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Notes from the CEO: Parkinson’s Foundation Earns 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

John Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation CEO, shares the exciting news that the Parkinson’s Foundation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and why this motivates us to continue making life better for people with Parkinson’s. “It means that we exceed industry standards through exceptional performance and accountability,” John said. ​ Learn more about the Parkinson’s Foundation 4-Star Charity Navigator rating now.…

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Impulsivity and Parkinson’s: The Itch that Must Be Scratched

Impulsivity is a symptom commonly associated with both Parkinson’s disease (PD) and some of the medications used to treat it. Impulsivity involves acting on urges with little thought to the consequences — that seven-year itch that feels like it must be scratched — regardless of the problems that may arise. Impulsivity takes many forms. My previous columns about terror (exaggerated…

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Lack of Research and Way of Measuring Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Hinders Its Treatment, Study Says

Research into the best ways of managing visual hallucinations in patients with Parkinson’s disease over the long term is severely limited and affecting treatment, a review study has found. In particular, the lack of a universal rating scale renders data interpretation and comparison between studies difficult. To overcome this limitation, researchers propose the creation of a specific scale suitable to monitoring…

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Mutations on NUS1 Gene Can Significantly Raise Person’s Risk of Parkinson’s, Study Reports

Mutations affecting the NUS1 gene are linked to a significantly increased risk — 11 times higher — of developing Parkinson’s disease, study shows. The study, “Coding mutations in NUS1 contribute to Parkinson’s disease,” was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Although exact triggers of Parkinson’s disease remain unclear, aging, and environmental and genetic factors are believed to be major culprits.…

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Certain Compounds in Coffee, But Not Caffeine, Seen to Prevent Protein Buildup Linked to Parkinson’s in Early Study

Chemical compounds in coffee — especially phenylindanes that form during the roasting of coffee beans — appear to prevent the damaging aggregation of amyloid-beta and tau known to play key roles in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers report. Caffeine, in contrast, had no effect on protein buildup in this early lab study, and researchers saw coffee consumption to offer no…

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Freezing of Gait Linked to More Severe Disability, Advanced Disease in Parkinson’s Study

Freezing of gait — the description for a Parkinson’s symptom in which a person’s feet become briefly “glued to the floor,” preventing forward movement despite an intention to walk — is associated with more severe disease and worse motor and non-motor disability, a study reports. The study, “Factors associated with freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease,” was published…

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What’s Hot in PD? Should I Get an Appendectomy to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease?

In this week’s issue of Science Translational Medicine, Bryan Killinger, PhD, and colleagues examined the question, “Will removing my appendix impact my risk of later developing Parkinson’s disease (PD)?” Interestingly, several recent studies have attempted to answer this question. With the emerging evidence supporting that a gut-brain connection and interaction may play a potential role in Parkinson’s, this subject is…

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The Simple Helps Are Big Helps

Some people’s reactions to a person with a disability can be disheartening. They stare, make thoughtless comments, point fingers, or whisper. Some people don’t know how to handle a person who has an obvious disease, disability, or illness. They may be uncomfortable around one who is disabled, which can make the disabled feel uncomfortable. A report by ABC News last August shared…

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PKG-Watch Helps in Managing Parkinson’s Symptoms and Lowering Patient Costs, Global Kinetics Reports

Global Kinetics recently announced that the use of its wearable device, Personal KinetiGraph ­­(PKG)-Watch, significantly improves the assessment and management of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, while reducing patients’ costs. These results were presented in four scientific posters at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, held Oct. 5-9 in Hong Kong. The PKG-Watch is a wrist-worn device that collects data on…

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Researchers Find Pathway Responsible for Nerve Cell Death in Parkinson’s Disease

Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a specific cell death pathway named Parthanatos — after Thanatos, the ancient Greek personification of death — that leads to the physical and intellectual degeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease. They also found that a protein called PARP-1 is a key mediator of cell death via Parthanatos, supporting the potential therapeutic benefits of PARP inhibitors for halting Parkinson’s progression. “Nailing…

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