Social media users within the Parkinson’s community and beyond, led by BBC journalist Jeremy Vine, have reacted to the death of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust co-founder Tom Isaacs
Emotional outpourings from social media users and Parkinson’s organisations have been published around the world in response to the news that Tom Isaacs, co-founder of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, died on Wednesday 31 May.
Not long after the news broke, members of the Parkinson’s community took to Twitter to pay their respects.
BBC Radio 2 journalist Jeremy Vine led the way, hailing the significance of the “beautiful” Parkinson’s campaigner.
Ann Hanley, founder of the Ann Hanley Parkinson’s Research Fund, revealed that it was Tom Isaacs who inspired her to start her own Parkinson’s organisation.
Ann said: “I am so devastated by the news. Tom was my friend and inspiration. He inspired me to start my own foundation.
“He was a giant among men, a visionary, a dreamer, a man who never gave up, who never quit. He made me laugh and was ever the optimist. I thank God for the privilege of knowing Tom and though saddened by his early demise, he will forever be with me in my thoughts and prayers as I continue to dedicate my life to our common cause.”
The British and Irish Lions, who hosted a charity dinner for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust in April, passed on a message of support.
The British & Irish Lions are very sad to hear the passing of the inspirational Tom Isaacs. https://t.co/e3acUAhKo7
We interviewed Tom to find out more about how the ‘Cure3’ exhibition, a contemporary art exhibition and auction – which included work from Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Sarah Lucas – raised money for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, January 2017.
This month’s top Parkinson’s disease news stories from around the globe
2 days ago
Heart problems linked to dementia risk in Parkinson’s disease, say researchers
Researchers at the University of Turin, Italy, have identified that Parkinson’s-related cardiovascular problems may increase a patient’s risk of developing dementia within five years. According to the study, it is estimated that more than half of people with Parkinson’s experience an impairment of the autonomic nervous system – which helps to regulate bodily functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, respiration and heart rate. The researchers investigated the effects of this impairment on key functional Parkinson’s outcomes – including dementia, falls and postural instability – by observing 65 patients at the university’s movement disorders centre and following up after five years. Evaluations throughout the study assessed patients’ cognitive function, automatic symptoms and other motor and non-motor features. In the findings, which were published in the ‘Journal of Neurology’, the researchers noted that worse cardiovascular assessment scores were “associated with a sevenfold higher risk of developing dementia”.
A “revolutionary” step in stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease?
Scientists in China have developed a method to help improve stem cell research in mice models of Parkinson’s – which could potentially lead to promising new treatments. The researchers, based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, identified two cell surface markers of dopamine neurons, which are reduced in Parkinson’s. They injected cells with these markers into the brains of the mice and found that this resulted in “higher therapeutic potency” for improving motor symptoms of the condition. As part of their research, the team also worked to control the variability of donor cells, to help improve therapeutic outcomes for Parkinson’s cell therapy. The researchers, whose study was published in ‘The Journal of Clinical Investigation’, described the findings as a “revolutionary step on the road towards more effective and safer stem cell therapies”.
Could frequent nightmares be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease?
A new study has suggested that experiencing recurrent nightmares and bad dreams could be an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, used data from an existing US study that followed 3818 men, aged 67 or older, over a period of 12 years. Participants who reported experiencing bad dreams at least once a week were followed up. During the follow up, 91 people were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The results suggested that participants who had frequent bad dreams were twice as likely to develop the condition as those who did not. Commenting on the study, lead author Dr Abidemi Otaiku said: “While we need to carry out further research, identifying the significance of bad dreams and nightmares could indicate that individuals who experience changes to their dreams in older age – without any obvious trigger – should seek medical advice.”