|Bonnie Olson participates in a yoga class for people with Parksinson's disease at Tarana Yoga Studio in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
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, September 3, 2016
Sept. 1, 2016
Therapists Sara Edlebeck, left, and Ashley
IRON MOUNTAIN - The Parkinson Society of Dickinson County, a support group for Parkinson Disease patients, caregivers, family and friends, will host a Parkinson Disease Symposium "Living With Parkinson's Disease" on Oct. 13, at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford.
The symposium will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a free lunch break at noon.
Speakers at this symposium include Dr. Patti Peterson, local neurologist, speaking on "Problems that PD patients have that are not motor, and the differential of diagnosis."
Also presenting at this program is Sara Krueger of Royal Oak, Mich., speaking on "Getting to Know Duopa."
The keynote speaker comes from Lubbock, Texas, Jo Bidwell, giving her morning talk on "Understanding Parkinson's Disease." Then, doing a working lunch, Bidwell will have a question and answer time as well as presenting "What's New and Coming in the Future for PD Patients." Her afternoon presentation will be geared toward caregivers, "Caring for the Caregivers."
Bidwell has a bachelor of science degree in counseling and a M.ED. in health education. She was the information and referral coordinator for the Lubbock office of the American Parkinson's Disease Association (APDA) for 17 years, and for the last two years has been the director fo Southwest Parkinson Society, covering large portion of Texas and New Mexico. She has taught nutrition and has been the neurology educator for Covenant Health System,w hile doing the APDA job. She has a very large Parkinson Disease family encompassing a large portion of Texas and New Mexico.
Invitations have been extended to PD patients through the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin through their local support groups in Calumet, Negaunee and Marquette County, Escanaba, Ironwood, Newberry and including the Dickinson County area. It is not necessary to belong to a support group to attend. Any Parkinson Disease patient that is interested may attend.
Displays and personnel from health related agencies will be available to provide information and material of interest to attendees. A light continental breakfast will be available upon arrival and a more substantial lunch will be provided free of charge at noon. This is due to the group sponsors.
Registration must be made by Oct. 6, by calling Claire Kennedy at 906-295-0898 or Pauline Hill at 906-774-0332. Persons can also mail registrations to Claire Kennedy at P.O. Box 126, Hermansville, MI 49847.
Walk-ins may be accommodated, depending on space and amount of food.
"Understanding that the day may be long and tiring for some, a quiet room will be available for those who may need a little break for rest time during the day," said Hill symposium coordinator.
Persons may also contact Hill for more information on the symposium. The church is located on Hamilton Avenue in Kingsford.
Friday, September 2, 2016
|The study concluded that life story work has the potential to help people with dementia, but a full scale evaluation is needed. NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrative purposes only.|
Posted by Loren DeVito, PhD,
Sept. 2, 2016
|PJ Burns and wife, Kim, who he calls his “care warrior,” will be participating in the Parkinson’s SuperWalk at Douglas Park on Sunday, Sept. 11.|
— Image Credit: Submitted Photo
At the heart of the success of the Parkinson’s SuperWalk are its participants, including PJ Burns of Langley.
Burns is a 54-year-old university instructor whose hobbies include triathlons, distance running, swimming, kayaking and yoga.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s just over a year ago, and Parkinson’s Society of BC has been a source of information and resources for him since day one.
Immediately after Burns’ diagnosis, he called the society. Three days later, he received a package full of vital information.
"I hold the Parkinson Society of BC in high regard. The information they provide in print and in electronic form is excellent as are the seminars they stage," said Burns. "The single most important service that PSBC offered for me was counselling. Counselling helped me get past the initial shock of my diagnosis and encouraged me to live in the present while regarding the future with hope."
Since his diagnosis, he has been supported by an encouraging group of friends and family.
HIS WIFE IS HIS 'CARE WARRIOR'
His wife, Kim, has demonstrated fierce devotion to his well-being — Burns calls her his “care warrior.”
He continues to stay physical active.
