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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? Leaps in Deep Brain Stimulation Technology

Date: 
Friday, May 1, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

One surprising fact in DBS technology is that the human deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads and the four shiny and tiny contacts on them have surprisingly not significantly changed for the last two decades. One reason for the durability of DBS lead design has been the long-term beneficial effects of utilizing this simple approach. There are however, compelling reasons to introduce new DBS lead designs into clinical practice.

Caregiver Corner: Tips for Parkinson's Caregivers to help improve quality of life.

Date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Author: 
Lana Gelb, MS

Finding the right exercise program is extremely important for PD which is characterized by movement disorders such as slow or shuffling walk, tremors in the hands, fingers, forearms, feet, mouth, or chin, rigid or stiff muscles, including muscles that suddenly freeze for no reason, muscle pain and unsteady gait and balance. 

What's Hot in PD? What to tell Parkinson’s patients about diet and taking statin drugs

Date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Recently there has been a surge of interest in cholesterol and cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patients and families with a personal interest in the outcomes of these studies simply want to know whether they should consider starting a statin medication or they should change their diet. In this month's What’s Hot column we will examine the evidence and offer a recommendation for those considering a statin drug.

What's Hot in PD? Everything a Parkinson’s Disease Patient Needs to Know About the New Dopamine Pump

Date: 
Monday, March 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

One of the common dreams shared by Parkinson’s disease patients around the globe is the possibility of living a pill free existence, and one year ago we shared the news of a therapy coming to the United States with the possibility to make this a reality for a select group of patients.  This month we will update the previous blog post from 2014, and bring to you all of the information you need to know about the therapy.  The therapy has received a full FDA approval and

What's Hot in PD? Tips for Parkinson’s Disease Patients Switching from Sinemet or Madopar to Rytary (IPX066)

Date: 
Monday, February 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

The What’s Hot in Parkinson’s disease blog written in April 2013 featured a new extended release dopamine drug called IPX066. This new dopamine formulation achieved full FDA approval in January 2015. The drug is now sold under the name Rytary. At National Parkinson Foundation we frequently hear from Parkinson’s disease patients that current carbidopa/levodopa medication preparations fail to adequately address disease-related symptoms.

What's Hot in PD? More Evidence Linking Gut Bacteria to Parkinson’s Disease: A Guide for Patients

Date: 
Friday, January 2, 2015
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Considerable evidence has been mounting supporting a relationship between the gastrointestinal system and Parkinson’s disease. Many pathologists and neurologists believe that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut, however this view remains speculative. Additionally, there are many GI symptoms such as constipation that occur as prominent and disabling features of Parkinson’s disease.

Caregiver Corner: Keeping Watch

Date: 
Monday, December 8, 2014
Author: 
Carrie Jackson

I was studying in England when my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the spring of 2000.  It was terrifying to be 4000 miles away, and not be able to go to her doctor appointments, talk to her friends, or give her a hug.  She was surrounded by love and support, however, and quickly was able to put together a treatment plan that included acupuncture, yoga, exercise, and medication.  When I came back that summer much of the hard work had been done.  Although I was glad she was in a good place, part of me wished I

What's Hot in PD? Two New Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease Patients to get Excited About: Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies

Date: 
Monday, December 1, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

In September 2012, the What’s Hot in Parkinson’s Disease? blog featured a new therapy that at that time had entered into human testing. The Austrian company AFFiRiS A.G. launched a two-year long clinical trial of a vaccine designed to stop Parkinson’s disease progression. In this month’s What’s Hot Column we will bring you an update on the vaccine and an update on another therapy (monoclonal antibodies) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Caregiver Corner: Resources for People Who Care for Someone with Parkinson’s

Date: 
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Author: 
National Parkinson Foundation

Taking care of someone with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a journey. It is natural to have a lot of concerns and questions, and to look for outside support. Whether your loved one’s diagnosis is recent or you are a seasoned care partner, the National Parkinson Foundation has resources to help you navigate the various challenges that may arise.

What's Hot in PD? The Importance of a Monitoring Strategy When Prescribing Dopamine Agonists: Lessons from the National Parkinson Foundation Data

Date: 
Monday, November 3, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Impulse control disorders including behaviors such as gambling, shopping, pathological eating and hypersexuality can occur in 1 out of every 6 Parkinson’s disease patients taking a dopamine agonist drug.

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