The Weekly 08.02.2022

Parkinson’s News Updates
Photo by sk on Unsplash
More, Worse Parkinson’s Pain for Women Than Men, Study Reveals Parkinson’s News Today

Women with Parkinson’s disease experience more and worse pain than men with the neurodegenerative condition, according to a new study that highlights sex differences in the prevalence and severity of these symptoms.

Chronic pain, pain related to motor symptom fluctuations, mouth/face (oro-facial) pain, and discoloration/swelling were all more prevalent in women than in men, data showed.

“Female [Parkinson’s disease] patients in this [group] also had more severe pain symptoms,” the researchers wrote. Additionally, the study found that women had more severe impairments in cognitive function than did men, though the team noted that further research is needed to understand potential links between cognitive dysfunction and the perception of pain.

The study, “Gender Differences in Pain Subtypes among Patients with Parkinson’s Disease,” was published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience.


Genetic Analysis Links Psoriasis With Faster Disease Progression Parkinson’s News Today

Among people with Parkinson’s disease, those with the skin disease psoriasis tend to experience slightly faster disease progression, according to a new analysis of genetic data.

“These findings provided a better understanding of the role of psoriasis in the pathogenesis [disease development] of [Parkinson’s], and had clinical implications for patients and clinicians,” researchers wrote.

Results were detailed in the study, “Psoriasis and Progression of Parkinson’s Disease: a Mendelian Randomization Study,” published in The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches on the skin, usually affecting the knees, elbows, torso and/or scalp. Previous studies have suggested that people with psoriasis are at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s.


Aluminum Exposure Boosts Activity of Parkinson’s Genes: Zebrafish Study Parkinson’s News Today

Exposure to aluminum increased the activity of several genes related to Parkinson’s disease in zebrafish, a new study shows.

While these data do not necessarily demonstrate a link between aluminum exposure and Parkinson’s development, they shed further light on the neurotoxic properties of aluminum, researchers said.

The study, “Aluminum exposure leads to neurodegeneration and alters the expression of marker genes involved to parkinsonism in zebrafish brain,” was published in Chemosphere.

Despite being a very common metal in the environment, aluminum does not play a normal role in human metabolism — in fact, heavy aluminum exposure can have toxic effects on body organs. The exact mechanisms of how aluminum affects the body are not well-understood. In the study, researchers in Italy conducted a series of experiments where they exposed zebrafish — a model organism commonly used to investigate neurological disease — to an aluminum solution for 10, 15, or 20 days. Analyses of the fishes’ brains indicated that aluminum exposure in the brain was highest after 15 days of exposure.

“The aim of this work was to provide new insights into the neurotoxic effects of [aluminum] to understand its role in neurodegeneration,” the researchers wrote.


Reduced Bile Acid Levels Seen With Mild Cognitive Impairment Parkinson’s News Today

Parkinson’s disease patients who have mild cognitive impairment tend to have lower levels of certain bile acids — substances made in the liver that are used to help digest fats — than patients with normal cognition, according to a new study.

The study, “Distinct Bile Acid Signature in Parkinson’s Disease With Mild Cognitive Impairment,” was published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Recent research has indicated that bile acid profiles are impaired in people with Parkinson’s and has been connected to changes in the makeup of gut bacteria. Alterations in bile acid and gut bacteria profiles also have shown some links with cognition in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s, called PD-MCI, is when someone with the disease begins to experience difficulties with thinking and memory although these difficulties aren’t extreme enough to constitute Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). While not everyone with PD-MCI will progress to PDD, having mild cognitive impairment is a well established risk factor for developing dementia.