Parkinson’s in the news: June

Global update

Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 27 June 2019

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From a British comedian revealing his Parkinson’s diagnosis to a study on whether a common treatment can cause “creative awakenings”, we look at the top Parkinson’s news stories from around the world in June 2019

The Chase: Paul Sinha reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis

Paul Sinha – a comedian and professional quizzer on UK TV show ‘The Chase’ – announced his Parkinson’s diagnosis to the public. “I will fight this with every breath I have,” he wrote on Twitter where he received an outpour of support from fans and followers. In a blog post titled ‘Diagnosed.’, Sinha said he would continue to work on the show, write and perform comedy.

Parkinson’s disease ‘could be detected early on by brain changes’

A study on genetic mutations, conducted by researchers at UK university King’s College London, may lead to new methods of identifying individuals at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s. Testing 14 people with a rare genetic mutation that can cause the condition, the team found “a completely new window on the disorder”. Talking to UK newspaper the Guardian, researchers said that their results could confirm diagnosis, monitor the progression of the condition and help develop and test drugs.

MJFF Assists Nitrome Biosciences’ Pursuit of Parkinson’s Therapies

The Michael J Fox Foundation has awarded a grant to drug manufacturer Nitrome Biosciences to help the company further develop its therapies to treat Parkinson’s. Irene Griswold-Prenner, founder and CEO of Nitrome Biosciences, said: “We’re immensely grateful to MJFF for awarding this grant to Nitrome. This provides not only critically needed support but also shows interest in our unique approach to Parkinson’s disease drug development”.

Report highlights link between levodopa and creativity

Levodopa may increase creativity in people with Parkinson’s, according to a study conducted on two men living with the condition in India. The research – published in the ‘Asian Journal of Psychiatry’ – reported that after beginning a treatment of levodopa, one participant had sudden urges to craft products using coconuts and the second started to paint two to three pictures a day. Both participants have since turned their “creative awakenings” into a career. The researchers wrote: “It’s a form of art therapy, and we call for this usefulness to be further explored in routine clinical practice”.

New Resource on Parkinson’s Provides a Comprehensive Look at the Human and Economic Burden of the Disease

The Alliance for Aging Research has published ‘The Silver Book: Parkinson’s Disease’, a new resource highlighting the key statistics surrounding the condition. The publication also features data from a study commissioned by the Michael J Fox Foundation which assesses the economic impact of Parkinson’s. Ted Thompson, senior vice president of public policy for the Michael J Fox Foundation, said: “We know about the physical and emotional impacts of Parkinson’s disease, and now we have a clearer understanding of its economic burden”.

Protein shows promise in treating Parkinson’s disease

Researchers at Purdue University, US, have found that a protein called HYPE could be used to treat or prevent Parkinson’s. Following the success of the study, the researchers plan to start testing on brain cells and animal models of the condition. Seema Mattoo, assistant professor of biological sciences at Purdue University, said: “We’re in the early stages, but these results are giving us a new angle to look at potential therapeutics”.

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Parkinson’s in the news: May

Parkinson’s in the news: April

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