I Ask This Of You!

I have Parkinson's diseases and thought it would be nice to have a place where the contents of updated news is found in one place. That is why I began this blog.

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 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. I will not accept any information about Herbal treatments curing Parkinson's, dementia and etc. It will go into Spam.

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Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

First video of patients being treated for Parkinson's symptoms

The footage clearly shows the severe problems with walking and turning miners had before treatment. After several months of receiving a daily dose of L-dopa, they were able to feed themselves, shave, tie their shoelaces, and run.

A lasting success

“It’s a very important part of the history of neurology,” says Marcelo Miranda, a researcher at Clinica Las Condes in Santiago, Chile, who found the footage, some of which was shown at a conference in the 1960s, but hasn’t been seen since. “It’s the only available document of that period that shows the first patients with Parkinson’s symptoms treated with L-dopa and their extraordinary response.”
Working with Ismael Mena at the Catholic University of Chile, Cotzias showed that L-dopa has a dramatic effect on Parkinson’s symptoms. Initially, Cotzias thought the drug would work in a different way. He was hoping L-dopa would reverse the discolouration of a brain area called the substantia nigra, which has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Instead, the miners improved because L-dopa helped treat their dopamine deficiency.
Cotzias thinks he succeeded where others failed because he built up the miners’ dose of L-dopa slowly, observing the effects over a long period of time, which allowed his study to get past the lag-period before L-dopa starts to work.
Afterwards, Cotzias insisted researchers try the same procedure in other people with Parkinson’s disease. Once they had seen his videos, they repeated their tests with equal success, and almost 50 years later, L-dopa remains the most effective agent for treating Parkinson’s disease.
Journal reference: <i>Neurology</i>, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002223

Five Ways to Help Muscle Stiffness in Parkinson's Disease

FoxFeed Blog

Posted by  Emma Noblesala, January 22, 2016

If your muscles often feel stiff and uncomfortable, you're not alone. “Rigidity, or stiffness, is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s,” says Rachel Dolhun, MD, a movement disorders specialist at The Michael J. Fox Foundation.  
Stiffness can be uncomfortable and painful to deal with when trying to perform everyday activities, from getting up and cleaning to relaxing and sleeping. The discomfort and frustration from the inability to complete these tasks can contribute to other symptoms, such as fatigue and insomnia. 
Our community shared the remedies that have helped them relieve rigidity.
1. Move more during the day. Increasing everyday movement can help improve motor symptoms, which in turn helps prevent stiff muscles. If you need any motivation or ideas, try these tips from our community on how to get more motion in your day
2. Exercise. Having an exercise regimen is beneficial in not only muscle movement, but also in overall health. Though any kind of exercise such yoga, tai chi, running or dancing can be beneficial for people with Parkinson's, studies suggest that high-intensity interval training may hold particular benefits for relieving muscle stiffness. 
3. Try heat or a hot bath to relax muscles. Unwind while helping ease stiffness.
4. Try weight lifting. It's not necessary to use heavy weights, but incorporating weight resistance into your exercise routine and slowly increasing the weight amount can strengthen your muscles and ease movement.
5. Consider yoga. Studies suggest that yoga has particular benefits for people with Parkinson's disease, including for increasing flexibility and easing rigidity. Yoga may help improve range of motion in the shoulders, hips and spine.
Bonus Tip: Talk to your doctor. If muscle stiffness is very painful and is affecting your everyday life, consult with your doctor. You may want to talk about changes in medication and different therapies that may help manage your rigidity.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Alzheimer's / Dementia Parkinson's Disease Stem Cell Research

New data on pluripotent stem cells released: a greatly promising alternative to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cerebral infarction treatment

