NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Parkinson’s disease also affects patient’s sense of touch and vision

Thursday October 26, 2006

10/19/06(ZEENEWS.COM) - Although Parkinson’s disease (PD) is most commonly understood as a movement disorder, scientists have found that the disease also causes widespread abnormalities in touch and vision Ð effects.

Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine and Zhejiang University Medical School in Hangzhou China have verified abnormalities in touch and vision by using magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain.

Although scientists studying Parkinson’s disease (PD) previously have focused on the brain’s motor and premotor cortex, they haven’t looked at the somatosensory or the visual cortex.

But Emory neurologist Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, and colleagues had earlier discovered, through tests of tactile ability, that PD patients have sensory problems with touch.

They designed a study using fMRI to investigate the brain changes underlying these sensory abnormalities.

After conducting a number of fMRI scans of people suffering with Parkinson’s disease, it was found that that the PD patients had much less activation of the somatosensory areas in the brain’s cortex than did the healthy controls.

"Our finding that the visual cortex is affected in Parkinson’s disease, while surprising, makes sense given that our laboratory and many others have shown previously that areas of the brain’s visual cortex are intimately involved in the sense of touch," Dr. Sathian said.

"Although the reasons for this are uncertain, they may involve a process of mental visualization of the tactile stimuli and may also reflect a multisensory capability of the visual cortex," he added.

Recent News

Jun 13 - Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson's
Jun 12 - Smell Test May Sniff Out Oncoming Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Jun 8 - Smartphones Track Motor Function in Parkinson's Disease
Jun 8 - GKC Enrolls First Patient in Personal KinetiGraph Trial as Part of NPF’s Parkinson’s Outcomes Project
Jun 8 - Low-fat dairy intake may raise Parkinson's risk
Jun 6 - Patient Voices: Parkinson's Disease
Jun 1 - World-First Trials Have Been Launched to Treat Parkinson's And Blindness With Embryonic Stem Cells
May 24 - Survival Rates Differ Widely in Parkinson's, MSA, Lewy Bodies
May 22 - Discovery may offer hope to Parkinson's disease patients
May 15 - Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia
May 5 - Parkinson's in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
May 5 - ‘Hunger Hormone’ Could Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease
May 3 - Antibiotic doxycycline may offer hope for treatment of Parkinson's disease
May 1 - Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease: Building Physician, Patient Awareness
Apr 28 - Does Parkinson’s disease begin in the gut?
Apr 28 - New empathy-creating digital device could be revolutionary for caregivers
Apr 24 - Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation Works—Most of the Time
Apr 24 - Parkinson’s disease shows links to depression
Apr 21 - TOLEDO Trial: Apomorphine Infusions Reduce 'Off' Time in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 21 - New drug provides long-awaited breakthrough for Parkinson's psychosis