Category Archives: Parkinson’s News

These are posts made on the “Parkinson’s News” page on Facebook, maintained by Annette. They consist largely of interesting articles originating outside the blog, relating to topics other than symptoms management.

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Can Parkinson’s be treated using engineered viruses?

Gene delivery across the blood brain barrier with viruses could revolutionize neuro-medicine, scientists believe.

The brain presents a unique challenge for medical treatment: it is locked away behind an impenetrable layer of tightly packed cells. Although the blood-brain barrier prevents harmful chemicals and bacteria from reaching our control center, it also blocks roughly 95 percent of medicine delivered orally or intravenously. As a result, doctors who treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, often have to inject drugs directly into the brain, an invasive approach that requires drilling into the skull.

Some scientists have had minor successes getting intravenous drugs past the barrier with the help of ultrasound or in the form of nanoparticles, but those methods can target only small areas. Now neuroscientist Viviana Gradinaru and her colleagues at the California Institute of Technology show that a harmless virus can pass through the barricade and deliver treatment throughout the brain.

Gradinaru’s team turned to viruses because the infective agents are small and adept at entering cells and hijacking the DNA within. They also have protein shells that can hold beneficial deliveries, such as drugs or genetic therapies. To find a suitable virus to enter the brain, the researchers engineered a strain of an adeno-associated virus into millions of variants with slightly different shell structures. They then injected these variants into a mouse and, after a week, recovered the strains that made it into the brain. A virus named AAV-PHP.B most reliably crossed the barrier.

  • Description: “The harmless virus could deliver medicine throughout the brain
  • Source Link: http://ift.tt/27y2VCE

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

hacks

Simple hacks for life with Parkinson’s

Simple solutions are often best, even when dealing with something as complicated as Parkinson’s. In this inspiring talk, Mileha Soneji shares accessible designs that make the everyday tasks of those living with Parkinson’s a bit easier. “Technology is not always it,” she says. “What we need are human-centered solutions.”

  • Description: ““Smart” in today’s world has become synonymous to high tech, and the world is only getting smarter and smarter day by day. But why can’t smart be something that’s simple and yet effective? All we need is a little bit of empathy and some curiosity, to go out there, observe. But let’s not stop at that. Let’s find these complex problems. Don’t be scared of them. Break them, boil them down into much smaller problems, and then find simple solutions for them. Test these solutions, fail if needed, but with newer insights to make it better. Imagine what we all could do if we all came up with simple solutions. What would the world be like if we combined all our simple solutions? Let’s make a smarter world, but with simplicity.
  • Source Link: http://ift.tt/1QPcIcL

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

Fluorescent_uric_acid

Low level of an antioxidant in the blood is a cause of Parkinson’s disease

Evidence that low levels of blood urate (an antioxidant) are a cause of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Description: “Higher serum urate concentrations predict more favorable prognosis in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to test the causality of this association using a Mendelian randomization approach.
  • Source Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25257975

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Soldering

Can the Brain Repair Itself?

Once Parkinson’s progression is stopped, the brain may have the capacity to repair its own neuronal circuitry. Stopping the disease progression and neuronal repair have always been thought of as two separate challenges that only together constitute a “cure”. In other words, in order to cure Parkinson’s first you need to stop the disease process, the pathological cascade, and then you must invent a new therapy for regrowing neurons to replace the ones that were lost.

The common perception is that the brain is not capable of repairing itself when injured, and that neuronal circuitry cannot regrow. Yet researchers at Keele University in the UK found that …read more

Zinc and Parkinson's

Do diets low in zinc cause Parkinson’s?

Do diets low in zinc cause Parkinson’s? If people are anything like yeast they may. Scientists found a protein clumping phenomenon in yeast that is similar to what is seen in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This particular clumping is caused by a deficiency in zinc. So scientists are now studying the association of zinc with Parkinson’s disease in humans. Vegetarians with diets rich in whole grains are often deficient in zinc.

  • Description: “Scientists have made a discovery that, if replicated in humans, suggests a shortage of zinc may contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to defective proteins clumping together in the brain.
  • Source Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930200039.htm

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Argonaute2

RNA interference is a possible cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers in San Diego are now a step closer to understanding and utilizing a technique that one day could be used to block proteins responsible for diseases like Parkinson’s. The technique is called RNA interference and it is a natural process that researchers hope to hijack.

A number of diseases can basically be described as undesired levels of specific cellular proteins. These diseases are in the minds of the researchers as they study RNA interference because understanding this process has the potential to lead to real cures for those diseases.

  • Description: “(Phys.org) —Researchers hope to hijack a natural process called RNA interference to block the production of proteins linked to disease and treat medical conditions for which conventional drugs do not work, including cancer, heart disease, HIV and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Source Link: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-hijacked-protein-therapeutic-interventions.html

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Phrenology Phigures

Regenerating neurons in Parkinson’s disease by activating the Axin pathway

Researchers in Hong Kong have identified a protein, Axin, that plays a key role in the production of neurons. They feel that by manipulating this pathway they can also help people with Autism and will be able to apply this discovery towards regenerating neurons in people with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately the researchers feel that any treatment based on this discovery is 10 years away.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

hands

Older vs. early onset Parkinson’s – Is there a difference in goals?

What are your desires for Parkinson’s? Is there an essential difference between older people with Parkinson’s and those with the early onset version of the disease? What are your thoughts?

“We want a cure,” said Kelly Campbell Thomson. “I want to be cured, but (most) older people with Parkinson’s want better medications and comfort, which is fine … but there’s where the line is drawn.

“I don’t want comfort, I want the cure.”

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Jeff Coxx

Parkinson’s disease may be a failure to see old mitochondria as invading bacteria

Early onset Parkinson’s subtype may be a failure to see old mitochondria as invading bacteria. It turns out that the same PARK2 mutation that causes some early onset Parkinson’s cases, also leads to greater sensitivity to intracellular bacterial infections. Interestingly, mitochondria were once intracellular bacteria, a billion years ago.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News