NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Meal-induced falls in blood pressure in Parkinson's sufferers

Saturday April 06, 2013

University of Adelaide researchers are hoping to better understand why some sufferers of Parkinson's disease experience a marked reduction in blood pressure after they've eaten a meal. Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-04-meal-induced

medicalxpress.com - The condition - known as postprandial hypotension - can result in sufferers fainting soon after they've eaten, which increases their risk of injury. This is of particular concern for older patients, who are more likely to require hospitalisation after a fall.

A new study involving researchers and clinicians from the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital is investigating this problem in sufferers of Parkinson's disease.

Speaking in the lead up to World Parkinson's Day (Thursday 11 April), study leader Professor Karen Jones says it is still not well understood why many sufferers of Parkinson's experience such a major fall in blood pressure after eating.

"Postprandial hypotension is poorly understood by the medical profession, and there is low awareness of the condition among general practitioners and in the community. It is distinct from a fall in blood pressure that occurs with standing, and there is no effective treatment," says Professor Jones, from the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine and the Royal Adelaide Hospital's Endocrine and Metabolic Unit.

"The research we're conducting will help us better understand the mechanisms involved in postprandial hypotension, so we hope it will be of great benefit to sufferers of Parkinson's and other diseases that are complicated by this problem."

The study is being conducted by School of Medicine PhD student Laurence Trahair, who is specifically looking at the relationship between gastric emptying and blood pressure.

"How quickly the stomach empties food into the intestine, and the changes this produces in intestinal blood flow, may be the key to better understanding why marked falls in blood pressure after a meal occur in these patients," Mr Trahair says.

"Abnormal rates of gastric emptying - either too fast or too slow - can be triggered by a range of causes, including medication commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease, so a better understanding of the rate of gastric emptying in these patients will be important for this study.

"Up to 50% of Parkinson's sufferers are believed to experience postprandial hypotension, so our research could potentially help a large number of people."

Recent News

May 20 - Book Review: Aging in the Key of Humor
May 19 - Press Release: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Joins Multinational Critical Path for Parkinson's Consortium
May 19 - Congress reaches deal to overhaul chemical regulation
May 16 - Lifestyle: Why Parkinson's disease won't stop me rowing across the Pacific
May 16 - Many biomarkers for PD fail to inform on progression
May 10 - Parkinson's Cell Transplant Shows Good Reinnervation at 24 Years
May 7 - Growing art installation gathers stories of living with Parkinson's
May 5 - New technique can provide better cell transplants against Parkinson's disease
May 2 - What's Good For The Heart Is Good For The Brain
Apr 29 - Press Release: FDA approves first drug to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease
Apr 28 - Dopamine-making neurons can be chemically controlled in animal model of Parkinson's
Apr 25 - Lifestyle: Dating with Disease
Apr 25 - Scientific breakthrough in fight against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Apr 20 - Breakthrough Parkinson's disease blood test
Apr 15 - Living with Parkinson's
Apr 12 - Tissue biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease
Apr 11 - Yoga for Every Body: Experts say yoga can ease pain and improve mobility for people with neurologic conditions
Apr 9 - Commonly prescribed Parkinson's drugs up risk of compulsive gambling, shopping, binge eating, hypersexuality
Apr 7 - Pfizer and IBM Launch Innovative Research Project to Transform Parkinson's Disease Care
Apr 7 - Parkinson's Drug Highly Effective for Resistant Depression