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Your Parkinson's News Update for the Week of 02.01.2022

Tuesday February 01, 2022
This Week's Parkinson's News Update
Photo by Samia Liamani on Unsplash
Parkinson's Life
The study highlights gaps in awareness about sex and gender differences in Parkinson’s diagnosis and management, and has identified a lack of research around social factors that impact quality of life for women managing the condition.
“Studies looking at sex and gender differences in Parkinson’s have not led to personalizing care or inspiring new avenues of scientific and clinical research,” the authors wrote.
A crucial challenge is the delay women can experience in receiving an accurate Parkinson’s diagnosis. The authors emphasized the importance of raising awareness of the “unique constellation of symptoms” impacting women with the condition, such as anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances.
Parkinson's News Today
The survey was answered by 1,881 people with Parkinson’s who reported having used cannabis products since they were diagnosed. Most respondents were men (58.5%), and more than half had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for less than three years. The vast majority were white (97.9%), and the respondents generally were highly educated, with nearly two-thirds having at least a college degree and 33.6% with graduate or professional degrees.
Most of the respondents (73%) said the main reason they used cannabis was medicinal; 7.3% reported recreational use, and 19.7% said they used cannabis both medically and recreationally. A little more than half had been using cannabis for six months or less, while about a third had been using for longer than a year.
Notably, nearly one of three respondents (31.8%) said they had not talked to their healthcare providers about their use of cannabis. Based on this finding, the researchers recommended that clinicians should bring up the topic of cannabis use with Parkinson’s patients “in a standardized, nonjudgmental manner” during visits.
Parkinson's News Today
ATH-1017 — given as an under-the-skin (subcutaneous) injection — is a small molecule intended to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET. Both HGF and MET are found within the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and spinal cord.
When HGF is bound to its receptor, it promotes cell growth, migration, and new blood vessel formation. By enhancing the activity of this signaling pathway, ATH-1017 is expected to improve brain health and function.
Health Day via Medical Xpress
Some previous studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a lower risk of Parkinson's, and it was suggested that a class of rheumatoid arthritis drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may play a role in that reduced risk.
To learn more, researchers analyzed data from thousands of patients in Finland.
The use of most DMARDs—including methotrexatesulfasalazine, gold preparations or immunosuppressants—at least three years before Parkinson's disease diagnosis was not associated with the risk of the disease in those with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the study published online Jan. 21 in the journal Neurology.
According to researchers, people with Parkinson's who eat three or more servings per week of foods high in antioxidants called flavonoids may reduce their odds of dying early compared with people who do not eat as many flavonoid-rich foods.
"Flavonoids are naturally occurring, plant-based dietary components, rich in fruit and vegetables. They give various colors in these plants," said senior researcher Dr. Xiang Gao. He is director of the nutritional epidemiology lab at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park. "Adapting a healthy dietary pattern, high in colorful fruits and veggies, even after Parkinson diagnosis, could slow disease progression and improve survival rate," he added.