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Parkinson’s Today Blog

Blog Introduction Text

Welcome to the National Parkinson Foundation's blog, where you can keep up-to-date on the latest research, read about what's hot in the Parkinson's community, learn caregiving tips and more.

Caregiver Corner: Good Body Mechanics for Caregivers

Date: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Author: 
Kevin Lockette, PT

The nature of care-giving can place great physical stress on you as the caregiver. Practicing proper body mechanics will decrease the stress and strain and help to safely manage the mobility of the care-receiver. The primary rule is to maintain the normal lumbar curve at all times. By following this one simple rule, injury to the lower back can be avoided.

What's Hot in PD? Is the PD SURG Trial Another Surge Forward for DBS Therapy?

Date: 
Monday, May 3, 2010
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

In this month's issue of the Lancet Neurology, the PD SURG trial results (conducted by a multicenter team of collaborative investigators from all over Britain) are including a one year follow-up of Parkinson's disease deep brain stimulation (DBS) patients. The trial was randomized, and it compared DBS to best medical therapy. The primary outcome variable was quality of life, and interestingly, patients in the best medical therapy arm had access to apomorphine pumps.

What's Hot in PD? Cycling in Parkinson’s Disease in Those Who Can’t Walk: Is it Possible?

Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

This month a report appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine by Snijders and Bloem about a patient they encountered in their National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence Clinic.  The report was accompanied by a dramatic video revealing a late stage Parkinson’s disease patient with severe ambulation difficulties and freezing of gait.  The patient had Parkinson’s disease for many years, but his report of being able to ride a bicycle for six or more miles each day struck Dr.

Caregiver Corner: Taking the First Step in Your Own Care

Date: 
Monday, March 8, 2010
Author: 
Carol Levine

Whether you are a new family caregiver or have been taking care of your family member with Parkinson’s disease for a long time, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day challenges. Most caregivers feel stress at some point, while many feel stress all the time. Some stress is natural; it is the body’s reaction to a real or perceived threat. When the threat is over, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.

What's Hot in PD? The Time for Comprehensive Care Networks for Parkinson’s Disease: The Importance of the Dutch ParkinsonNet Concept

Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2010
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

A very important article appeared in Lancet Neurology in the December 2010 Lancet Neurology issue (early view) featuring research from one of the NPF’s Centers of Excellence in the Netherlands (Center Director- Bas Bloem). Munneke and colleagues from that center introduced the ParkinsonNet concept; a framework aimed at igniting a sea change in PD-related care.

What's Hot in PD? Is Parkinson’s Disease a Prion Disease?

Date: 
Monday, January 4, 2010
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There have been more than a few theories over the span of many years regarding the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recent findings have implicated problems with mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and protein misfolding/aggregation along with genetic/environmental issues. Additionally, PD is now appreciated to be more than a single disorder, and is now considered a syndrome that may have multiple underlying causes usually occurring with similar clinical manifestations.

What's Hot in PD? Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Gaucher’s Disease: A Rare Disease Informs Us About a Common One

Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There has been a “snowball effect” pertaining to genetic research in Parkinson’s disease. Even researchers uninterested in genetics have been finding the DNA links to be fascinating, and potentially enlightening to the underlying disease pathogenesis.

What's Hot in PD? Brain Cells Keep Time Stamps: Implications for Parkinson’s Disease Therapies

Date: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Albert Einstein once said, "the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Einstein's comment was both clever and also insightful, however, Dr. Jin, Dr. Fujii, and Dr. Graybiel have uncovered important and relevant evidence about how brain cells actually keep track of that time.

What's Hot in PD? MRI and Deep Brain Stimulation Devices: Is it Safe to Have an MRI with a DBS in Place?

Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There has been a great deal of recent controversy as to whether a MRI can be safely performed in Parkinson’s disease patients (PD) with deep brain stimulator devices. The overarching worry has been that the MRI machines will heat the DBS, and this will in turn result in an irreversible injury to the brain. Despite these worries there have been surprisingly few cases of MRI-related heating injuries associated with DBS devices.

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