Get up, Stand up, and you might experience cognitive deficits as well.
“Stand Corrected” talks about a study in which it was found that folks who suffer Orthostatic Hypotension when standing up also show some loss of cogniitive function, which is corrected when lying down,
Systematic review of studies involving Nordic Walking and Parkinson’s was conducted. Due to differences in study designs, can’t really say whether NW should be included in exercise treatments for folks with PD.
It is well known that physical exercise is the main therapeutic element of rehabilitation programs for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). As traditional forms of exercise can guarantee significant health benefits, the emergence of non-conventional physical activities, such as Nordic walking (NW), may add positive effects.
To appraise the available evidence on the main effects of NW in the rehabilitation programs for people with PD and to propose a design for upcoming research that might improve the uniformity of future trials.
A literature search of five established databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane) was conducted.
ology. Any relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pertinent to NW in PD published in English from inception to February 2017, were included. PRISMA guidelines were followed and the methodological quality of each study was assessed by the PEDro scale.
Sixty-six studies were retrieved and 6 RCTs (221 subjects) entered the qualitative synthesis. Overall, these studies portrayed NW as feasible and likely to be effective in improving the functional and clinical outcomes of people with PD. When comparing NW with other exercise-based interventions such as treadmill training, free walking, a program of standardized whole-body movements with maximal amplitude (LSVT®BIG training) or a home-based exercise program, the findings proved controversial.
High heterogeneity and methodological discrepancies among the studies prevent from drawing firm conclusions on the effectiveness of NW in comparison with other exercise-based interventions currently employed in people with PD. Further investigations with a common design are necessary to verify whether NW may be included within conventional rehabilitation programs commonly recommended to people with PD.
Original of this story at: Medical News Today web site 21 June 2017
The exact causes of Parkinson’s disease are unknown, but an important hallmark is the buildup of damaged alpha-synuclein protein in dopamine-producing cells.
The new study reveals evidence that two fragments of alpha-synuclein can trigger T cells to initiate an attack by the immune system.
The researchers tested blood samples from 67 patients with Parkinson’s disease and control samples from 36 healthy patients.
They exposed the blood samples to fragments of proteins found in brain cells, including fragments of alpha-synuclein. The blood from the controls hardly reacted, but T cells in the blood from the Parkinson’s patients had a strong reaction to defined fragments from alpha-synuclein
The finding suggests that certain variants of MHC – such as those associated with Parkinson’s disease – may cause T cells to mistakenly identify the alpha-synuclein fragments as pathogens and thus trigger an autoimmune response that destroys the offending cells.
A lot of work still needs to be done,, but it could help to provide a diagnostic test for risk or early stages of PD, which is sorely needed.
I wonder – Could you get allergy shots with alpha synuclein protein fragments to reduce or eliminate the autoimmune response and thus keep T-Cells from attacking the dopaminergic neurons?
Medscape reports on new research results from the International Conference on Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, held in Vancouver, BC, Canada June 4 – 8 2017.
When viewing pictures of cats and dogs with no distortion, medium distortion, and strong distortion, Parkinson’s Patients did worse than controls in distinguishing between cats and dogs in the medium distortion condition, pointing to possible improved tests and treatments to prevent dementia in Parkinson’s.
Autopsy studies of patients with PD confirm that this area of the brain — the infero-temporal and parieto-occipital cortex — is affected, she noted. “So we already know that there is some clue that the visual processing part of the brain is important.”
Current visuo-perceptual tests measure only one or two aspects of visual processing and tend to be “too easy,” said Dr Weil. “Everyone does very well on them and by the time they do badly, their disease may have progressed quite a bit. We need trickier tests.”
As well, current tests measure visual processing only in small numbers of patients. Online testing enables access to large numbers of patients.
“People think of PD as a disorder of movement but it’s much more complex and affects much more than just movement.”
A key question then, she said, is how does PD affect the brain? “Whatever it is that causes PD doesn’t just involve the deep part of the brain, but also involves the thinking and memory parts, and the fact that people have trouble with these tests suggests that those bits are involved.”