January 22, 2016
An international team of researchers, which counts with the participation of the University of Granada, has unveiled some details about stem cells biology unknown to this day, which will be essential for the application of said cells in human therapy.
An adult's stem cells can be artificially "reprogrammed" to a pluripotent state similar to that found during embryonic development. That way, these pluripotent reprogrammed cells keep the potential needed for regenerating any cell or tissue of an organism
An international team of researchers, which counts with the participation of the University of Granada (UGR), has unveiled some details about stem cells biology unknown to this day. This is a very promising alternative to the treatment of various human diseases, specially those induced by tissue damage or degeneration, such as cerebral infarction, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Their work, published in the renowned Cell Reports magazine in July 16 2015, reveals very important functional links between epigenetic regulation of the human genome, cell signaling pathways and the cellular heterogeneity phenomenon in pluripotent stem cells.
This research thus contributes to a better understanding of cell lineage transitions and unveils some details about stem cells biology unknown to this day, thus contributing to the application of said cells in human therapy.
David Landeira Frías, researcher from the Department of Computer Science and A. I. of the University of Granada and one of the authors of this paper, indicates that recent advances in the field of biomedicine "let us artificially reprogramme body cells of an adult organism to a pluripotent state similar to that found during early embryonic development".
That way, these pluripotent reprogrammed cells keep the potential needed for regenerating any cell or tissue of an organism.

Performance differences

"One of the greatest obstacles to a safe and successful application of this technology in clinical settings is the heterogeneous nature of stem cell populations; functional variations among cells belonging to the same population cause great differences in their performance, which could lead to therapy failure and even to the development of new diseases", warns the researcher from the UGR.
The so called "cell to cell variations" happen in cells with the same genome and, for that, it's very likely that epigenetic modulators have a critical role in the generation of functional heterogeneity.
Using cutting-edge epigenomic techniques, David Landeira's laboratory in the Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (GENYO) (Pfizer-Regional Government of Andalusia-UGR), in collaboration with Amanda Fisher's laboratory in the MRC-Clinical Science Centre (United Kingdom), has analysed the function of an epigenetic regulator (Jarid2) in creating intercellular variability in pluripotent stem cell populations.
The research results show that Jarid2 "is an essential factor for pluripotent cells keeping a proper interaction with cells in their environment, thus being able to efficiently carry out cell differentiation processes".
Moreover, the researchers have proven that Jarid2 regulates the heterogeneity and function of pluripotent cells through signaling pathways usually involved in various types of cancer, so this research is also relevant in this disease context.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Penn-engineered neural networks show hope for axonal repair with minimal disruption to brain tissue

Jan. 21, 2016

Technology holds potential to benefit patients with damage to brain connections resulting from brain injury or disease.

Lab-grown neural networks have the ability to replace lost axonal tracks in the brains of patients with severe head injuries, strokes or neurodegenerative diseases and can be safely delivered with minimal disruption to brain tissue, according to new research from Penn Medicine's department of Neurosurgical Research. Their work is published in the Journal of Neural Engineering.
Complex brain function derives from the activity of populations of neurons - discrete processing centers - connected by long fibrous projections known as axons. When these connections are damaged, by injury or diseases such as a Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease, they, unlike many other cells in the body, have very limited capacity to regenerate, thus permanently disrupting the body's signal transmission and communication structure.
Senior author D. Kacy Cullen, PhD, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery and his team have been working to grow replacement connections, referred to as micro-tissue engineered neural networks (micro-TENNS), in the lab and test their ability to "wire-in" to replace broken axon pathways when implanted in the brain. Cullen's team advanced the micro-TENNs to consist of discrete populations of mature cerebral cortical neurons spanned by long axonal projections within miniature hair-like structures. These micro-TENNs are the first transplantable neural networks that mimic the structure of brain pathways in a miniature form.
In a previous 2015 publication in Tissue Engineering1, Cullen and colleagues showed that preformed micro- TENNS could be delivered into the brains of rats to form new brain architecture that simultaneously replaced neurons as well as long axonal projections. "The micro-TENNS formed synaptic connections to existing neural networks in the cerebral cortex and the thalamus - involved in sensory and motor processing - and maintained their axonal architecture for several weeks to structurally emulate long-distance axon connections," Cullen reported. This work was the first to demonstrate that living micro-TENNS could successfully integrate into existing brain structures and reconstitute missing brain pathways, but, the team observed the need for improvement in how they were delivered to the brain, as this initial study required that the micro-TENNs be drawn into needles.
In response, the research team developed a new, less invasive delivery method by applying an ultra-thin coating to the micro-TENNs using a gel commonly found in food and biomedical products. This new biomaterial strategy allows the encapsulation of fully formed engineered neural networks for insertion into the brain without the use of a needle. "We searched for materials that could form a hard shell that would soften immediately following insertion to better match the mechanical properties of the native brain tissue," Cullen said. This, the team hypothesized, would minimize the body's reaction and improve the survival and integration of the neural networks. The additional coating was not detrimental to the number of surviving neurons, and the needleless method substantially reduces the implant footprint, suggesting that it would cause less damage and thus provide a more hospitable environment for implanted neurons to integrate with the brain's existing nervous system. "Additional research is required to directly test micro-TENN neuron survival and integration for each of these insertion methods," Cullen said.
Cullen and team plan to perfect their processes and further integrate neuroscience and engineering to come up with unique ways to aid patients suffering from brain injury or common neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
"We hope this regenerative medicine strategy will someday enable us to grow individualized neural networks that are tailored for each patient's specific need," he said, "ultimately to replace lost neural circuits and improve brain function."

