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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.

What's Hot in PD?: As a New Drug Gains FDA Approval for Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis (Nuplazid), Should We Fear Using it?

Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

This week the FDA approved the drug Pimavanserin (Nuplazid) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis. There has been a critical, unmet need for development of better drugs to address hallucinations and psychosis in the setting of Parkinson's disease. We have learned over many years that typical high potency neuroleptic antipsychotic drugs (e.g.

Parkinson’s Disease Answers are a Phone Call Away

Date: 
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Beth Coffman lives in Traverse City, Mich., and is 79 years young. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and a member of numerous community groups. Five years ago Beth learned that she has Parkinson’s disease (PD). After retiring from her 40-year teaching career she still strongly believes in the power of information, which is why she calls the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) Helpline.

What's Hot in PD?: Should we warn patients about impulse control disorders before starting Parkinson’s disease therapy?

Date: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

The last two decades have observed a strong push to initiate dopamine agonist therapy for many Parkinson’s disease patients. However, recently there has been a move away from this approach. The hesitation about agonist therapy has mainly concerned the worrisome impulse control-related side effects, though there are other potential adverse effects reported from agonist use.

The Expert Care Experience: The role of a social worker in caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease

Date: 
Friday, February 26, 2016
Author: 
Jessica Shurer, LCSW

This blog is the first in a series detailing the roles of each member of a comprehensive care team. Read the second post on occupational therapy hereLearn more about the healthcare professionals that are part of a comprehensive care team and how you can put your care team together today.

Research Roundup: A Word of Caution on the Recent Findings about Physical and Occupational Therapy Effectiveness

Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Author: 
Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS

Several troubling headlines appeared recently after a large randomized controlled study, published in the American Medical Association’s neurology journal (JAMA Neurology), concluded that physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) did not improve activities of daily living in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

What's Hot in PD?: Are Hepatitis C and Parkinson’s Disease Connected?

Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There has long been speculation that viral infection may cause dopamine responsive Parkinson’s disease — at least in a subset of patients. The most famous case examples were depicted in the 1990 movie Awakenings starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro (based on Oliver Sacks’ 1973 memoir) where Parkinsonian patients (presumed to have been suffering from a viral flu or sleeping sickness) awaken when exposed to dopamine.

What's Hot in PD? Will Drinking Tea Help My Parkinson’s Disease?

Date: 
Monday, January 4, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Tea is an ancient, centuries-old beverage that is consumed by virtually all of the world’s population. Tea is composed of polyphenols, methylxanthine, caffeine, fats, amino acids and other substances. Tea has been thought to reduce cancer risk, prevent heart disease and even aid in weight loss. The flavonoids, caffeine and theanine have been tested in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and have shown protection against cell loss in similar areas of the brain that are affected in the human Parkinson’s patient.

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