Welcome to Our Parkinson's Place

I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
updated news is in one place. That is why I began this blog.
I am not responsible for it's contents, I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish. This is for you to read and to always keep an open mind.
Please discuss this with your doctor, should you have any questions, or concerns. Never do anything without talking to your doctor. I do not make any money from this website. I volunteer my time to help all of us to be informed. Please No advertisers, and No Information about Herbal treatments. This is a free site for all.
Thank you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Video games or therapy? New rehabilitation technology combines both

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP—Clare McLaughlin concentrated as she maneuvered a joystick so her flying game character mimicked her movements on a computer screen and collected gold coins for points while evading the flying eagles and hawks that could derail her high score.
Although the points showed how well she was doing in the game, a different set of points being analyzed behind the scenes evaluated McLaughlin’s mobile and cognitive abilities. That score sheet would be used by medical experts to assess her arm, wrist and hand rehabilitation.
Rapidly evolving technology has driven medicine, including rehabilitation sciences, to new levels of treatment, experts say. Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation revamped its neurorecovery therapy by training McLaughlin and other therapists on the latest rehabilitation technology.
It helps to have that perception into how they are performing and get feedback immediately from the screen in front of us,” McLaughlin, an occupational therapist, said. “If we want to work on the arm and improvement, it’s a good visual to have. Before, we were lacking that kind of feedback.”
A team of occupational therapists took turns training on the Hocoma Armeo automated therapeutic robot on a recent afternoon. They strapped themselves into what looked like a bionic arm and tested out the various games in the program.
Jose Antonio Tovar Sandoval, training specialist with manufacturer Hocoma, said while patients have fun playing from a choice of more than 20 games, the robotic programs will record a patient’s progress over a long period of time and provide statistical analysis of his or her rehabilitation.
The Armeo is one of several new therapy equipment and robotic technology coming to Bacharach’s new James Klinghoffer Neurorecovery Center, opening mid January. The center was named after the local philanthropist and Longport resident donated $1 million to the institute in June.
“I thought, from my own perspective, if I had a stroke and had a spastic arm, what would it be worth to get treatment to help me dress myself again,” said Gabe Staino, Bacharach senior development officer. “Just the idea that I could be independent enough to dress myself, to walk again . . . these devices take it to another level.”
The new technology will assist with both physical and occupational therapy for patients who may be recovering from or managing stroke damage, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.
The robotic and computer technology can accommodate a range of patients and mobility. Hocomo’s Andago straps patients upright and provides body support for people who want to improve in walking while MYRO’s Tyromotion is a cognitive therapy tool that records pressure sensitivity, visual range and sensor precision as a patient plays games and activities on a giant touch screen monitor.
Hocoma’s Lokomat, perhaps the most impressive, gets a severely impaired patient strapped into robotic legs while the machine supports the body in an upright position so that the robot can work the patient’s legs on a treadmill in a natural way.
McLaughlin, a therapist for 25 years, said new technological advances provide more consistent ways to track patient data as well as provide measurable outcomes and information for research purposes.
“It’s (rehabilitation) has come so far,” she said. “The value in robotic technology is how well it’s thought out. We used to have to force a patient into (routines), but now we can customize everything to the patient’s precise needs and abilities.”

Superman' Star Valerie Perrine Gets Her Smile Back After Parkinson's Meds Cause Her to Lose Teeth

