New technique scours the genome for genes that combat disease

Using a modified version of the CRISPR genome editing system, researchers have developed a new way to screen for genes that protect against specific diseases. They used this system to turn on randomly chosen genes in many different cells, allowing them to identify genes that protect cells from a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Source:: Science Daily -CLICK TO READ MORE

It Doesn’t Matter What Exercise as Long as You’re Exercising

By Sherri Woodbridge

Several years ago, when I was diagnosed with young onset PD, it seemed the rage in beneficial exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease was bicycling. A few years later, the craze seemed to turn to dance. Now it seems as though boxing could be the in thing. As the others appear to come and go in cycles, one form of exercise that appears to remain consistent and advantageous is tai chi.

The question is, what exercise is best? I think the simple answer is whatever feels best and whatever you enjoy. None of it is bad for you and the most important thing is just to be doing something.

A real prospect exists that the physical movement involved in riding a bicycle, and in certain other forms of exercise, may alleviate the symptoms of the neurodegenerative condition we know more intimately as Parkinson’s disease.

The observation made by a research scientist from the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, that the physical symptoms associated with Parkinson’s appeared to improve in a personal friend who had ridden a tandem cycle. It seemed that there was a connection between forcing patients to move their legs faster than they would have otherwise been able to on their own, and because of this, there was a significant improvement in relieving symptoms.

In fact, further research from the Cleveland Clinic showed that forced exercise appeared to be more effective than drug treatment at improving symptoms in those with PD. They even went so far to suggest that forced exercise can also decrease some of the cognitive problems that can be associated with PD.

Studies have also shown that dance may be an effective alternative to traditional exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease. Staying active is crucial for those of us who have PD and dancing has been shown to lessen tremors and improve flexibility, as well as lifting mood.

“The positive effect that dancing has on us is quite magical,” says Alison Underwood, diagnosed with PD 10 years ago and now in her 60s. I don’t know about you, but I could use a little magic while living with this little monster we call Parkinson’s disease.

Boxing is definitely on the list of exercise popular among PD patients of late. Of course, it may not be the exercise of choice for everyone, but it has definitely become trendy. One such program is called Rock Steady Boxing. It is a non-contact program specifically designed for those with Parkinson’s to help strengthen motor skills, balance, speech, and sensory function.

A side benefit of getting out and getting some exercise is being around other people like us, those who struggle day-to-day with symptoms pertaining to PD. We can encourage each other to keep on keeping on.

 

Source:: Parkinson’s Today

Sniff Test for Parkinson’s Disease

By Michael J. Fox Foundation

Lack of objective tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease (PD) challenges drug development and patient care. While scientists are looking to pinpoint PD earlier through skin and spinal fluid, there is also promising research on some less invasive methods. In this podcast, host Dave Iverson talks with two researchers on the significance of these non-invasive tests.

“What we’re doing now is to really try and identify whether there’s a particular secretion in the skin of Parkinson’s patients and what it smells like and then how can we detect it,” says Samantha Hutten, PhD, senior associate director at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is funding projects to sniff out Parkinson’s disease.

Another MJFF-funded study led by Mark Baron, MD, professor of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University, breaks down what eye movement means in relation to PD.

“If you look at a target — assuming we aren’t going to have Parkinson’s disease — and we stare at a dot on a screen, our eye is not moving. People with Parkinson’s disease — it’s moving in all directions, so it’s not staying perfectly still,” says Dr. Baron.

Tune into to the live discussion in our next webinar this Thursday, October 19, at 12 p.m., where we discuss how these screening methods and others could lead to earlier PD diagnosis. Register today.

Like what you hear? Subscribe to The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast in iTunes or your podcast mobile app. Please consider leaving us a rating on iTunes and sharing the series with your network.

Learn more about the search for a test for Parkinson’s disease in our guide.

View a text transcript of this podcast.

Source:: MJFF Podcasts

Parkinson’s patients find balance, stamina in ‘Rock Steady’ fitness class

By Kym Klass

Jack Noble has noticed two positive changes in his body since attending the Rock Steady Boxing class at MetroFitness: his breathing, and his stamina.

The 85-year-old was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago, and in this new class brought to the east Montgomery fitness center that focuses on strength, balance and agility, Noble appreciates it for its movement and for “really feeling like I’m getting a workout.”

With more than 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease — 60,000 Americans are diagnosed every year — exercise has been proven to help alleviate…CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Source: Montgomery Advertiser