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.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The DDT Story

The DDT Story
DDT Spray
If there is a single pesticide almost everyone can name, it's DDT.
DDT was one of the first chemicals in widespread use as a pesticide. Following World War II, it was promoted as a wonder-chemical, the simple solution to pest problems large and small. Today, nearly 40 years after DDT was banned in the U.S., we continue to live with its long-lasting effects:
·         Food supplies: USDA found DDT breakdown products in 60% of heavy cream samples, 42% of kale greens, 28% of carrots and lower percentages of many other foods.
·         Body burden: DDT breakdown products were found in the blood of 99% of the people tested by CDC.
·         Health impacts: Girls exposed to DDT before puberty are 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer in middle age, according to the President’s Cancer Panel.
Banned for agricultural uses worldwide by the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the use of DDT is still permitted in small quantities in countries that need it, with support mobilized for the transition to safer and more effective alternatives. The treatment of DDT under the Stockholm Convention is strongly supported by PAN and our international partners.
Rachel Carson highlighted the dangers of DDT in her groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson used DDT to tell the broader story of the disastrous consequences of the overuse of insecticides, and raised enough concern from her testimony before Congress to trigger the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Her work attracted outrage from the pesticide industry and others. Her credibility as a scientist was attacked, and she was derided as “hysterical,” despite her fact-based assertions and calm and scholarly demeanor. Following the hearings, President Kennedy convened a committee to review the evidence Carson presented. The committee's review completely vindicating her findings.
One of the new EPA's first acts was to ban DDT, due to both concerns about harm to the environment and the potential for harm to human health. There was also evidence linking DDT with severe declines in bald eagle populations due to thinning eggshells. Since DDT was banned in the U.S., bald eagles have made a dramatic recovery
Recently, Carson's work has again been targeted by conservative groups. Capitalizing on the iconic status of DDT, these groups are promoting widespread use of the chemical for malaria control as part of a broader effort to manufacture doubt about the dangers of pesticides, and to promote their anti-regulatory, free market agenda while attempting to undermine and roll back the environmental movement's legacy.
Many DDT promoters are also in the business of denying climate change.
Attacks on Carson from groups like The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Africa Fighting Malaria portray DDT as the simple solution to malaria, and blame Carson for “millions of deaths in Africa.” Many of these DDT promoters are also in the business of denying climate change and defended the tobacco industry by denying the health harms of smoking.
Human Health Harms
The science on DDT's human health impacts has continued to mount over the years, with recent studies showing harm at very low levels of exposure. Studies show a range of human health effects linked to DDT and its breakdown product, DDE:
·         breast & other cancers
·     male infertility
·     miscarriages & low birth weight
·     developmental delay
·     nervous system & liver damage
No 'Silver Bullet' for Malaria Control
The only remaining legal use of DDT is to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A devastating disease, malaria kills more than 800,000 people every year, the majority of deaths among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Indoor spraying with DDT is one of a number of tools being used to control malaria around the world. Only in rare cases is it the most effective choice. 
Successful malaria control programs have been built all over the world using a variety of approaches that are affordable and appropriate to local needs. All include community involvement, appropriate technology and investment in public health capacity and education. These community-based, integrated solutions have proven successful in places as diverse as MexicoKenyaand Vietnam.
Unfortunately, vocal groups such as Africa Fighting Malaria continue to promote a simplistic "DDT or nothing" debate, ignoring on-the-ground evidence from around the world that more effective approaches are saving lives without putting communities in harm's way from exposure to the long-lasting chemical.

PAN works with international allies, governments and on-the-ground groups in Africa to mobilize resources and political will to combat malaria, and remains active in international legal processes to support the global phase out of DDT and promote the safest and most effective malaria control solutions. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


8th January 2014 - New research

Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2013] 19 (7) : 666-669 (Y.E.Kim, W.W.Lee, J.Y.Yun, H.J.Yang, H.J.Kim, B.S. Jeon)

The prevalence of musculoskeletal problems was found to be significantly higher Parkinson's Disease. Around two thirds of people with Parkinson's Disease have them. Only just over a quarter of people with Parkinson's Disease answered that their musculoskeletal problems were recovering.  Musculoskeletal problems also tended to receive less treatment when people had Parkinson's Disease.

Common sites of musculoskeletal problems were the lower back, shoulder and knee in that order. The lower back was the site of musculoskeletal problems in nearly half of people with Parkinson's Disease. The shoulder and knee were affected far less often. Among the past diagnoses associated with musculoskeletal problems, frozen shoulder, low back pain, osteoporosis and fracture were more common in people with Parkinson's Disease. Older age, being female, and having a higher score on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale were associated with more musculoskeletal problems. 