 - Inside Edition Staff

Valerie Perrine has a new smile and new outlook on life, thanks to a recent dental procedure. 
Perrine is best remembered as Lex Luther’s girlfriend Ms. Teschmacher in the original 1978 Superman movie opposite Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman. She was also one of the hottest sex symbols of the 70s.
Her beauty and exquisite face made her a sought-after Hollywood sensation, but today, her life has taken a dramatic turn.
She is now 74 years old and suffers from a severe case of Parkinson’s disease.
Brain surgery to stop the shaking was unsuccessful. Now, medication she takes to manage her Parkinson’s is making her teeth so brittle that they're falling out.
Unable to eat solid foods, she's also malnourished.
Inside Edition was with Perrine as she sought to restore her once-perfect smile.
Beverly Hills periodontist Sanda Moldovan used implants to permanently replace her upper teeth.
“You’re going to smile, you’re not going to have to remove it and you'll be able to eat and enjoy everything,” Dr. Moldovan explained to the actress before the procedure. 
As the actress was sedated, the doctor began by removing all Perrine’s remaining upper teeth with a special tool. She then straightened her jaw and harvested some unneeded bone from her mouth. 
“We are going to use the bone that we harvested from other areas and we’re going to plug it up in the whole where the teeth used to be and that will help maintain the shape of the jaw,” the doctor said. 
After six hours, the surgery was completed, and it was a success! 
“Her procedure went great," the doctor said. "I had a hard time with her bone — it was so soft her teeth were breaking down — but she was sleeping and I was able to do my best work." 
One week after the operation, Inside Edition checked in with Perrine to see how she is doing. 
Perrine said the teeth are “perfect” and the actress who once graced the silver screen is able to smile again. 
Perrine's procedure was provided courtesy a charity called Smile Fairies, which provides dental care to people who otherwise cannot afford it.


FoxFeed Blog: Spread Holiday Cheer with Team Fox Portion of Proceeds

 Gift Ideas Posted by Seth Manthey, December 12, 2017

This holiday season, Team Fox members are putting their business savvy to work in order to speed a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD). Many members of our community are using portion of proceeds sales to engage their networks in supporting vital Parkinson's disease research.
Here are just a few portion of proceeds fundraisers to inspire your giving to family and friends, while also giving back to end PD:

Hope For Christmas: When Michael Raskovsky's friend George Hill was diagnosed with PD, Michael knew very little about the disease. Over the years, Michael witnessed Parkinson's affect George's mobility and communication -- and yet, the disease did not stifle George's love of singing.
With the help of volunteer musicians, singers, engineers and producers, Michael created the holiday album Hope for Christmas. The album, available for purchase on iTunes, showcases George and several artists as they celebrate the holiday spirit. All proceeds from Hope for Christmas are donated to Team Fox

HICKIES: The "No Tie Elastic Shoelace System" has made it easy to lose the laces and put your miles to work with Team Fox. HICKIES is offering a discount by using promo code "MJFOX." This code provides you and your friends with a 20 percent discount, but also donates 25 percent of your purchase to the high-impact programs of the Foundation. Now is the perfect time to enjoy #lifewithoutlaces

Squar'd AwaySquar'd Away is a collection of designer bandanas, with 20 percent of the proceeds from each sale donated to Team Fox. Squar'd Away Founder and Team Fox member, Sara Harari, describes her inspiration behind the company: "When building Squar'd Away, I was excited to give the classic bandana a serious makeover, but my ultimate goal was always to contribute to the fight against Parkinson's. When my father was diagnosed with PD nearly 10 years ago, it was hard to know how to be there for him and show my support. This is my way."

PopSockets: In October 2017 PopSockets announced that its "DoGood" initiative will focus on Parkinson's awareness and a portion of proceeds campaign. Through the end of the year, PopSockets will be donating 10 percent of their net online sales evenly across four different Parkinson's organizations - The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), Davis Phinney Foundation, Dance for PD and Rock Steady Boxing. "We've received heartwarming emails from people who have a hard time comfortably using their mobile devices due to health issues like Parkinson's disease. Hearing these stories directly from PD patients was a 'eureka' moment for us, and we knew we had to do more." said David Barnett, PopSockets founder and CEO.