"Research suggests that regular and intense physical activity helps people with Parkinson's maintain the ability to move and may even slow the disease progression," said Burns. "As a result, the day after my diagnosis my wife Kim cleaned out our garage and turned it into a home gym; complete with stationary bike, free weights, boxing gloves, and an assortment of other workout gear."
He also continues to run, just slower. He does Tai Chi, yoga and works on recovering his normal walking gait which has been impacted.
"Walking that was previously automatic is something I now have to think about."
ADVICE FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED
His advice to those who have been newly diagnosed is get out, be active and remain social.
"Workout in a group or with a friend. Do what motivates you to be active. Then be an advocate and help raise awareness of PD. Parkinson's Disease is not a disease confined to the elderly it affects young people as well."
Every year, thousands of British Columbians participate in the Parkinson SuperWalk. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the event taking place in British Columbia, with over 20 communities participating Sunday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. at Douglas Park Recreation Centre in Langley City.
Registered walkers will exercise their superpowers by generating awareness of the disease and helping to raise funds for valuable education, resources, support services and research.
The society receives no government funding and relies heavily on this walk to fund all of its services.
You can help make a difference by joining the community heroes on Sunday, Sept. 11. To donate, or register, go to
SuperWalkBC.kintera.org or call 1-800-668-3330.
Over 13,300 British Columbians have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and due to the increase in the aging population, the number of Canadians over 40 living with Parkinson’s is expected to rise by as much as 65 percent by 2031.
Parkinson’s not only affects those with the disease, it also affects family members and care partners. It is the second most common neuro-degenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.
Sept. 2, 2016
Schematic of mice with dysfunctional and functional Wnt signaling. Credit: University College London
Memory loss in mice has been successfully reversed following the discovery of new information about a key mechanism underlying the loss of nerve connectivity in the brain, say UCL researchers.
Published today in Current Biology, the study funded by Alzheimer's Research UK, Parkinson's UK, Wellcome, MRC and the EU investigated the mechanism driving communication breakdown in adult brains – specifically, the loss of connections between nerve cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls learning and memory. The team found Wnt proteins play a key role in the maintenance of nerve connectivity in the adult brain and could become targets for new treatments that prevent and restore brain function in neurodegenerative diseases.
The breakdown of connections between nerve cells is an early feature of diseases like Alzheimer's and is known to cause distressing symptoms like memory and thinking decline, but the biological processes behind it are poorly understood. Nerve cells are connected at communication points called
synapses and the slow degeneration of these connections is an important area of study for researchers looking to slow or stop Alzheimer's disease.
Lead author, Professor Patricia Salinas (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology), said: "Synapses are absolutely critical to everything that our brains do. When these important communication points are lost, nerve cells cannot exchange information and this leads to symptoms like memory and thinking problems. The Wnt pathway is emerging as a key player in the regulation of the formation, maintenance and function of synapses, and we have provided strong evidence that the Wnt proteins are also critical for memory.
"Understanding the role of Wnts in Alzheimer's disease is an important next step, as there is potential we could target this chain of events with drugs. Preventing or reversing the disruptions in connectivity and communication between nerve cells in Alzheimer's would be a huge step forward."
Increasing evidence suggests that deficiency in Wnt function contributes to disruption of brain connectivity in Alzheimer's disease and therefore resulting in memory loss. The team studied the impact of a protein called Dkk1, known to block the action of Wnts and found at higher levels in people with Alzheimer's, in brain circuits and memory.
Genetically modified mice in which Dkk1 can be switched on, disrupting the action of Wnts and its downstream chain of events were used. To avoid any disruption to normal brain development driven by Wnts and Dkk1, the researchers waited until the mice were adults before switching on Dkk1 in an area of the brain important for the formation of new memories.
When Dkk1 was switched on in the adult mice, the researchers found the mice had memory problems, and that this coincided with the presence of fewer synapses between nerve cells, indicating a communication breakdown. However, when the researchers switched Dkk1 back off, the mice no longer had memory problems, the number of synapses increased back to normal levels and brain circuits were restored.