NTU Singapore and SingHealth to develop health-care innovations to improve patient care

January 21, 2016

Elderly patients suffering from Parkinson's disease could one day benefit from only having to take their medication once a day instead of three times daily. 
Scientists from Nanyang Technology University (NTU) and SingHealth have developed a pill that contains the same cocktail of three standard drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease which can release the medication slowly over a 24-hour period, benefitting both patients and caregivers.
Developed by NTU's Assoc Prof Joachim Loo from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, the new technology, which uses a patented micro-encapsulation process, is now being tested in animal models at the laboratory of Assoc Prof Lim Kah Leong from the National Neuroscience Institute.
To encourage similar collaborations that will generate more patient care innovations, NTU and SingHealth announced a new five-year research tie-up today.
The first joint research grant call worth S$2 million, which will fund six joint research projects of up to S$300,000 each, was also announced.
The funds will enable NTU scientists and SingHealth clinicians to develop practical healthcare solutions, such as biomedical devices, novel drugs and new treatment methods to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases.
Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO of SingHealth said, "The NTU-SingHealth partnership is highly complementary and will facilitate research from bench to bedside more seamlessly.
"Our clinicians can highlight areas in clinical care that could potentially be improved to the attention of engineers and scientists. Each brings their unique expertise to the research team and ultimately, we hope working together will produce tangible outcomes that benefit patients." 
NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson said the partnership taps on the deep engineering and life sciences expertise at NTU, including new life sciences techniques used in emerging research areas like phenomics and genomics at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
"NTU has a track record of working with hospitals to do research that will benefit patients, and today's partnership with SingHealth is an expansion of our previous successful collaboration.
"Already, some of our research breakthroughs are being tested with our partners in SingHealth, such as time-release nanodrugs that eliminate the need for daily eye drops for glaucoma patients and drug-eluting stents that can prevent blood clots while delivering medicine to the necessary parts of the body." 
Taking healthcare solutions to the next level
The joint grant-call projects will focus on nationally-relevant diseases. It will cover several key clinical areas, which include ageing, diabetes, eye diseases, infectious diseases, skin and plastic surgery, and medical technology. 
The plan is to initiate more collaborative research projects that will result in a new range of products, medications, systems and equipment, adding to those currently being developed by NTU and SingHealth.
One of the existing joint projects is to make corneal transplants safer and easier to perform through the development of a new surgical tool. The tool, which is in the prototype phase, is built by scientists from NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering together with clinicians from the Singapore National Eye Centre.
The new surgical tool can produce vibrations in its blade, which allows for more accurate, smoother and safer removal of thin layers of cornea compared to current devices on the market. If successfully commercialised, it would mean that eye surgeons will perform corneal transplants more easily while patients can look forward to shorter recovery time. 
Another ongoing joint project aims to help heart surgeons plan for cardiac surgeries with the use of a 3D virtual reality model of patients' hearts. The project group involving NTU's Institute of Media Innovation and the National Heart Centre Singapore is now looking to set up a laboratory where realistic virtual heart models can be used for cardiac surgical planning, as well as doctors' training. 
Media contact:
Lester Kok 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University 
Lydia Ng 
SingHealth Group Communications 
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). 
Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world's top young university for the last two years running. 
The University's main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.
For more information, visit
About Singapore Health Services (SingHealth)
The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre draws on the collective strengths of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School to drive the transformation of healthcare and provide affordable, accessible and quality healthcare to patients. It is the largest public healthcare group in Singapore delivering comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care, with 42 clinical specialties, a network of 2 Hospitals, 5 National Specialty Centres, 9 Polyclinics and a Community Hospital. Sengkang Health, a new healthcare system to deliver patient-centric care to the community in the north-east of Singapore is currently developing Sengkang General and Community Hospitals which are slated for completion in 2018.
For more information, please visit:
Members of the SingHealth group: 
Hospitals (Tertiary Specialty Care): Singapore General Hospital, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Sengkang Health 
National Specialty Centres (Tertiary Specialty Care): National Cancer Centre Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, National Heart Centre Singapore, National Neuroscience Institute, and Singapore National Eye Centre 
SingHealth Polyclinics (Primary Care): Bedok, Bukit Merah, Geylang, Marine Parade, Outram, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sengkang, and Tampines
Community Hospital (Intermediate and Long-term Care): Bright Vision Hospital
Annex A
Nanomedicine for treatment of Parkinson's disease
NTU's Assoc Prof Joachim Loo from the School of Materials Science and Engineering and Assoc Prof Lim Kah Leong from the National Neuroscience Institute are developing a new nanomedicine for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that causes a person to lose control of motor movements, such as the ability to move his or her hands, arms, and legs. 
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions in Singapore. It affects three out of every 1,000 persons aged 50 years and above. With an ageing population in Singapore, cases of neurodegenerative diseases are set to rise. 
Currently, there is no cure or treatment which can slow down or stop Parkinson's disease, which affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide.
The nanomedicine is made by loading the same cocktail of three standard drugs, used to treat Parkinson's disease - levodopa (LD), carbidopa (CD) and entacapone (ENT) - into extremely small hollow oil-based capsules composed of poly-L-lactide (PLLA) and poly (caprolactone). LD and CD drugs are contained inside the capsule while the ENT is on the surface of the capsule.
These microcapsules can then be made into a pill which will slowly release the drugs in small amounts over 24 to 48 hours after being orally ingested by the patient. 
Such a timed-released delivery system could provide similar, if not better, pharmaceutical benefits compared to the conventional treatment, which usually requires the patients to take a few pills several times a day. 
With this new invention, a lower dosage of drugs could be used, leading to fewer side effects for the patient.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

A single 15-minute, hand-exercise session improves manual dexterity and movement in patients with Parkinson's disease

