WPC Partner Organizations: The Davis Phinney Foundation, The Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation and The National Parkinson Foundation are joining forces to present a four-day Parkinson’s Disease Southern Symposium. Most events are free! Learn more: www.pdsummit.org
Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and University Health Network (UHN) have found a new link between early-onset Parkinson’s disease and a piece of DNA missing from chromosome 22. The findings help shed new light on the molecular changes that lead to Parkinson’s disease.
Sometimes, the advances can be made through the most unlikely discoveries. A clinical observation has put researchers on the trail of a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Injecting bee venom seems to hold back the slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. The study presents the first results of this technique and brings new hope to the fight against this neurodegenerative disorder.
The idea of using bee venom came from a clinical observation. “A patient who was a beekeeper, and also affected by Parkinson’s disease, was treated with monthly bee venom injections to become desensitized. The symptoms related to his disease regressed with time. He took fewer medications and felt better. This has intrigued us, and we even started to film the patient to try to understand this phenomenon,” explains Andreas Hartmann. Following this astonishing observation, studies have focused on bee venom and more specifically, on apamin, one of its active components. It regulates certain functions that seem to have a significant impact on the survival of dopaminergic neurons.
Researchers at Newcastle University have found a definitive link between gait – the way someone walks – and early changes in cognitive function in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Authors say gait could be used as an early warning sign to help predict the cognitive decline associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping are some of the abnormal behaviours that are linked to the use of certain drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study.
In our view, these medications should be used less frequently and with great caution, paying close attention to possible negative effects on behaviour and impulse control.