Arnold Bakker, PhD, focus on the non-motor aspects of Parkinsons disease and related disorders in adults age 65 or older.

PD is more than just a disabling movement disorder. It also causes changes in thinking, perception, and mood regulation. As a result, more than half of persons with Parkinsons disease suffer from dementia, anxiety, depression, and hallucinations at some point during the course of the illness.

Dr. Pontones research aims to gain a better understanding of how PD injures a vital part of the brain called the hippocampus. Damage to networks in this area of the brain raises the risk for memory impairment, anxiety, depression, and psychosis.

Dr. Pontone and Dr. Bakker are seeking funding to extend the project by:

Read Also: What Causes Tremors Besides Parkinson’s

Thanks For Signing Up

We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinsons news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as not spam and you should receive our emails as expected.

A Startling Discovery For Parkinson’s Disease

“The brain is the essence of our humanity. We are who we are because of our memory, the way we communicate, the way we move, the things we like or don’t like, our social interactions.”– Dr. Ming Guo

Dr. Ming Guo is a neurologist, who treats patients, and research scientist studying how neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons disease disrupt normal brain function and ultimately destroy neurons. As we live longer, more of us will suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. This has enormous consequences for individuals, families and our society. “The brain is the essence of our humanity,” Dr. Guo, says. “We are who we are because of our memory, the way we communicate, the way we move, the things we like or don’t like, our social interactions. To be deprived of that is devastating for both the patients and their loved ones. These are diseases that dehumanize people. You lose yourself.”

Dr. Guo, has long been puzzled by the variety of symptoms and disease trajectories she sees in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Years ago, she began looking at the cells of patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as models of the disease in a fruit fly called Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit flies make excellent models for studying human disease because about 60 percent of human disease genes have a strikingly similar form of them in fruit flies. By studying some of the genes linked to Parkinson’s Disease in fruit flies, Dr. Guo has discovered how they work.

Recommended Reading: What Is Parkinson’s Disease And How Do You Get It

Environmental Factors And Exposures

Exposure to and a history of head injury have each been linked with PD, but the risks are modest. Never having smoked cigarettes, and never drinking caffeinated beverages, are also associated with small increases in risk of developing PD.

Low concentrations of in the blood is associated with an increased risk of PD.

Drug-induced parkinsonism

Different medical drugs have been implicated in cases of parkinsonism. Drug-induced parkinsonism is normally reversible by stopping the offending agent. Drugs include:

Michael J Fox Broke His Arm And Lost His Optimism

08 Parkinsons Disease

It was the summer of 2018 and the year had already been rough for Michael J. Fox. Now, in addition to managing a progressive disease, he was recovering from spinal surgery and starving for a little time to himself, according to the CBC. But no sooner did he get his wish when he slipped on a tile in his kitchen and fell on his arm, shattering it. Alone and unable to get help, Fox remembered at that moment, he was tired of his “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” attitude about his condition. “That was the point where I went ‘I’m out of the freakin’ lemonade business,'” he told the CBC. “‘I can’t put a shiny face on this. This sucks, and who am I to tell people to be optimistic?'”

Fractures are not uncommon among people with Parkinson’s. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, the disease can cause changes to a person’s skeleton, including lower bone density. In fact, if a person with Parkinson’s does less walking and other exercises in which their skeleton needs to support their weight, they run the risk of weaker bones, increasing their chances of bone fractures if they fall. In Fox’s case, as he detailed to the CBC. his arm was so badly broken that it needed to be rebuilt. And what about his optimism? That too would need some rebuilding.

Also Check: Parkinson’s And Marriage Breakdown

Researchers Polled 4324 People With Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers polled 4,324 people with Parkinson’s disease and significant gait deficits for the study. Problems including unbalance, stumbling, falling, staggering, and freezing are among them. 35% of the participants said their walking issues made it difficult for them to do their normal daily activities, and 52% said they had fallen in the previous year.

The survey clarified the seven basic compensation strategy groups. Internal cueing, such as walking to a count in your head. External cueing, such as walking in rhythm to a metronome. Changing the balance requirement, such as making wider turns. Altering mental state, such as relaxation techniques. Action observation and motor imagery, such as watching another person walk. Adapting a new walking pattern, such as jumping or walking backwards and other techniques. Each category was described and participants were asked if they were familiar with it, and if so, how it worked for them in various situations.

Researchers discovered that people with Parkinson’s disease frequently employ walking compensatory measures, but are unaware of all seven. For instance, 17% of people had never heard of any of these tactics, and 23% had never attempted any of them. Only 4% of respondents were aware of all compensation strategy categories.

History Of Parkinson’s Disease

James ParkinsonEssay on the Shaking Palsy

The history of Parkinson’s disease expands from 1817, when British apothecary James Parkinson published An Essay on the Shaking Palsy, to modern times. Before Parkinson’s descriptions, others had already described features of the disease that would bear his name, while the 20th century greatly improved knowledge of the disease and its treatments. PD was then known as paralysis agitans . The term “Parkinson’s disease” was coined in 1865 by William Sanders and later popularized by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. Paralysis

You May Like: Green Tea For Parkinson’s

Michael J Fox Was Diagnosed With Early

“I was so scared. I was so unfamiliar with Parkinson’s,” Michael J. Fox admitted during an interview with The New York Times. “Someone is saying your life is going to be completely changed.” According to the National Institute on Aging, Parkinson’s disease is a type of brain disorder in which the person may feel basically fine at first but will increasingly develop symptoms, ranging from fatigue to difficulty walking.

While Parkinson’s usually occurs around age 60, Fox developed a form called “young-onset Parkinson’s disease”, per the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This is also referred to as early onset Parkinson’s disease, and it first manifests itself in someone when they are under 50 years old . Only about 5 to 10% of people with Parkinson’s have this form.

Knowing he would be experiencing symptoms but not knowing just how soon or how severe, Fox threw himself into his work, taking on movie projects with an emphasis on quantity over quality. “If I’d had any imperative to accomplish anything with movies, it shouldn’t have been to do as many quick successful ones as I could,” Fox told The New York Times. It should’ve been to do as many good ones as I could. To do one good one.” Unfortunately, projects like “Greedy” and “Life with Mikey” flopped with both critics and audiences alike.

Popular Articles
Related news