Remain Unclear on Role of Dopamine in Daytime Sleepiness:
Excessive daytime sleepiness can be a problem for patients suffering
from Parkinson's disease, and doctors say they still are not totally
clear on the extent to which use of dopamine drugs might be a factor.
Back Medicare Coverage of Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's:
An expert panel is preparing to recommend that Medicare provide
coverage for brain stimulation to treat advanced stages of Parkinson's
disease and essential tremor.
Research Discovery Leads to Questions About Use of Dopamine:
Researchers say they have identified a brain cell protein
that when combined with dopamine could be linked to development
of Parkinson's disease.
Sufferers Three Times More Likely to Develop Parkinson's:
Researchers ponder whether depression may be the first symptom of
May Have Found the Origin of Parkinson's Disease Tremors:
Researchers are hopeful that the findings will give them new directions
for the development of Parkinson's therapies.
Stimulation Helps Patients Control Parkinson's Symptoms:
The technique involves involves implanting two brain pacemakers
into the brain, similar to the devices used for the heart.
Factor Can Dramatically Improve Patients With Advanced Parkinson's:
Researchers say when pumped directly into dopamine deficient areas
of the brain, growth factor produced marked improvement in the symptoms
of Parkinson's disease in five patients, including their ability
Loss May Explain Why Some Patients Suffer Blood Pressure Drop:
Researchers say orthostatic hypotension, previously blamed on the
effects of levodopa (L-dopa), may actually be caused by a loss of
sympathetic nerves as a result of the Parkinson's itself.
Cell Transplant Can Help Advanced Parkinson's Patients at Any Age:
Researchers say the improvements are related not to the individual's
age, but to how well the individual responded to levodopa before
Using Cells From Retina of Human Eye Shows Promise:
Researchers say cells from the retina produce dopamine as well as
levodopa, a chemical that is the main ingredient of Sinemet, the
standard treatment for the disease.
Own Stem Cells Can Be Used to Treat Parkinson's:
Researchers say adult neural stem cells taken from a patient's central
nervous system can be used in their treatment for the disease.
Say Two Common Parkinson's Drugs Act Differently:
The results of brain scans in the study of pramipexole and levodopa
may lead to ways to better treat the disease at an early stage,
according to researchers.
Improvement Reported for Patients Treated With Spheramine: Researchers
report continued improvement in motor function and quality of life
for Parkinson's patients treated with Spheramine® in a clinical
study being performed at Emory University in Atlanta.
disease belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders.
Parkinson's and related disorders are the result of the loss of
dopamine-producing brain cells. Dopamine is a chemical messenger
responsible for transmitting signals within the brain.
disease occurs when certain nerve cells, or neurons, die or become
impaired. Normally, these neurons produce dopamine. Loss of dopamine
causes the nerve cells to fire out of control, leaving patients
unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner.
The four primary
symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor or trembling in hands, arms,
legs, jaw, and face; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk;
bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability
or impaired balance and coordination. Patients may also have difficulty
walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks.
is both chronic and progressive. Parkinson's is not usually inherited.
Early symptoms are subtle and occur gradually.
A variety of
medications provide dramatic relief from the symptoms, but no drug
can stop the progression of the disease. In some cases, surgery
is an appropriate treatment. Some doctors recommend physical therapy
or muscle-strengthening exercises.
there is no way to predict or prevent Parkinson's disease.
information provided by: The National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD