Could insulin be used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms?
A US study has found that intranasal insulin, which is commonly used to treat diabetes, may be able to improve Parkinson’s symptoms. As part of the study, published in scientific journal ‘PLOS ONE’, 14 people with Parkinson’s were administered a daily dose of intranasal insulin for four weeks. After the four week period, researchers – made up staff from Harvard Medical School, US, and the University of Massachusetts, US – saw an improvement in both the participants motor skills and verbal fluency. Discussing the trial, the researchers said: “Our study provided preliminary data that suggested an improvement of functional skills after four weeks of daily INI [intranasal insulin] treatment. That paves the way toward a larger cohort study to evaluate long-term safety and potential efficacy of intranasal insulin administration for potential treatment and prevention of functional decline in patients with Parkinson disease”.
Can drinking milk increase the risk of Parkinson’s?
Researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, have found that drinking more than 40 millilitres of milk per day may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s. As part of the study, 81,889 participants between the ages of 45 and 83 who do not live with the condition completed a survey detailing their milk, soured milk and yoghurt consumption. After an average follow up of 14 years, a total of 1,251 participants reported a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The dietary patterns of the participants showed that individuals who drank 40 to 159 millilitres of milk per day were 30% more likely to develop the condition. The researchers – who presented their study at the 2019 International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases in Lisbon, Portugal – concluded: “Findings from this cohort study indicate that consumption of milk, but not soured milk and yogurt, is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.”
Israeli start-up uses ultrasound waves to treat Parkinson’s
INSIGHTEC, a medical start-up based in Israel, is using ultrasound waves to treat Parkinson’s symptoms. The treatment, called Exablate Neuro, uses non-invasive technology to alleviate tremors by directing high-intensity ultrasound beams to the VIM nucleus – the part of the brain where tremors are thought to originate. Using specialist software, the ultrasound waves can also be used to provide surgeons with real-time feedback of any temperature changes in the areas being targeted. Xen Mendelsohn Aderka, VP of marketing at INSIGHTEC, said: “The technology is being used in over 50 medical centres around the world, with over 2,000 neuro-patients treated.” Aderka added that as the treatment is non-invasive, there is no risk of infection and patients can enjoy a rapid recovery. INSIGHTEC obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for its technology in 2016 and 2018.