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.
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Saturday, December 12, 2015
Dec. 10, 2015
A group of students from the National University of Singapore has invented a device that helps prevent falls resulting from impaired walking associated with the disease.
One dangerous aspect of Parkinson's Disease is the impeded ability to walk, which causes people to fall and injure themselves. A team of Singaporean students is hoping to use technology to prevent such accidents.
PD Loggers, a group of three students at the National University of Singapore, has invented an Internet-connected device that tracks a person's movements, detects when the walking problem, known as freezing of gait, is about to kick in and then helps prevent a fall. This week, the invention won the Invent 50 competition, a Singapore-wide student tech-invention contest sponsored by electronics giant Intel
The device consists of three sensors, which are placed on each ankle and at the back of the neck, that work together to acquire data on a person's walking patterns. The team created an algorithm that runs on an Intel Edison chip and analyzes the wearer's gait cycle. When the device senses a fall is imminent, it vibrates vigorously to warn the person and applies biofeedback techniques to attempt to re-initiate movement.
Parkinson's Disease is caused by the deterioration of neurons, which hampers the movement of dopamine out of the brain. This leads to stuttering, impaired movement and other physical maladies. The affliction is incurable. According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, more than 10 million people around the world have the disease.
The student team took five months to develop the device and assert that it is nearly market-ready. For now, the group intends to continue R&D on the device. Winning the Invent 50 competition scored the team 10,000 Singapore dollars ( $7,000, AU$10,000, £4,500) and internships with Intel.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Dec. 10, 2015
(HealthDay)—Cell-free circulating mitochondrial DNA (ccf-mtDNA) from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is reduced in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology.
Angela Pyle, Ph.D., from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined whether ccf-mtDNA was an early indicator of PD pathology. Fifty-six CSF samples from patients with PD were selected with 10 age-matched asymptomatic control CSF samples.
The researchers observed a significant reduction in ccf-mtDNA in PD cases versus controls, when analyzing two mtDNA targets: MTND1 and MTDN4 copy number. In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, MTND1- and MTND4-calculated ccf-mtDNA strongly predicted PD status (area under curve, 0.81 and 0.84, respectively). There was no significant correlation for ccf-mtDNA with CSF-tau, -phosphorylated tau, and -α-synuclein.
"Given the severity of the reduction in CSF ccf-mtDNA in PD, and supported by both subsequent measurement and remarkably similar data observed in Alzheimer's Disease, we conclude that ccf-mtDNA is a viable biomarker for the early detection of neurodegenerative disease," the authors write.
Explore further: Study examines immunotherapy and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in patients with Alzheimer's The identification of cell-free circulating mitochondrial DNA (ccf-mtDNA) in early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) raised the possibility that the same neurodegenerative effect could be observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, and for the first time, we investigated the role of ccf-mtDNA in PD, identifying a significant reduction of ccf-mtDNA in PD patient cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) when compared to controls. Our data demonstrates that CSF ccf-mtDNA is not only a powerful biomarker for PD, but, given that the effect is also observed in AD, is likely a biomarker for neurodegeneration. Ann Neurol 2015;78:1000–1004
Dec. 11, 2015
The team applied apigenin to human stem cells - cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types - in a laboratory dish.
|The team found apigenin-treated neurons (right) developed stronger synapses than untreated neurons (left).|
Image credit: Rehen et al.
What is more, the researchers found the connections that developed between the newly formed neurons - known as synapses - were stronger and more sophisticated. "Strong connections between neurons are crucial for good brain function, memory consolidation and learning," notes Rehen.
Flavonoids are present at high amounts in some foods and we can speculate that a diet rich in flavonoids may influence the formation of neurons and the
way they communicate within the brain."