Inspired? There are many unique ways you can support Parkinson's research! Visit for more information and to get involved.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease benefit from specialized physiotherapy

December 13, 2017

Specialized ParkinsonNet physiotherapy leads to better care at lower costs. This is the conclusion of large-scale research conducted by the CZ healthcare insurance company and Radboudumc, who studied the medical claims declarations of over four thousand people with Parkinson’s disease for a period of three years. The specialized physiotherapists needed fewer treatment sessions, and the patients sustained fewer complications. The healthcare costs were also significantly lower. The results of this new research will be published in The Lancet Neurology on 13 December.
There is increasing evidence that patients with Parkinson’s disease benefit from allied health interventions, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy. Parkinson-specific expertise is needed for optimal treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease. Professionals who have been trained as part of the Dutch national ParkinsonNet have this expertise. Previous scientific research showed that the ParkinsonNet approach results in better care at lower costs. However, little was known about the added value of this approach in the long-term, and in day-to-day practice. Therefore, the healthcare insurer CZ initiated an analysis of their medical claims database including 4,381 patients who had data available for a period of 3 years.
This results show that patients who had been treated by a specialized physiotherapist sustained significantly fewer complications such as bone fractures, and were also less likely to be admitted to a hospital. There was also a tendency towards a lower mortality rate among those who had received the specialized treatment. The costs of this specialized physiotherapy were also significantly lower. On average, patients claimed almost € 400 less per year for specialized treatment than for regular treatment, and the total annual healthcare costs (including the medical specialist care) were on average € 530 lower per patient, because hospital admissions were avoided. In the Netherlands, this represents an estimated annual cost saving of over € 11 million.
Researcher Jan Ypinga from CZ is pleased with the results: “This is the first time that research into this subject has been carried out among such a large, representative patient group, and over several years. We now have insight into the impact of specialized treatment in everyday clinical practice. I’m glad that patients experienced fewer complications, such as a bone fracture after a fall, if they received specialized physiotherapy. This is really good news for people with Parkinson’s disease. And it enables patients and professionals to make a conscious choice for high-quality care.’
Professor Bas Bloem from the Radboudumc mainly emphasizes the importance of specialized care for a complex disorder such as Parkinson’s disease: “This analysis of medical claims data sheds new light on the added value of ParkinsonNet in everyday clinical practice. These new findings make it very clear that people with Parkinson’s disease deserve to be treated by an expert with a deep understanding of this complex condition, and who is fully up-to-date on all the latest insights and treatment options.”

Parkinson's patient forced to battle bureaucracy around assisted death

By Kas Roussy, CBC News Posted: Dec 13, 2017

'My life these days is hell on Earth and I don't want to be here anymore': Nancy Vickers

Parkinson's patient Nancy Vickers had to fight Ontario's health care bureaucracy to fulfill her choice of a medically assisted death, even though this right became law in Canada in 2016. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The bubbly is chilling. The lobster flown in from Nova Scotia is unpacked. The sound of jazz and laughter fill the room.
In a small apartment in Toronto, an intimate gathering of family and friends is ready to celebrate a life well lived. And a woman's triumph in determining when, and on whose terms, her life would come to an end.
The guest of honour is 64-year old Nancy Vickers.
"I'm wearing a brassiere," she announces to the gathering. "I haven't worn one for such a long time."
That's Nancy, the "free spirit," says her long-time friend and one-time lover, Dalil Kabbage. "Classic but wild," he says, "a pure product of the 70s."
But in recent years, that free spirit has been a prisoner to deteriorating health. Vickers was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2005.
"Parkinson's takes away your life. Chisels it away day by day, bit by bit," she told CBC News.

Vickers was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2005 and her quality of life had eroded significantly in recent months. (David Donnelly/CBC)

It's the reason she summoned this small group to her home on a blustery November day. It's a final goodbye. 
Soon, with the help of a physician, she'll slip away to her bedroom and get a medically assisted death.
It's a victory for Vickers. Ending her life on her own terms was always her wish, and she said she was buoyed when assisted dying became law in Canada last year.
"I've had such a full life," she said. "I'm so lucky that I've been able to travel and have wonderful friends all over the world. I don't want to become the drooling vegetable mass that I do sometimes become already."
Her cousin, Jane Watanabe, supported her decision. "I think she had people saying, 'Oh Nancy, you don't mean that. You don't want to do that.' But she does. She really, really wants to do it."
Getting what she wanted, though, proved to be a challenge. There were unexpected roadblocks as she pursued her choice of a medically assisted death — an option more than 2,500 people in Canada have taken since it became legal across the country in June 2016. 

