MJFF Podcast: Treating Parkinson’s Hallucinations and Delusions

By Michael J. Fox Foundation

This week’s MJFF Podcast features Dr. Rachel Dolhun and explores Parkinson’s disease psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, and discusses treatments for this symptom.

Parkinson’s disease psychosis can affect up to 40 to 50 percent of people with the disease. It can include hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there) and delusions (fixed, false beliefs).

To treat this symptom, doctors have used traditional anti-psychotic drugs, but those have presented challenges.

“The problem with [traditional anti-psychotic] medications is that they block the dopamine receptors or they decrease the dopamine, and as people with Parkinson’s disease know pretty well, dopamine is what’s lost in Parkinson’s,” says Rachel Dolhun, MD, vice president of medical communications at MJFF. “So if we’re blocking the dopamine that we’re trying to already replace with our [Parkinson’s] medications, we can potentially worsen the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.”

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug, called Nuplazid, which was specifically designed to treat Parkinson’s psychosis without interfering with a patient’s dopamine medications.

Hear more from Dr. Dolhun about PD psychosis and Nuplazid through the Third Thursday Webinar from The Michael J Fox Foundation on May 19, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. Register now.

Source:: MJFF Podcasts

PAA and The Birmingham Baron’s Present: Parkinson’s Awareness Day at the Ballpark

Tickets are now on sale for Parkinson’s Awareness Day at the Ballpark. The Parkinson’s Association of Alabama (PAA) is thrilled to partner with the Birmingham Baron’s to bring you this special event on Sunday, May 22 at 3:00 PM. We hope you’ll join us at Regions Field for a great day of baseball featuring our Baron’s against the Montgomery Biscuits along with a few moments of reflection on the contributions of the Birmingham community towards accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

Proceeds from tickets purchased through PAA fund critical Parkinson’s Disease research programs at UAB. We offer the following ticket packages:

General Admission – Parkinson’s Awareness Day at the Ballpark

Snack Pack – Parkinson’s Awareness Day at the Ballpark

Both packages include PAA reserved, handicap accessible seating so you’re cheering on the Baron’s next to someone else that has a connection to Parkinson’s Disease. We will have someone throwing out the first pitch as well as in the booth talking about the PAA and PD on the radio broadcast.  Thanks again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at the game!

FDA Approves Parkinson’s Psychosis Drug

By Maggie McGuire Kuhl

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Nuplazid (the compound pimavanserin) from pharmaceutical company Acadia to treat Parkinson’s psychosis.

Psychosis — which may eventually affect more than half of people with Parkinson’s disease — can appear in a variety of ways, including hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there) and delusions (holding false, typically paranoid, beliefs).

Read more on Parkinson’s psychosis in the MJFF “Ask the MD” blog.

“Nuplazid represents a major medical advancement for patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis who suffer from hallucinations and delusions,” said Steve Davis, Acadia’s president and CEO. “We are grateful to the many patients and investigators who participated in Nuplazid’s clinical studies.”

Previously available psychosis medications worked on both the dopamine and serotonin systems. Parkinson’s medications for motor symptoms also work on the dopamine system, and taking antipsychotics blocked the effect of those drugs. So doctors and patients had to make a trade-off to treat either psychosis or motor symptoms.

Nuplazid, the first medication approved specifically for Parkinson’s psychosis, works only on the serotonin system. Clinical trials showed the drug eased psychosis symptoms without worsening motor symptoms.

“Parkinson’s disease psychosis is a debilitating condition that adds a tremendous burden on the lives of patients already contending with motor issues such as slow movement, loss of balance, and muscle rigidity,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, MJFF CEO. “It also places an increased burden on caregivers and can lead to loss of independence and nursing home admittance for patients. A therapy to treat the hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis without worsening motor symptoms can significantly impact the lives of Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones.”

MJFF did not fund the development of Nuplazid, though the Foundation has granted Acadia for studies into a disease-modifying therapy.

Acadia is committed to helping people with Parkinson’s access this new drug. Talk to your doctor about this therapy and visit www.nuplazid.com or call 844-737-2223 for more information.

Join the Michael J Fox Foundation on May 19 for a webinar on Parkinson’s psychosis and Nuplazid.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog