Non-Movement Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

In this informative video from the Khan Academy, some of the less obvious and well-known symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are discussed.

MORE: Four possible causes of Parkinson’s disease

The film uses simple sketches to demonstrate what happens in the brain and body of a Parkinson’s disease patient. Many people are aware of the shaking and tremors, but there are many other symptoms which are not necessarily obvious or usually associated with the condition, such as a decrease in their sense of smell, mood changes, insomnia, and problems with the digestive system.

MORE: The role of dopamine in the development of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Sunovion’s Below-the-Tongue Therapy Eases Parkinson’s Movement Difficulties, Trial Shows

Below-the-tongue therapy

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals’ below-the-tongue version of a Parkinson’s therapy was able to ease patients’ movement difficulties after the standard therapy levodopa wore off, a Phase 3 clinical trial showed.

Patients also tolerated the treatment — known as apomorphine sublingual film — well, the preliminary results showed. Sublingual means below the tongue, so the therapy’s full name refers to an apomorphine film placed below the tongue. The only approved version of the drug at the moment is administered by injection.

Parkinson’s symptoms stem from a drop in the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which controls movement. Apomorphine, also known as APL-130277, works by mimicking dopamine’s activity in the brain.

Between 40 and 60 percent of Parkinson’s patients have ups and downs in their ability to control their movement. When they are responding well to a standard medication — that is, they are in an on period — they do all right. When their drug is losing its punch— or in an off period — they don’t do as well.

In an off period, patients can walk slowly, experience tremors and stiffness, and have trouble getting around. There are several types of off periods. One occurs only in the morning. Another occurs when a treatment is wearing off. And it’s impossible to predict when some off periods will occur.

Taking an oral medication is easier than other ways, so it’s the option most Parkinson’s patients prefer. But many have difficulty swallowing. Sunovion developed an under-the-tongue version of apomorphine to get around the problem of an oral version that needed to be swallowed.

“If an alternative method to deliver the medicine were approved, such as apomorphine sublingual film, it would be an important new option for healthcare providers and people with Parkinson’s disease,” Stewart Factor, the principal investigator of the Phase 3 study, said in a press release. He is chief of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine.

In the Phase 3 CTH-300 trial (NCT02469090), researchers randomly assigned 219 participants to receive apomorphine sublingual film or a placebo. The patients had been responding to the levodopa they were taking but experiencing at least one off episode per day. Their cumulative off time was at  least two hours a day.

The study’s primary goal was to see at week 12 if under-the-tongue apomorphine could improve patients’ movement within 30 minutes. A secondary objective was to identify the percentage of patients reporting a full on response within 30 minutes of treatment.

Preliminary results showed that the 109 apomorphine-film-treated patients were able to reduce their movement problems more than the placebo group within 30 minutes of putting the film under their tongue.

The therapy was still working 90 minutes after treatment, researchers. Patients tolerated it well, they said.

At week 12, more apomorphine-film-treated patients were experiencing a full on response within 30 minutes of dosing than the control group.

“For people with Parkinson’s disease and their families, OFF episodes can have a significant emotional and practical impact, and there are currently few treatment options for these events,” said Antony Loebel, the executive vice president and chief medical officer of Sunovion. “Based on these topline results, we believe that apomorphine sublingual film has the potential to be a well-tolerated, reliable, convenient and fast-acting therapeutic option for people living with Parkinson’s disease who struggle with OFF episodes.”

Sunovion plans to use the full trial results to support its New Drug Application in the United States for apomorphine sublingual film as a Parkinson’s therapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already granted it Fast Track Designation, a status aimed at accelerating its regulatory review.

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Three Little Words Asked

There are three words in the English language that many people with Parkinson’s disease just as soon not hear.

Three little words. Three little words that can drive a person crazy. Three little words that can cause a person to feel desperate. Three little words that can destroy because they don’t fill the “I want to know” hole. Three little words that leave us wanting more. Needing more. Three little words that don’t get us anywhere.

I don’t know.

How long have I really had this disease?

I don’t know.

How did I get this disease? Pesticides? Genes?

I don’t know.

How long do I have to live with this disease?

I don’t know.

Will my children get this?

I don’t know.

Your doctor says it in terms of how a new treatment option will work for you. He’s optimistic. His optimism rubs off on you but when you ask him if it’s going to make a great difference in a positive way? He can’t be 100% sure. He doesn’t know.

You say it when family members first question your mortality. It’s all new to them because it’s all new to you and you yearn for time to get acquainted with what you don’t know.

You live it. You breathe it. You feel it.

You don’t know.

You have an idea how things might and possibly will go, but you’re not certain because everyone wears the coat of Parkinson’s so very differently. One person can have it three years without significant progression and another only a year and there is tremendous advancement in symptoms. One person responds as anyone might hope to the treatment prescribed by their doctor. Another gets no relief at all to the same therapy prescribed to them.

Why?

I don’t know.

In the ‘I don’t know‘ moments of life (and there are and will be more), isn’t it good to know that there is One who does know? That there is one who is sovereign and faithful to bring us through any moment, even if it’s filled with uncertainty? To know there is One who knows the beginning and the end and every little detail in between? One who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us?

This I do know: He is faithful. Faithful to provide what we need when we need it – strength, wisdom, comfort, peace and more. Faithful to provide in our greatest moment of need – when we don’t have the answers to those three little words.

When we just don’t know, He does.

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NIH Creates Huge Public-Private Partnership to Try to Speed Parkinson’s Therapy Development

Public-private partnership

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is starting a pioneering, multi-pronged public-private partnership program to try to accelerate the development of Parkinson’s treatments.

What makes it special is how big it is. The NIH-led collaboration includes government, pharmaceutical companies, life science companies and non-profit organizations. The partners are calling the collaboration AMP PD — for Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Parkinson’s Disease.

The initial focus will be identifying biomarkers of Parkinson’s progression and assessing their potential as targets for therapies.

“Advancing treatments for Parkinson’s disease is hampered by insufficient understanding of biological networks,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins said in a press release. “Drugs aimed at seemingly promising therapeutic targets fail in clinical trials.”

“By combining our expertise and resources,” the partners “hope to increase our collective odds of success in accelerating the development of effective treatments for a million Americans who suffer from this debilitating disease,” he added.

Although scientists have been doing a lot of Parkinson’s research and conducting a number of clinical trials of potential therapies, regulators have yet to approve a drug that can modify the course of the disease.

Partners in the new collaboration include some of the best-known players in Parkinson’s work:  Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Verily.

The partners will chip in on the program’s financing to generate $12 million over five years. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health will manage the program.

“The expansion of AMP [the Accelerating Medicines Partnership] into Parkinson’s disease is a testament to the success of this groundbreaking initiative that is radically changing the way we approach early-stage drug development,” said Maria C. Freire, president and executive director of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The foundation “is proud to play a role in this partnership by harnessing the collective capabilities and resources from the public and private sectors with the aim of advancing biomedical research and ultimately improving health,” she said.

The NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke expects to match the private-sector investment — and add $12 million if funds are available. The U.S. food and Drug Administration will also be a key partner, providing regulatory guidance for drug development.

One of the program’s major benefits is that all data and findings will be shared not only among the partners but also with the entire research community.

Verily is developing an AMP PD Knowledge Portal to facilitate the sharing. The portal will give researchers access to data from studies that covered more than 3,000 Parkinson’s patients and 1,700 healthy controls.

They can use the data to try to identify which biomarkers work best at predicting Parkinson’s progression and patients’ outcomes. The Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the studies.

The portal should lead to an unprecedented amount of genetic analyses that the partners would be unable to conduct alone, the collaborators said.

“There is a wealth of biosamples and data already collected by NIH and MJFF [the Fox foundation] from people with Parkinson’s disease,” said Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Sharing resources from public-private partnerships to generate and analyze ‘big data’ made available through AMP may be our greatest opportunity for accelerating the pace of discovery for translation [of research] into more effective treatments” for Parkinson’s, he said.

“The AMP PD Knowledge Portal will provide data storage, pipelines and visualization tools that could enable unique opportunities for data science solutions for human disease modeling and for the identification of the underlying biology related to PD [Parkinson’s disease] pathogenesis,” said Margaret Sutherland, the program director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and co-chair of the AMP PD partnership steering committee.

 

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Neil Diamond Gives Up Touring After Being Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease

Last week, one of the biggest names in music announced his retirement. Neil Diamond’s team held a press conference to share that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and would be cancelling his remaining tour dates in New Zealand and Australia.

MORE: 18 tips for getting dressed with Parkinson’s disease

According to CBS News, a spokesperson for the star said, “the onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.” Obviously Diamond was quite disappointed with his doctor’s advice, saying he made the decision with “great reluctance and disappointment” and that he’d “remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”

Neil Diamond began his career more than 50 years ago, writing songs for other artists. His first hit as a songwriter was “Sunday and Me,” a top 20 hit for Jay and the Americans, followed by several big songs that he wrote for The Monkees. Diamond didn’t have a hit as a solo artist until 1966, when he released “Solitary Man.”

Since then, Diamond’s sold more than 135 million albums, making him one of the bestselling artists of all time.

MORE: What causes anxiety in Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

The post Neil Diamond Gives Up Touring After Being Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today