Tonya Walker was 32 when all of a sudden her arms stopped swinging as she walked, and she lost dexterity in her left hand.“Initially, I thought maybe I injured myself working out. I’d recently tried yoga and other things that I don’t normally do, so I thought I’d pulled a muscle,” the Orlando-based law professor and lifestyle blogger explains. “But when the movement didn’t come back, I knew something was wrong.”In February 2006, Walker, now 43, visited her primary care physician who thought she had multiple sclerosis because of her age and symptoms. So he sent her to a neurologist. But the neurologist suspected Parkinson's disease."I couldn't believe that either could even be an option," Tonya remembers. "My husband and I were in complete denial—we just sat there and listened; I don't think we even talked about it afterward." Despite his suspicions, the neurologist didn't officially diagnose Tonya or start her on … [Read more...] about I Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease At 34
Parkinsons brain surgery
Squalamine, a chemical compound found in dogfish sharks, has the potential to reduce the formation of toxic proteins related to the development of Parkinson's disease, new research suggests. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study reveals that squalamine halted the buildup and toxicity of the protein alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) in roundworm models of Parkinson's disease and human neuronal cells. Parkinson's disease is a progressive condition characterized by tremors, movement problems, limb stiffness, and problems with balance and coordination. In the United States, up to 1 million people are living with Parkinson's, and each year, approximately 60,000 people in the country are diagnosed with the disease. While the precise causes of Parkinson's remain unclear, studies have suggested that the buildup of α-synuclein in the brain could play a role in its development. In people with Parkinson's, α-synuclein forms "clumps" that … [Read more...] about Parkinson’s could be treated with shark compound, study suggests
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure that appears to help people with a range of neurological disorders. The process involves placing a neurostimulator in the brain. This sends out electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. The impulses can block abnormal signals that can underlie a range of neurological conditions. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is commonly used to treat essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and dystonia, a movement disorder in which the muscles contract and spasm, and it has been studied as a possible treatment for Tourette syndrome and major depression. The DBS system involves three different components: An implanted pulse generator A lead An extension wire. The lead, also called an electrode, is a thin, insulated wire. It is implanted in the target region of the brain. The extension wire travels under the skin and connects the lead to the implanted pulse generator. It is this generator … [Read more...] about What is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Scientists from the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute have successfully grown large numbers of patients' own brain cells following a small biopsy. And not only are these cells "healthy," but also they demonstrate a number of powerful attributes to protect and preserve the brain from future injury, toxins and disease. Scientists from the Departments of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Oncology and Otolaryngology at the University of Western Ontario hope that ultimately these cells can be cultivated in a laboratory to yield specific cell types needed for a particular treatment. Dr. Matthew O. Hebb, one of the researchers on the study, explained: "It is our hope that the results of this study provide a footing for further advancement of personalized, cell-based treatments for currently incurable and devastating neurological disorders." These patient-specific cells may also be able to cross the "blood-brain barrier" by expressing specific … [Read more...] about Scientists move closer to ‘grow-your-own’ brain cell cultures
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves overall quality of life and social functioning in patients in earlier stages of Parkinson's disease, according to results of a two-year clinical trial. The study, led by Günther Deuschl, a professor at Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany, and Yves Agid, a professor in neurology and experimental medicine at the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris, France, is reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine on 14 February. The researchers conclude that DBS was more effective than medical treatment in patients with Parkinson's disease and early motor complications. It is not a cure, and it does not stop the disease from progressing, but in the right patients, it can significantly improve symptoms, especially tremors, and it can also relieve muscle rigidity. To perform DBS, the neurosurgeon drills a hole in the skull and inserts an electrode about 10 cm into the brain. The electrode delivers mild … [Read more...] about Deep Brain Stimulation Effective In Early Parkinson’s
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome occurs when the electrical pathway between the upper part of the heart, or the atrium, and the lower part, or the ventricle, is abnormal. The electrical signal gets bounced around as it moves too quickly from the atrium to the ventricle and back again. This causes the heart to beat too fast. This rapid heart rate is called tachycardia. A person who has Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is born with the extra electrical pathway, and symptoms can be experienced at any age. Periods of tachycardia can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting. In rare instances, it can cause a cardiac arrest. Some people with WPW never have symptoms. The human heart consists of two upper chambers and two lower chambers. The two upper chambers are the left and right atrium. The two lower chambers are the left and right ventricle. The heart's electrical system signals the heart when to contract. If there is an extra electrical connection … [Read more...] about What is Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as intracranial injury, is a substantial head injury that results in damage to the brain. This damage can cause a wide spectrum of possible health outcomes. TBI may also be caused by objects, such as bullets or a smashed piece of skull penetrating brain tissue. Causes of TBI also include falls, vehicle accidents and violence. In this article, we will look at the causes, diagnosis, treatment, possible complications and prevention of TBI. TBI is generally the result of a sudden, violent blow or jolt to the head. The brain is launched into a collision course with the inside of the skull, resulting in possible bruising of the brain, tearing of nerve fibers and bleeding. TBI severity varies enormously depending on which part of the brain is affected, whether it occurred in a specific location or over a widespread area, as well as the extent of the damage. In mild cases, the patient may experience only temporary confusion and headache. … [Read more...] about Traumatic Brain Injury: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis
The study — a joint effort between the NIH and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — has found that people who used either pesticide developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users. What could be happening here? According to the researchers, rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria. Your mitochondria are responsible for making energy in all of your cells. And paraquat seems to have equally destructive powers: the chemical increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures. To get their results, the research team studied 110 people with Parkinson’s disease and 358 matched controls from the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) Study. They then used the data to investigate the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and exposure to pesticides or other agents that are toxic to nervous tissue. The investigators diagnosed those participants with … [Read more...] about These Two Common Chemicals Linked to Parkinson’s
Dive Brief: A team of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic has implanted the first-ever deep brain stimulation system (DBS) in a stroke victim, as part of an ongoing clinical trial evaluating the procedure’s potential to improve movement during stroke recovery. By coupling DBS with physical therapy, the goal is to increase rehabilitation beyond what physical therapy could achieve alone, according to Andre Machado, team leader and chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute. The Clinic said the patient is currently recovering at home and will begin to receive DBS during physical therapy after a few weeks of initial rehabilitation. Dive Insight: The six-hour procedure took place on Dec. 19 and involved implanting electrodes in the cerebellum, a part of the brain that is important in motor control. A pacemaker device connected to the electrodes sends small electric pulses to the patient’s brain, stimulating motor responses. “If this research … [Read more...] about Cleveland Clinic deploys deep brain stimulation in ‘nation’s first’ stroke recovery surgery
Did you know there are many celebrities with chronic illnesses? Selena Gomez, Tom Hanks, Charlie Sheen, Michael J Fox, Lena Dunham, Pink, George Clooney, Kim Kardashian, Jack Osbourne, Venus Williams, Halle Berry, and even rapper Lil Wayne are all sufferers of known chronic illnesses like diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and HIV, among others. What’s it like for these celebrities to cope with their conditions while living highly public and stressful lives? Read on to find out. Selena Gomez, Lupus Selena Gomez is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but life is not always glamorous, even for her. The former Disney star and “Kill Em with Kindness” singer battles the autoimmune disease known as lupus, undergoing chemotherapy to help treat it. Although her condition was kept private for years, Gomez decided to take a break from music in 2013 and checked into a rehab facility in 2014 to spend some time on herself. Taking care of oneself is very important … [Read more...] about Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses: Selena Gomez Lupus, Tom Hanks Diabetes, Charlie Sheen HIV, Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Disease