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Your Parkinson's News Update for the Week of 10.5.20

Monday October 05, 2020
Parkinson's Study Examines the Potential
of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Bioelectronic Medicine via Medical News Today
Through a limited study, researchers found potential in spinal cord stimulation as a singular therapy for Parkinson’s as well as a salvage therapy for people who either do not have or do not consistently benefit from deep-brain stimulation (DBS).
"Based on the visual analog scale of pain intensity — the seven patients who had never received DBS experienced a 57% reduction, on average. For those who had received DBS in the past, the average reduction in pain intensity was 61%."
Even in People with Parkinson's Gene, Coffee May be Protective
Neurology via Medical Xpress
Earlier studies have shown that coffee consumption may protect against the development of Parkinson's in people who have no genetic risk factors for the condition; new research suggests that this may apply to those who do have genetic risk factors. Study author Grace Crotty emphasized that their findings do not prove that caffeine consumption directly causes a lower risk of Parkinson's: they show an association.
"This study looked at people with a genetic mutation that increases the risk of Parkinson's. The mutation is in a gene called LRRK2 for leucine-rich repeat kinase 2. But having the abnormal gene does not guarantee that people will develop the disease, so researchers are hoping to identify other genetic or environmental factors that affect whether people develop the disease."
Promising “Molecular Tweezer” Parkinson’s Therapy
Looks to Human Trials
Nature Communications via New Atlas
"This is a very exciting piece of work showing that drug treatments can be developed to unpick toxic protein clusters to save neurons in models of Parkinson’s,” says lead author on the study, Richard Wade-Martins. “Our work is focused on developing new approaches to saving neurons when they start to lose function early on, but before they die later on in the condition.”
Beckie Port, from Parkinson’s UK, suggests this kind of novel molecular tweezer therapy is exciting and is urging for it to move into human trials as soon as possible.