Reasonably foreseeable

Vickers told CBC that she wanted a medically assisted death, because her disease was progressing. (David Donnelly/CBC

With her condition worsening, Vickers needed to find a doctor who could help her die. 
The obvious choice was her family physician, Dr. Paul Cramer.
"It was late winter. She called me, asked me what I thought about it," Dr. Cramer says. "And I said I agree. And I would help her."
But after consulting with the Canadian Medical Protective Association, a group that provides legal advice to doctors, Dr. Cramer was advised by a lawyer that Vickers' illness didn't fit the new law's eligibility criteria. That is, that a death has to be reasonably foreseeable in order for the patient to qualify for a physician-assisted death.
"It puts a degree of pressure on the doctor to have to predict when a patient is going to die," Dr. Cramer says.
 "Each case is absolutely different," counters the CMPA's Dr. Todd Watkins.

Vickers vowed to keep pushing for her right to medically assisted death, even as the effects of Parkinson's worsened and made leaving her apartment all but impossible. (David Donnelly/CBC)

"We never tell  a physician that they can't do something, or that they can go ahead and do something," he adds.
"Our advice is, what is the risk? What's our interpretation of the patient they have in front of them, that patient's condition, how it fits within the eligibility criteria? And if we feel that they don't meet the eligibility criteria based on a reasonably foreseeable (death), we'll tell the physicians we have concerns in that area."
Vickers' family doctor was worried by the CMPA's response about her case. 
"I would need some assurance that I would not be arrested or sent to jail," he told CBC News.
Without that assurance, Dr. Cramer said, he couldn't help Vickers. 

Inconsistent advice

Down but not defeated, Vickers and her cousin Watanabe struggled to navigate a bureaucratic provincial health care system, and a medical community unclear of what Canada's law allows them to do.
"I will keep pushing until I get my own way," Vickers told CBC News as it followed her case. "My life these days is hell on Earth and I don't want to be here anymore."
Eventually, Vickers contacted the Ontario Ministry of Health directly. Earlier this year, it had set up a phone service that helps patients access information for people seeking medical assistance in dying. 
But this led to more frustration for Vickers.
"There were phone numbers that were given to us that you had to be a medical professional to access," says her cousin. "There's supposed to be a register of medical professionals who are able to sign off on (medically assisted dying), and we couldn't access that."
It took several attempts to find the right information, but Vickers' calls finally led her to a Toronto doctor. 
"When I first met Nancy I saw someone who was frail, who could hardly walk to her own washroom, who was confined to the spaces of her own apartment," said the doctor, who asked not to be identified because their family is deeply religious and does not know they are assisting people in death.
The physician agreed to help her.
Why does one doctor say yes and another say no to the same patient? Vickers' story highlights a dilemma playing out across the country, according to Dying with Dignity CEO Shanaaz Gokool. 
"The eligibility criteria creates inconsistent access that's based upon how a clinician interprets the legislation," she says. "It's a problem, because from one end of the country to another, from one hospital to another, there are different directives."
​The doctor helping Vickers understands why some colleagues like Dr. Cramer are reluctant to be involved in helping someone die.
"I think Nancy's family doctor had the best of intentions when he tried to find out if this is someone who qualified. We're doctors, we're not lawyers. We're not trained to interpret the law, to know how to apply it when it's vague."
Gokool points out that confusion interpreting the law is also putting a burden on patients, many of whom are already overwhelmed by the stress of coping with their medical conditions and may not be equipped to navigate the medical and legal systems.
"Nancy's case illustrates a woman with a very clear conviction," Gokool says. "She was very determined, (she) could advocate to some extent for herself."
For its part, the CMPA says it is comfortable with the advice it offers doctors, given the complexity of the issue.
"We're kind of blazing a trail in this country," says the CMPA's Dr. Watkins. "This is very progressive for us as a country. It's all new. We're moving ahead in a very measured way, which I think is the right thing to do. It's not always straightforward and easy."