Link to full article: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2630954
(I know how to embed a link inside text – just chose not to do it that way this time, thanks for the advice, folks). Here’s a couple of quotes from the article:
Music is fundamental to the human species in ways that reach beyond entertainment or pastime. In Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks noted that music can “calm us, animate us, comfort us, thrill us, or serve to organize and synchronize us at work or play, [but] it may be especially powerful and have great therapeutic potential for patients with a variety of neurological conditions.”
. . .
Processing music is one of the most cognitively demanding tasks our brains undertake, and creating and performing music is even more complex. We are just beginning to understand what neural processes underlie the effects of active music making, and a better appreciation of these processes would likely enhance understanding of brain responses to other stimuli and tasks. There is already compelling evidence that in children, music training assists development of language skills, auditory processing, and educational achievement compared with untrained peers,2– 4 and anecdotally, many top professionals across different disciplines have musical training in their background.
The article describes the beginning of this initiative and why it is important – it will be interesting to follow this topic in the future.
Here’s the reference list from the article. More good info there.
Here’s a sample of links to Gut Microbiota For Health’s website and some of the research articles they’ve published, mostly in the last year. One talks about the linkage between certain bacteria and motor system disorders, another about relief for constipation for Parkinson’s patients, Another is a compilation of several articles, and finally, an article that explores the gut to brain relation regarding Parkinson’s, and to top it all off, the relationship of the bacteria in your stomach to the chemicals in your brain, and how the various microbial communities communicate. Life goes on within you and without you, it would seem.
Single mutation in recessive gene increases risk of earlier onset Parkinson’s disease
“A collaboration of 32 researchers in seven countries, led by scientists at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, has found a genetic mutation they say confers a risk for development of Parkinson’s disease earlier than usual.
The major study, published in Brain, is important because the risk comes from a single mutation in the PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) gene. Investigators had believed that this rare form of Parkinson’s developed only when a person inherited mutations in both PINK1 alleles (one from each parent).”
You can download a copy of the original research article at this link: Heterozygous PINK1 p.G411S increases risk of Parkinson’s disease via a dominant-negative mechanism
Published at the end of November 2016, the linked article found that folks with orthostatic hypotension revealed more cognitive deficits on standing up than when measured sitting down or lying down.
Since most cognitive tests are administered while the subject is sitting or lying down, cognitive difficulties faced in day to day living might be underestimated.
Participants with PD and OH were far more susceptible to posture-related impairment on several tests, including those that measured math skills, the ability to produce words easily, keeping information in mind while working on it, paying sufficient attention so that later memory is efficient and searching for items quickly and accurately.
A step towards more accurate diagnoses of Parkinson’s and other similar neurological diseases was recently reported in Nature. And by CNN which picked up the story: Parkinsons disease blood test study
Up until now, many diseases have been diagnosed based on symptoms, with patients asking, “How do you know I have this?” Meanwhile, doctors are not always correct, Wright said. This is true even of Parkinson’s, which is diagnosed based on symptoms, a patient’s history, neurological exams, a patient’s response to medicine and, in some cases, brain imaging tests.
As a person with Parkinson’s among other conditions, related or unrelated, this would be a big deal. When a diagnosis is based on having a specific array of symptoms, some of which might not be present in all cases (tremors, for instance), one wonders whether medications for reducing certain symptoms might not prevent the presentation of all the symptoms required for a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
It does me little good to play “what if” since one doesn’t know how one would have reacted to an earlier diagnosis at an earlier age. One can only refer to Victor Frankl’s work on the search for meaning in our lives, and approach the present as though one has already been at this decision point and are being given a second chance to make a decision just as wrong as the original decision. At least that’s how I remember that particular quote. Here’s another quote from Frankl:
the meaning of life always changes, but that it never ceases to be. According to logotherapy, we can discover this meaning in life in three different
ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or
encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable
suffering. The first, the way of achievement or accomplishment, is quite obvious.