January 21, 2016

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have proven that a single 15-minute, hand-exercise session greatly improves manual dexterity and movement in patients with Parkinson's disease, helping them to carry out tasks such as writing or buttoning
Parkinson's disease is, nowadays, the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease in the world, and is characterized for being progressive and having a greatly heterogeneous development.
The clinic of this disease is characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms include bradykinesia (slowness of voluntary movements) and rigidity, both of them have a negative impact on the functional performance of different tasks.
Additionally,  with Parkinson's often experience muscle weakness and a partial loss on their . The progression of these clinic symptoms throughout the disease causes difficulty in the performance of daily tasks. Despite the great number of therapeutic proposals for patients with this disease, new approaches from physiotherapy and occupational therapy are essential for the improvement in this population's quality of life
60 patients with Parkinson's
In this research, UGR researchers belonging to the departments of Physiotherapy and Nursing have relied on the collaboration of the Asociación de Parkinson de Granada association. The research was carried out with 60 patients with Parkinson's: 30 of the participants were allocated to the designed exercise and the other 30 to a control group.
The researchers designed a brief intervention, of barely 15 minutes, which caused changes in arm, hand and finger movement quality, with the goal of improving the performance of different tasks.
"This intervention was based in hand exercises, whose effect in strength and dexterity was assessed. The goal was to improve the performance of this parameters, so that it could have an immediate application on the performance of tasks such as writing or buttoning", explains Marie Carmen Valenza, UGR professor at the Department of Physiotherapy.
Patients who participated in the project were evaluated before and after the intervention. The assessed parameters of movement, speed, dexterity and strength improved significantly.
Professor Valenza stresses that these results " will be of great clinical usefulness, given that, with only 15 minutes of exercise and in an autonomous way, the patients will be able to improve the performance of tasks that currently are too difficult to them.
More information: Sara Mateos-Toset et al. Effects of a Single Hand–Exercise Session on Manual Dexterity and Strength in Persons with Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PM&R (2015). DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.06.004

How to control the brain: Michael Okun and Kelly Foote at TEDxUF

Old but good Information:

10 breakthrough Parkinson’s therapies to watch out for

Author: Michael OkunPublished: 1 October 2015

From disease-modifying drugs to coffee and marijuana, the landscape for breakthrough therapies in Parkinson’s is varied and exciting according to Michael Okun MD
A breakthrough is defined as a sudden increase in knowledge, improvement in technique, or fundamental advancement in understanding. Often breakthroughs occur when a formidable obstacle is penetrated. Breakthroughs are heralded as major achievements and they pave the road to meaningful progress in any disease.
I have spent my entire professional career focused on Parkinson’s and related diseases. I have been blessed to spend much of my time taking care of patients, and I have evolved to understand the critical need for all those suffering to have access to information on breakthrough therapies. I often emphasise to my patients that breakthrough ideas and therapies in Parkinson’s disease stretch far beyond a single drug or stem cell.
