Historically described as being on opposite ends of the spectrum, apathy affects about 40% of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), while impulse control disorders (ICDs) affect between 14% and 40% of people with PD. How are they different?
Parkinson's Today Blog
Parkinson's disease (PD) is usually described as a movement disorder of the nervous system that worsens over time.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). They are generally described as self-limiting and on the less-severe end of the brain injury spectrum. It is estimated that as many as 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. every year during competitive sports and recreational activities. That number may be even higher ― research shows that upwards of 50 percent of concussions may go unreported. What does a concussion have to do with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia? Possibly a lot.
A lot of excitement has been generated in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) scientific community about the LRRK2 gene. While several genes are linked to developing PD, a LRRK2 gene mutation is one of the most common forms of genetic Parkinson’s.
The gut-brain relationship is real. Stomach or intestinal distress can lead to anxiety or depression. However, those gut-brain connections go much further: evidence from recent studies strongly suggest a link between the gut (the gastrointestinal system) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Impulse control behaviors (ICBs) affect between 14% and 40% of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Examples of ICB’s include compulsive gambling or shopping, hoarding and hyper sexuality. ICBs become impulse control disorders (ICD) when they impair one’s ability to function at work, home and navigate day-to-day life. Only 2% of people have ICBs in the general population.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) results from the death and deterioration of dopamine-producing neurons (brain cells) in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. What if those cells could be reprogrammed to function in a healthy way? That is the promise of a stem cell therapy that is called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). If this extraordinary reprogramming capability could be harnessed ― and if the results were sustainable ― that would be a scientific game changer for treating neurological diseases, including the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is expected to double in the next 20 years. To date, there are no proven strategies for slowing the progression of PD. A calcium channel blocker medication used to treat hypertension called, Isradipine, has been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of PD. Several studies of people also indicated the possibility that taking Isradipine may reduce the risk for PD.
One of the major genetic risk factors believed to contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is having a mutation in the gene called GBA1 (glucocerebrosidase). Unable to do its job correctly, this damaged gene leads to the build-up of unhealthy, misfolded clumps of alpha-synuclein in the brain. These clumps, called Lewy bodies, impact dopamine production and are the hallmark of PD. What if there was a way to prevent the build-up of Lewy bodies in the first place?
Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD) than women, and the onset of PD in men happens at a younger age. However, women with PD have a higher mortality rate, and once they have Parkinson’s, progression is faster. Research suggests that women get the disease at later in life when compared to men, at least in part, due to the natural protection estrogen provides.