NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

OHSU studies loss of smell in Parkinson's disease

Wednesday September 04, 2013

Teresa Blackman

KGW Portland - Many people who have Parkinson's disease also lose their sense of smell even before the onset of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's. A new study at Oregon Health & Science University is exploring this problem, called hyposmia.

OHSU is one of 24 sites around the world that are part of the $55 million Parkinson's study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Researchers are looking at this and other risk factors, in their ongoing quest to develop therapies that could slow or stop the disease progression. They will also explore whether testing for a reduced sense of smell might be combined with other measures to identify people who may be at risk for developing the disease.

During the last three years, the OHSU study has been working to identify biological markers of Parkinson's disease progression. This latest phase will be aimed at finding ways to detect the disease before the motor symptoms of Parkinson's – tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity – begin.

Other potential risk factors being studied include rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and a mutation found by genetic testing.

"Understanding risk factors for Parkinson's disease may allow us to develop therapies to prevent the onset of motor symptoms in future generations of Parkinson's disease patients," said Penelope Hogarth, M.D., an associate professor of neurology and genetics at OHSU. "We are proud to be a part of this innovative research and are looking to the local community for volunteers over the age of 60 to join us in the effort."

Portland-area residents who are interested in the research can become one of the 10,000 individuals needed to complete a brief online or paper survey about their sense of smell. People over the age of 60 who do not have Parkinson's disease are needed to participate. Most survey respondents will be sent a scratch-and-sniff smell test and brief questionnaire in the mail to be completed at home. Some individuals may also be asked if they are willing to undergo more extensive testing at OHSU.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can go to the Parkinson's research web site, call 1-877-525-PPMI (7764), or contact OHSU study coordinators Alicia Portillo and Art Lenahan at 503-494-1382.

Blackman, T. (4 Sep 2013). KGW Portland. OHSU studies loss of smell in Parkinson's disease. www.kgw.com

Recent News

Nov 17 - 'Moving Day' participant is not letting young-onset Parkinson's disease stop him
Nov 17 - Focused ultrasound shows promise for treating Parkinson's tremor
Nov 17 - New research to target air pollution as a potential trigger for Parkinson’s
Nov 17 - This device will let you feel what it's like to suffer from Parkinson's
Nov 10 - How does Parkinson's disease influence depression?
Nov 10 - House votes to repeal ObamaCare's Medicare cost-cutting board
Nov 10 - Microsoft shows off watch that quiets Parkinson's tremors
Nov 3 - Utah group battling Parkinson's disease with boxing
Nov 3 - UVA-LED STUDY EXAMINES POTENTIAL OF SOUND WAVES TO MANAGE PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Oct 27 - Herbicide's link to Parkinson's disease
Oct 27 - NTU Singapore, KAIST scientists discover new mechanism that causes Parkinsonian symptoms
Oct 27 - 70,000 Washingtonians face higher insurance costs after Trump order, officials say
Oct 18 - Brain disconnections may contribute to Parkinson's hallucinations
Oct 18 - Fighting Parkinson's disease through dance
Oct 17 - Scientists Identify Structure of PINK1, Key Parkinson’s-protective Protein
Oct 17 - Diabetes drug cuts Parkinson's risk by 28 percent, study finds
Oct 10 - Advances in Brain Pacemaker Reduces Tremors, Helps Parkinson's Sufferers Live a More Normal Life
Oct 10 - Medical History Could Help Predict Parkinson's Disease Risk Long Before Diagnosis
Oct 3 - Changes in Olfactory Bulb Explain Loss of Smell in Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds
Oct 3 - Sleep Disturbances May Worsen Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, Study Suggests