There is, in fact, a broader picture and more exciting portfolio of breakthroughs spanning drugs, cells, vaccines, devices, genetics, care, and behaviour. As such, patients and families with personal investments in Parkinson’s disease should be informed and updated about all of the potential breakthrough therapies.

“Every challenge you encounter in life is a fork in the road. You have the choice to choose which way to go: backward, forward, breakdown or breakthrough.”

– Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
Here is a list for patients and families of potential Parkinson’s breakthroughs to watch:
  1. Disease-modifying drugs and biomarkers
These are drugs that may slow disease progression; also imaging and fluid (e.g. blood, spinal fluid) markers that can track the effects of Parkinson’s drugs are needed and under development.
  1. Coffee, tea, exercise, interdisciplinary teams and carers
There is mounting evidence that these approaches have symptomatic and perhaps even other benefits.
  1. Extended-release/novel delivery systems for Parkinson’s disease drug and when to start drug therapy
Parkinson’s desperately needs longer-acting drugs to reduce the ‘number of pills’ burden.
  1. Marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids
The revelation that there are cannabinoid receptors in the brain has surprised some experts, and tickling them may be beneficial to some disease symptoms.
  1. New drugs for hallucinations, sleep, constipation and dizziness
These problems are frustrating for patients and carers, but several new drugs are poised to make a difference.
  1. Therapies while hospitalised and avoiding hospitalisation
We now know that the hospitalisation risk is very high in Parkinson’s disease, and that hospitals can be dangerous places for patients; the focus needs to shift toward avoiding hospitalisations.
  1. Advancing deep brain stimulation technology, earlier intervention and dopamine pumps
The technology has been refining our approach to the symptomatic management of Parkinson’s disease and new therapies are now reaching the bedside.
  1. Stem cells and stem cell tourism
There has been a shift away from the idea that stem cell transplants will cure Parkinson’s disease, however stem cells are proving powerful in drug screening.
  1. Prions, spreading proteins, vaccines and growth factors
Several novel approaches are in trial, and a Parkinson’s vaccine may be on the horizon. 
  1. The drug development pipeline
Understanding the drug development pipeline will help patients and families to gain access to the newest Parkinson’s disease therapies.
One of the most common questions I receive from people with Parkinson’s and their families is, “What will be the next breakthrough therapy?” Because of the complexity of the disease, each person possesses a different combination of bothersome symptoms. This complexity means that the answer to the next breakthrough therapy will vary patient to patient, and it could be that a combination of breakthroughs – for example, in care as well as possibly a new device or drug – is necessary.
Finally, remember the decision to apply new therapies and devices in Parkinson’s and other diseases should always be guided by the ethical principle that all new therapies, especially invasive therapies such as deep brain stimulation, should only be applied to ‘alleviate human suffering.’ Neurosurgeon Dr Kelly Foote and I addressed this topic in a TEDx talk, ‘Your brain controls everything, and we can control your brain.’