Nancy's choice

Several days before Vickers' farewell party, her physician checked on her to review the paperwork and make sure everything was in order.
"You know, of course, you can change your mind at any time," the doctor told her. "It doesn't affect any of the medical care you get." 
Vickers took the doctor's hand. "I'm just so happy that you're going to be there," she said.
On Nov. 9, after the farewell celebration at her apartment, Nancy Vickers — surrounded by her nephew Ben, cousin Jane and her two closest friends — was given four injections.
"She went just like she wanted to go," her friend Dalil Kabbage says. "Easy. Peacefully."
To view video:

The Fear of Losing Control and its Role in Anxiety Disorders

Source: Concordia University.

The fear of losing control over thoughts and actions can impact OCD behaviors and other anxiety disorders, researchers report.

Adam Radomsky: “People who believe they’re going to lose control are significantly more likely to exhibit checking behaviour.” image is adapted from the Concordia University news release.

Did you lock the front door? Did you double-check? Are you sure?.

If this sounds familiar, perhaps you can relate to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Help may be on the way. New Concordia research sheds light on how the fear of losing control over thoughts and actions impacts OCD-related behaviour, including checking.
Although more traditional types of fear — think snakes, spiders, dogs, etc. — have been well investigated, this is one of the few studies to focus primarily on the fear of losing control.

“We’ve shown that people who believe they’re going to lose control are significantly more likely to exhibit checking behaviour with greater frequency,” says Adam Radomsky, a psychology researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“So, when we treat OCD in the clinic, we can try to reduce their beliefs about losing control and that should reduce their symptoms.”

The study

Radomsky’s findings were published this October in the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, co-authored with PhD student Jean-Philippe Gagné.
It’s the first in a series of related projects Radomsky is undertaking, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

“The 133 undergraduate students who participated were given bogus EEGs. They were randomly assigned false feedback that they were either at low or high risk of losing control over their thoughts and actions,” explains Radomsky, Concordia University Research Chair in Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Next, participants were given a computerized task — trying to control the flow of images on a screen by using a sequence of key commands. At any time, they could push the space bar to check or confirm the key sequence.

Those who were led to believe that their risk of losing control was higher engaged in far more checking than those who were led to believe that the risk was low.

‘Something we can treat’

Surprisingly, the students who participated in the study did not self-identify as having OCD.

“If you can show that by leading people to believe they might be at risk of losing control, symptoms start to show themselves, then it can tell us something about what might be behind those symptoms in people who do struggle with the problem,” Radomsky says.

“This gives us something we can try to treat.”

The findings were consistent with what he and Gagné expected.

“We hypothesize that people’s fears and beliefs about losing control may put them at risk for a range of problems, including panic disorder, social phobia, OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and others,” Radomsky adds.

“This work has the potential to vastly improve our ability to understand and treat the full range of anxiety-related problems.”
Source: Michael Watkins – Concordia University
Publisher: Organized by
Image Source: image is adapted from the Concordia University news release.
Original Research: Abstract for “Manipulating beliefs about losing control causes checking behaviour” by Jean-Philippe Gagné and Adam S. Radomsky in Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Published online August 31 2017 doi:10.1016/j.jocrd.2017.08.013