Movement Disorders [2013] Dec 13 [Epub ahead of print (P.A.Lewitt, F.J.Huff, R.A.Hauser, D.Chen, D.Lissin, K.Zomorodi, K.C.Cundy)  
XP21279 is a new L-dopa prodrug being developed by Xenoport for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It uses naturally occurring, high capacity nutrient transporters in the gastrointestinal tract to generate active and efficient absorption into the body.
XP21279-carbidopa sustained-release bilayer tablets were developed to provide more continuous exposure to L-dopa. Once absorbed, XP21279 is rapidly converted into L-dopa. In a clinical trial of XP21279, people with Parkinson's Disease were given either XP21279 with carbidopa, or L-dopa with carbidopa, which as Sinemet is the most common means of treating Parkinson's Disease.

The average daily off time was reduced more when using XP21279 but only by 18 minutes. There was little difference between the two in their effect on dyskinesia. However, XP21279 significantly reduced the variability of L-dopa concentration that occurs when using Sinemet (L-dopa and carbidopa). This was achieved by taking XP21279 only three times per day, instead of the four to five times a day that the L-dopa with carbidopa was taken. Therefore, overall, although L-dopa and carbidopa as Sinemet is the most common means of treating Parkinson's Disease, XP21279 was found to be more advantageous. 


28th December 2013 - New research
Movement Disorders [2013] Dec 18 [Epub ahead of print] (R.Liu, D.Baird, Y.Park, N.D.Freedman, X.Huang, A.Hollenbeck, A.Blair, H.Chen) 
In the largest ever study of its kind, researchers examined female reproductive factors and the risk of Parkinson's Disease. The study involved nearly 120,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 71 years.  The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease was not significantly associated with female reproductive factors including age at first menstruation, age at first live birth, and age at menopause generally.

However, there was a tendency for an increased risk of Parkinson's Disease in those women who reached menopause when they were 55 or older. Current hormone users for less than 5 years showed a higher risk of developing Parkinson's Disease, which was anywhere between 11% more likely to more than twice as likely. However, this association disappeared for current hormone users after 5 years of use.  Oral contraceptive use for ten years was associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's Disease, down to 59% of what would otherwise be expected.


Flight attendants who have developed Parkinson's Disease have taken legal action to try to prove that they have developed Parkinson's Disease because of the insecticides that are routinely sprayed inside  aircraft. 
Those pesticides that are known to cause, or be highly associated with Parkinson's Disease are Dieldrin, Rotenone and Organophosphorus pesticides. The fungicides Maneb and Paraquat are also known causes of Parkinson's Disease. Evidence in support of Permathrin, which is used in aircraft, is presently restricted to three animal studies.

Dieldrin levels are above normal in brains of people with Parkinson's Disease. Dieldrin was the most frequently detected Organochlorine pesticide in people with Parkinson's Disease thereby suggesting that dieldrin is associated with Parkinson's Disease. Organophosphorus pesticides are significantly associated with Parkinson's Disease. The frequent use of household pesticides containing Organophosphorus chemicals increased the chances of developing Parkinson's Disease by 71%. Exposure can lead to Parkinsonism. Rotenone can cause the neurochemical, neuropathological and behavioural features of Parkinson's disease, including hypokinesia and rigidity.


14th December 2013 - News release

Roche and Prothena are collaborating to co-develop antibodies for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Prothena's antibody for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, PRX002,  targets alpha-synuclein. PRX002 is currently in preclinical development. It is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical trials in people with Parkinson's Disease in 2014. PRX002 has already been tested in various cellular and animal models of synuclein-related disease.

Synuclein proteins are found throughout the body. One protein from this family, alpha-synuclein, is found extensively in neurons and characterize several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's Disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation type 1, and multiple system atrophy, which collectively are termed synucleinopathies. As part of the agreement, Roche and Prothena will initiate a research collaboration focused on including incorporation of Roche's proprietary Brain Shuttle technology to increase delivery of therapeutic antibodies to the brain. 


17th November 2013 - New research

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA [2013] Nov 11 [Epub ahead of print] (A.A.Inamdar, M.M.Hossain, A.I.Bernstein, G.W.Miller, J.R.Richardson, J.W.Bennett)

Octenol (1-octen-3-ol), which is commonly known as mushroom alcohol,,is produced by several plants and fungi. For information go too Octenol. In Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly) Octenol reduces the levels of dopamine, the substance whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease.

Although it has not yet conclusively been proven to have caused Parkinson's Disease in humans, further experiments in human cells revealed that Octenol interfered with two genes involved in the creation of dopamine - the human plasma membrane dopamine transporter (DAT) and the human VMAT ortholog (VMAT2). This demonstrates that 1-octen-3-ol exerts toxicity via disruption of dopamine homeostasis and so may represent a naturally occurring cause of Parkinsonism. Octenol can often be inhaled by humans after being produced in damp, mouldy or water damaged buildings.