Billy Connolly discusses his Parkinson's disease at television awards

Dustin Hoffman presented Billy Connolly with the special recognition award at the Nation Television Awards
January 21, 2016
Scottish comedian Billy Connolly spoke about his Parkinson's disease after accepting an accolade from his friend Dustin Hoffman at the National Television Awards.
Asked how he was managing the condition, he replied: "It's managing me. It's kind of weird, it creeps along and crawls along. Its the first thing I think about in the morning, so I try to make the second thing I think about more interesting."
  • GO TO
The comedian, who was diagnosed in 2012, said on stage that his 50 year career had been a "grand old rock and roll all the way".
Hoffman, who had flown in from the US to present the special achievement award, said: "I'm delighted to be here tonight to pay tribute to a man whose work I've alwaysadmired and whose company I always enjoy."
He continued: "He has the gift of inviting everyone uncritically, unconditionally into his world and he exposes truth. No-one looks at the world the way he does. He transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, he elevates the mundane into the magnificent in the bravest of fashion. My friend is an artist in the truest sense of the word."
Hoffman directed the Scottish star in 2012's Quarter and said: "It's been my good fortune to direct him in a film and a great honour to count him as a friend."
Connolly, who had been honoured with a special performance of his favourite song The Skye Boat Song, looked emotional as he took to the stage although he could not help cracking a few jokes.
He said: "This is the best laxative I've ever known in my life. I'd like to thank the Catholic Church for the rhythm method of birth control without which I wouldn't be here at all."
However he risked being upstaged by comedian Peter Kay who walked up on stage and handed over his award after Connolly referenced the fact that Kay had dedicated his earlier comedy win to him, but did not give him the trophy.
"Peter Kay you should have given me that thing, you cheapo. That guy dedicated it to me and then took it away, b******," joked Connolly.
Connolly added: "There's so many people, I have to thank my management, my agency, my parents and my lovely daughters, who are here.
"To Dustin for putting me in his movie, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I'd like to particularly thank British comedians, the standard of which is rising all the time, from Chic Murray and Max Wall right through to Reeves and Mortimer. I love you all and thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."
The comedian wore tartan trousers to the awards featuring a strong warning about global warming.
It read: "We are parasites. Earth's parasite. We multiply rapidly and eat mother earth away. If mother dies, parasites die with her. That is why we must save the earth."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ask the MD: Exercise and Parkinson's

Posted by  Rachel Dolhun, MD, January 20, 2016

Regular exercise is important for anyone and may be especially important for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this video, I discuss the benefits of physical activity, give tips on starting and maintaining a workout regimen, and cover the latest research on exercise’s effect on PD.
Having a hard time getting motivated to exercise and keep up activities?
Visit the “Ask the MD” webpage regularly for information on Parkinson’s and related topics. The blog and video series is an educational resource for people with PD and their loved ones who are navigating life with Parkinson’s

