Parkinson’s in the news: February

Global update

Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 23 February 2023

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We round up some of this month’s Parkinson’s news stories from around the world – from the impact that dreams might have on the condition to the premiere of a new Michael J Fox documentary

Study explores the burden of care for Parkinson’s caregivers

Researchers in Spain investigated the burden of care in 721 patient-caregiver relationships across seven countries. The questionnaire results showed that caregivers for people in later stages of Parkinson’s experienced a greater burden of care than those who supported people in earlier stages of the condition. Commenting on the study, lead study author Pablo Martinez-Martin said that “strategies to reduce the burden of caregivers of people with Parkinson’s are urgently required”.

Michael J Fox owns his narrative in new documentary ‘Still’

In a documentary that premiered at the US Sundance Film Festival, the ‘Back to the Future’ star and Parkinson’s advocate opened up about his rise to fame – and his experience with the condition. Featuring interviews with Fox alongside footage of his daily life, the film received a standing ovation at the festival and has earned praise for its honest and revealing depiction of the actor’s life. It will reportedly be available to stream on Apple TV+ later this year.

How does Parkinson’s affect the sexes differently?

Scientists analysed the cognitive, motor and psychosocial performance of 127 men and 72 women living in the south-eastern US who were in the earlier stages of Parkinson’s. The men were found to experience worse cases of depression, motor symptoms and quality of life related to the condition – though researchers highlighted that this was specific only to the region studied.

Could enacted dreams be an early sign of Parkinson’s?

Research journal ‘Scientific American’ investigated the potential link between Parkinson’s and dream enactment. Blending personal accounts with scientific findings, the piece outlined how acting out dreams in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep may be an early sign of a neurodegenerative condition.

Deep brain stimulation could benefit different types of Parkinson’s, study suggests

A study from Spain has suggested that deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus (an area of the brain typically targeted in the treatment) might offer similar benefits to people both with and without gene mutations associated with the condition. The scientists noted that larger studies were needed over a longer period of time to confirm their findings.

Read more:

Parkinson’s in the news: January

Parkinson’s in the news: December

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