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Parkinson’s Today Blog

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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?: 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.

Research Roundup: Sex and Parkinson's Disease

Date: 
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Nabila Dahodwala

This is the first part of a series of videos discussing sex differences in Parkinson's disease. The video was created from a presentation given by Dr. Nabila Dahodwala from the University of Pennsylvania. The National Parkinson Foundation recently announced that it awarded Dr. Dahodwala a two-year grant to study issues that result in differences in caregiving and to explore whether there may be options to improve caregiving. Dr.

Caregiver Corner: When Communicating With Your Loved One Is Threatened by Parkinson’s Disease

Date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Author: 
Scott Silknitter

Communication is a vital way we connect, build and maintain relationships. It is scary when your loved one begins to have communication issues due to Parkinson’s disease (PD) that may threaten your bond. The good thing is it doesn’t have to be that way.

Reviewing some cognitive and communication changes that someone with PD may experience as the disease progresses, your loved one might:

What's Hot in PD? Should We Be Working Harder to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease Hospitalizations?

Date: 
Monday, December 7, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Recently we sought to identify risk factors for hospitalization (emergency room visits or admissions) among Parkinson’s disease patients followed in our National Parkinson Foundation Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. The initiative was modeled after a similar effort put together by Gerry O’Connor at the Dartmouth Health Outcomes Center. O’Connor had a crazy but practical idea.

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