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Treatment

What's Hot in PD?: Subcutaneous Apomorphine Infusions

Date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Should we consider subcutaneous apomorphine infusions for Parkinson’s disease patients who do not want deep brain stimulation or a dopamine pump? There is a growing interest among people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and families for a “nonsurgical” alternative to deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery or to Duopa pump therapy. The idea of brain surgery or a feeding tube have been cited as being undesirable for large numbers of PD patients.

Exercise

Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For people with Parkinson’s, exercise is more than healthy: it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and the ability to perform activities of daily living. 

What's Hot in PD?: Current Steering and New Deep Brain Stimulation Technologies: What’s Here and What’s Coming

Date: 
Friday, November 4, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

A surprising fact about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery technology is that human DBS leads (the wire implanted in the brain and connected to the neurostimulator) and their four shiny, tiny contacts have not really changed much over the last two decades. One reason for the durability of DBS lead design has been the long-term beneficial effects of using this simple approach.

What's Hot in PD? The Myth About Focused Ultrasound Therapy Being the Scalpel-less Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Date: 
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

We are blessed to have the terrific and free Parkinson's Foundation 1-800-4PD-INFO Helpline staffed by nurses and social workers with experience in the field. Recently, many people have called the Helpline after seeing a video declaring focused ultrasound therapy as “the scalpel-less cure for Parkinson’s disease.” The Helpline staff thought it important to objectively explore this therapy and discuss whether it is indeed a scalpel-less cure.

COMT Inhibitors

This class of PD medications includes entacapone (Comtan®) and tolcapone (Tasmar®). They have no direct effect on PD symptoms, but are used to prolong the effect of levodopa by blocking its metabolism. COMT inhibitors are used primarily to help with “wearing-off,” in which the effect of levodopa becomes short-lived. People taking Tasmar must have regular liver function blood tests. Entacapone is not only a COMT inhibitor, but is also a main ingredient in Stalevo, which is a combination of carbidopa, levodopa and entacopone.

What are the facts?

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? 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.

What's Hot in PD? Everything You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana and Parkinson’s Disease

Date: 
Friday, August 1, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

There has been a recent and evolving media blitz concerning the potential use of medical marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC) among the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community. All of the attention to marijuana has been largely a result of multiple states passing legislation to legalize and to regulate the drug, or to alternatively make it available for select medical diagnoses.

What's Hot in PD? Is light therapy a potential treatment modality in Parkinson’s disease?

Date: 
Monday, June 2, 2014
Author: 
Dr. Michael S. Okun

Recent research has indicated that there may be unexplored symptomatic benefits by using light therapy to treat Parkinson’s disease patients. This “light” approach is particularly appealing in Parkinson’s disease because patients commonly suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, sleep disorders, as well as depression—and all have been reported to potentially improve. In this month’s What’s Hot Column, we explore the scientific underpinnings of the brain’s natural sleep-wake cycle; called the circadian rhythm.

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