Dr Simon Ridley, Director of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "This study in mice adds further weight to a growing body of evidence implicating Wnts and its related proteins to nerve cell connectivity and memory. By understanding mechanisms driving healthy nerve cells, we can best unpick what happens when these processes go so wrong.
"This research sets a solid foundation for future work to explore the role of Wnts in diseases like Alzheimer's, and this biological process is already a key target being explored by expert teams in the Alzheimer's Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance. Researchers are taking huge steps forward in their understanding of what happens in the brain in health and disease, and we must now capitalise on these discoveries to deliver effective treatments that can transform lives."
Journal reference: Current Biology
Provided by: University College London
September 2, 2016
|Ivan Tolmachov demonstrates the diagnosis system. Credit: Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)|
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and Siberian State Medical University are developing an early diagnosis system for neurodegenerative disorders. The system is intended for such diseases as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and others.
The diagnosis system is based on virtual reality (VR) – a patient is immersed in a virtual environment to carry out some functional tests. Researchers vary the parameters of the virtual environment and record changes in the person's movements. The scientists expect to complete the technical part of the project in 2017.
The diagnosis system for neurodegenerative diseases is a joint project for scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and Siberian State Medical University. The project involves eight people – scientists, postgraduate and graduate students of the universities.
The system being developed by TPU and SSMU scientists consists of augmented reality glasses, a non-contact sensor controller and a mobile platform.
The developers use existing devices such as Google augmented glasses and Kinect sensor system. Diagnosis is as follows: A person puts the glasses on and enters a virtual reality with an adjustable slope. The motion sensor detects changes in posture. A person without disorders quickly adapts to the virtual environment and keeps a stable position; a person with disorders can't adapt and loses balance.
"We have integrated existing devices and developed mathematical models for data analysis. We have also created a human skeleton model, identified 20 important points that Kinect monitors. Diagnosis provides results of deviations in the 20 points," says David Khachaturyan, a scientist from TPU.
The system has been already tested by about 50 volunteers.
"In the experiment, we tested how VR influences people. The procedure took almost 10 minutes. The experiment engaged both healthy people and those whom doctors had already diagnosed. Currently, we can't say if a person is healthy or not, or make a diagnosis. But thanks to the system, we can say how much a patient's condition differs from a healthy person's. We have also found out how people with different diseases react to a virtual environment. For instance, people with Parkinson's disease exhibit hand tremors," says Ivan Tolmachov.
To complete the technical part of the project will take one more year. Then the system will pass clinical trials and required technical and toxicological certification.
"In the future, the system will be used not only for disease diagnosis but for patient rehabilitation as well," adds the scientist.
"Our sense of balance and our movement are controlled with a number of systems. This is the vestibular apparatus – the inner ear and semicircular ducts – which determines our position in space and the direction of gravity. This also involves the muscular system and vision. All these coordinated systems operate automatically. They falter if a person gets a neurodegenerative disease like, for example, Parkinson's disease," says Ivan Tolmachov, senior instructor at the TPU Department of Industrial and Medical Electronics, associate professor at SSMU.
According to the scientists, in the case of Parkinson's disease, the cell death process can start at age of 30, but the symptoms of the disease will be noticeable only at 50.
Therefore, scientists around the world are seeking effective and affordable early diagnosis methods for neurodegenerative diseases.
"To feel a functional loss, a person should lose about 80 percent of related cells. But at that point, there is no path to recovery. Therefore, it is important to diagnosis the disease at earlier stages, when patient can still get help. Currently, physicians use pencil-and-paper tests to detect neurodegenerative diseases, but they are mostly based on visual assessment, and there is lack of instrumental and effective methods. PET scanning is available only in nine cities in Russia," says Ivan Tolmachov.
More information: Ivan Tolmachev et al. Sensory Dissociation in Vestibular Function Assessment, MATEC Web of Conferences (2016). DOI: 10.1051/matecconf/20164805005