Manipulating beliefs about losing control causes checking behaviour
Cognitive theories of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) posit that maladaptive beliefs lead to the development of symptoms. However, psychometric studies have provided mixed evidence regarding whether beliefs about control over thoughts predict OCD symptoms above and beyond other obsessive beliefs. Clinical reports have documented concerns among those diagnosed with OCD regarding a potential loss of control over their thoughts and behaviour, indicating that broadening the scope of beliefs about control by integrating aspects of losing control may better explain their role in OCD. In this study, 133 undergraduate participants underwent a bogus EEG session and received (positive or negative) false feedback about the possibility that they may lose control over their thoughts and behaviour, and completed a task asking them to control the pace of pictures. As hypothesized, participants in the high (versus low) beliefs about losing control condition checked significantly more often which keys they should use to control the pictures, t(106.95) = 2.28, p = .02, d = .44, demonstrating that manipulating beliefs about control can impact checking behaviour when a potential loss of control is emphasized. Also, checking behaviour predicted a lower desire for control, such that compulsions may be seen as opportunities to re-establish disrupted control cognitions.

“Manipulating beliefs about losing control causes checking behaviour” by Jean-Philippe Gagné and Adam S. Radomsky in Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Published online August 31 2017 doi:10.1016/j.jocrd.2017.08.013

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

InMotion keeps Parkinson’s community moving

BECKY RASPE |  December 12, 2017

Karen Jaffe

In Motion, a nonprofit health and wellness resource center for those living with Parkinson’s disease, finds itself in a unique position. It’s one of the only centers dedicated to Parkinson’s disease support and outreach.

Dr. Karen Jaffe, client and co-founder of InMotion, and Ben Rossi, co-founder, program director and coach, at InMotion in Warrensville Heights, said before InMotion, it was clear there weren’t many options for people living with the condition.
Ben Rossi
“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007 and upon diagnosis, it was clear there weren’t many options for people,” Jaffe said. “So, while getting involved in the community, I met others that agreed that we needed to provide these services. It’s one of the only centers in the country that fills the gap of care. We started out to fill that and we became a full-service organization that is getting noticed by people around the country that this is what is happening in Cleveland.”

Rossi said, “We know there is nowhere else like (InMotion). All our services are free to our clients and we’re a stigma-free community. We motivate, are helpful and supportive and our goal is to help those with Parkinson’s every day.”
Jaffe said as she’s not only a co-founder but also a client of InMotion, she has seen how outreach can change an entire family approach to diagnosis.
“For many people, before InMotion opened, there was nothing like this and they could feel isolated,” Jaffe said. “So, many people are grateful. Having a community is life-changing for them. All of that information makes all of the community a more educated community and allows people to advocate for themselves. It’s about taking the bull by the horns and to manage their disease in a way that’s more impactful.”
Rossi said InMotion offers various programs for those living with Parkinson’s, with classes that are specific to their symptoms and needs. InMotion offers classes in cycling, yoga, tai chi, boxing, dance and a program called Better Every Day, which is a unique fitness program designed for those who live with Parkinson’s disease.
“From the healing arts to our educational series and everything in between, we keep our clients ahead of the curve,” Rossi said. “‘Better Every Day’ exercise is catered to the specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. We offer an assessment protocol to help individuals get out of their chairs, off the floor … it’s really about exercise for brain change – to allow them to develop their minds and to tie their brain to their muscles.
“What we learn from the assessment is that our community is improving. It allows us to see who is doing well, being stable and who might be slipping and then we offer them exercise recommendations, possibly refer them to healthcare providers, and the process is designed to try and help clients keep improving.”
Woodmere resident Ann Plevin Rosenbluth has been a client at InMotion for 2 1/2 years and said her experiences at the center have changed her life.
“I got this diagnosis 10 years after I had been living with all sorts of different symptoms,” she said. “So, by the time I got to a neurologist about three years ago, I tried to manage it on my own. My sister-in-law told me about (InMotion) and I visited in and have been coming ever since.
“I didn’t know anyone with Parkinson’s and since I’ve come here, I am recognizing people who I know and didn’t know had Parkinson’s. (InMotion) is a safe and warm place that I can go to and be myself.”
Rosenbluth said that when she comes to InMotion on regular basis, she feels not only physically stronger but emotionally stronger as well.
“When you come here, you can share your week’s experiences," she said. "It avoids that isolation period that people go through when they are handling the diagnosis on their own and trying to figure out what to do next. This place sort of addresses your needs and the needs of family members. My whole family has been here and taken classes with me. They address all different types of conditions of people.”
As for the future of InMotion, Rossi, Jaffe and other leaders at the organization are hopeful.
“We are busting at the seams,” Rossi said. “We are seeing an influx of eight to 10 people coming in each week. We are getting visitors and phone calls from individuals in other parts of the country that are trying to figure out what we are doing. There is no other place like this in the Parkinson’s community.
"Other places may offer classes or other education, but we have a community that offers these services free of charge five days a week, all in one supportive center. What we’re doing is working, others in the national PD community are noticing, and this could become a national model.”
Jaffe said, “We are a forward-thinking group. We are trying to determine how to grow with our clients and to talk to them and see what their needs are and what their input is.”