Fluorescent probe selectively detects biomarkers linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Admin January 20, 2016 
A*STAR researchers have developed the first selective probe for a marker of the stage before the brain plaques which characterize Alzheimer's disease are formed.
Alzheimer's, which affects approximately 35 million people worldwide, is a neurodegenerative disease in which aggregates or plaques are formed by a protein called amyloid-beta. An A*STAR team has developed the first selective probe for amyloid-beta oligomers, the intermediate stage before plaque formation, and a promising AD biomarker.
"Amyloid plaques are the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease," explains Chang Young-Tae from the A*STAR Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, "however there were doubts that they were a good biomarker for diagnosis," he says. "You can't tell much about the real situation of the disease—so people looked for other markers, such as the oligomer." Oligomers are now generally believed to be the species responsible for Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.
An oligomer is an intermediate formed during the aggregation of amyloid-beta monomers into long fibrils and eventually plaques. "An oligomer is really a dynamic state," explains Chang, "it can go back to a monomer state or can move to the aggregate state, that's the real difficulty of studying oligomers".
To understand the progression from an oligomer through to a fibril, and the development of Alzheimer's disease, scientists needed a probe that would be highly visible, sensitive and selective. It would also need to be able to cross the . Chang Young-Tae and Teoh Chai Lean combed through the diversity-oriented fluorescence library (DOFL)—an in-house synthesized collection of 10,000 fluorescent molecules—to find a probe that would satisfy these criteria.
After testing 3,500 DOFL compounds, they found BoDipy-Oligomer, known as 'BD-Oligo'. This showed a stronger response to amyloid-beta oligomers, with the signal decreasing once a polymer started to form, which demonstrated to Chang and the team that they had found the first ever selective probe for oligomers.
With this , the team was able to monitor oligomers in real time during the formation of fibrils. Additionally, in vivo tests on live mice revealed that BD-Oligo was able to cross the blood-brain barrier without any apparent toxicity.
The team patented the probe and is now focused on further developing it for in vivo or clinical applications. Chang notes there is the possibility of converting the molecule to a  (PET) probe which would be of greater clinical use. The development of a probe that preferentially detects amyloid-beta oligomers, rather than monomers or polymers, is promising for diagnostics aimed at detecting Alzheimer's disease in its early stages. Such a tool would improve the ability of clinicians to choose the best treatment or palliative care for patients.
Using a new mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that Alzheimer's pathology originates in Amyloid-Beta (Abeta) oligomers in the brain, rather than the amyloid plaques previously thought by many researchers to cause the disease.
The study, which was supported by the "Oligomer Research Consortium" of the Cure Alzheimer Fund and a MERIT Award from the Veterans Administration, appears in the journal Annals of Neurology.
"The buildup of  was described over 100 years ago and has received the bulk of the attention in Alzheimer's pathology," said lead author Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, and Associate Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "But there has been a longstanding debate over whether plaques are toxic, protective, or inert."
Several research groups had previously proposed that rather than plaques, floating clumps of amyloid (called oligomers) are the key components that impede brain cell function in Alzheimer's patients. To study this, the Mount Sinai team developed a mouse that forms only these oligomers, and never any plaques, throughout their lives.
The researchers found that the mice that never develop plaques were just as impaired by the disease as mice with both plaques and oligomers. Moreover, when a gene that converted oligomers into plaques was added to the mice, the mice were no more impaired than they had been before.
"These findings may enable the development of neuroimaging agents and drugs that visualize or detoxify oligomers," said Dr. Gandy. "New neuroimaging agents that could monitor changes in Abeta oligomer presence would be a major advance. Innovative neuroimaging agents that will allow visualization of  oligomer accumulation, in tandem with careful clinical observations, could lead to breakthroughs in managing, slowing, stopping or even preventing Alzheimer's.
"This is especially important in light of research reported in March showing that 70 weeks of infusion of the Abeta immunotherapeutic Bapineuzumab® cleared away 25 percent of the Abeta plaque, yet no clinical benefit was evident."