The Berkeley Ballet Theater is hosting a fundraising event on Saturday February 23, 7pm, to support their Dance for Parkinson’s (Dance for PD®) classes. There will be an hour-long Dance for PD® class, followed by a performance titled “A Tribute to Hollywood.” The Berkeley Ballet Theater is a partner of Dance for PD®, a non-profit collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. The program offers dance classes where participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.
Hallucinations, mainly of a visual nature, are considered to affect about one-quarter of patients with Parkinson’s disease. They are commonly viewed as a side-effect of Antiparkinsonian treatment, but other factors may be involved. Drs. Jenner and Van Laar from the Netherlands, wrote an interesting article, very readable about the incidence and treatment of the visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease, which is a very common symptom for people with the illness. They say that “…One of the behavioral problems many patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) experience in the course of their disease, is the occurrence of hallucinations. These can be missed easily because PD patients do not volunteer about their hallucinatory experiences. A prevalence between 9.7% and 44% has been reported.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates that as many as one million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease and 60,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Between seven to ten million people are affected by Parkinson’s around the world. Medication costs per person are believed to be around $2,500 each year and the total economic impact is estimated to be around $25 billion in the US alone. Boxing legend Muhammed Ali established the Muhammed Ali Parkinson Center for diagnosis, therapy and research and has raised millions of dollars to find a preventive cure for the dreaded disease. There is immense scope for a company that is able to find a preventive treatment for Parkinson’s which is encouraging many small and large bio-tech firms to invest in research and development. Read about the new drug developments
A new procedure safeguards the production of crucial brain proteins, which could possibly help those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases.
British scientists may have discovered a new way to counteract the life-crippling effects of degenerative brain diseases, according to a new study published in Nature. The scientists inhibited a gene that automatically stops the production of all brain proteins when it detects the buildup of unwanted proteins. These unwanted proteins, which accumulate in the brains of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, kill brain cells — but the brain also can’t survive without the necessary proteins. The discovery ensures that important proteins continue to be produced, and it could one day lead to a catch-all treatment for a number of brain diseases.
Read the article
By Christian Nordqvist for Medical News Today
Individuals who abuse methamphetamine and other similar stimulants have a much higher risk of subsequently developing Parkinson’s disease, compared to people who don’t, researchers from CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) reported in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Dr. Russell Callaghan and team gathered data from nearly 300,000 hospital records in California over a 16-year period. They compared 40,472 individuals who had been hospitalized for methamphetamine and amphetamine-related conditions with 207,831 who were admitted with appendicitis and 35,335 who were hospitalized for cocaine-use disorders.
The researchers found that over a ten-year period:
- 21 in every 10,000 methamphetamine dependent people develop Parkinson’s disease
- 12 in every 10,000 people from the general population develop Parkinson’s disease
On June 21, 2011 Jane Brody of the New York Times explores the lives and challenges of people living with Parkinson’s disease. She writes: “…For patients with Parkinson’s disease…there still is no cure. But researchers have begun to make progress in identifying causes of the disease, and a new study promises to help identify better treatments. Until then, many patients are getting by on grit and determination. In speaking recently with several of them, two common threads emerged: an initial unwillingness to believe or reveal the diagnosis, followed by acceptance and a determination to pursue whatever it takes to remain as healthy and functional as possible.”
Living Well is at the “Aging in America” – the 2011 Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging. The Aging in America conference is the largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals from the fields of aging, healthcare and education. Join us to find the answers, the experts, the research, the best practices, and the most comprehensive educational offerings available to professionals.