12th December 2017 

Weight changes over time in people with Parkinson’s Disease and in those with atypical parkinsonism and can be associated with an increased risk of dependency, dementia and death. 

People with Parkinson’s Disease are generally lighter than average. People with atypical Parkinsonism normally had lower body weights than people with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Weight loss was greater in people with Parkinson’s Disease and even greater in people with atypical Parkinsonism. Only age was independently associated with significant weight loss, making it almost twice as likely as people age. When people with Parkinson’s Disease lost weight within a year of diagnosis it was associated with a more than doubling of an increased risk of dependency, and a more than tripling of the risk of dementia, and a more doubling of the risk of death.

Reference : Neurology [2017] 89 (22) : 2254-2261 (K.Cumming, A.D.Macleod, P.K.Myint, C.E.Counsell)

Complete abstract : 

7 Hand Exercises to Help People With Parkinson’s Disease


In this video from Invigorate Physical Therapy and Wellness, a physical therapist named Madi demonstrates some simple hand and wrist exercises that may be useful for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

The hand and wrist exercises are designed to help Parkinson’s disease patients with fine motor skills like handwriting and dressing, as well as improving flexibility and dexterity. Madi advises that people do the exercises once a day for a period of two weeks to see if they see any improvement in their hand and wrist strength and dexterity. She also recommends patients try to write before and after completing the exercises to see if they notice a difference.
To help warm your hands up for the day ahead, Madi suggests doing the exercises first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Parkinsons’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

FDA Clears Deep-Brain Stimulation System for Parkinson's

 Megan Brooks   December 12, 2017

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Boston Scientific's Vercise deep-brain stimulation (DBS) system to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), the company has announced.
According to Boston Scientific, the Vercise implantable pulse generator is the smallest rechargeable DBS device available in the United States and, depending on individual use, can have a battery life of more than 15 years.
This DBS system has a proprietary capability that independently controls the amount of current delivered by each electrode on the implanted leads, which have eight contacts. 
"These system features are designed to work together to address common challenges in DBS therapy ,such as fluctuations in symptoms and the progressive nature of the condition by offering more adaptable delivery of stimulation," the company explains in a news release.
The approval was based on the INTREPID study, a multicenter, prospective, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the system in 292 patients with PD at 23 sites.
The study successfully met its primary endpoint of mean change in waking hours with good symptom control. The company expects data from the INTREPID study to be released next year.
Safety data from the European multicenter, prospective, single-arm VANTAGE study also supported FDA approval, the company said.  In the VANTAGE study, 40 patients treated with the Vercise DBS system showed a 63% improvement in motor function at 52 weeks from baseline, as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale III, as well as improvements in quality of life and medication use.
"The Vercise DBS system changes the landscape of what physicians can do to help improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson's disease," Jerry Vitek, MD, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, and coordinating principal investigator for the INTREPID study, said in the release.