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The Apple Watch just got a lot better at tracking symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

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The Apple Watch will soon be able to track tremors experienced by Parkinson’s Disease patients to help them manage their condition.

Later this year, Apple will release a software update to make it easier for medical researchers to understand the difference between a random movement, and the shakes and dyskinesia that Parkinson’s patients experience when they’re getting treated with medications.

Apple made the announcement this week at its developer conference, WWDC.

The new “movement disorder API” will accelerate research that’s already underway in how wearable devices can be used to track the progression of Parkinson’s, said Peter Schmidt, a Parkinson’s researcher and vice dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, who has been advising Apple’s health team.

About 60,000 people are diagnosed every year with Parkinson’s in the U.S. alone and an estimated 10 million people have the disease globally. Not all of these patients will have access to an Apple Watch, or be able to afford one, but Apple is starting to work with health insurance companies like Aetna in figuring out ways to subsidize the cost.

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Source: CNBC

First Drug Approved for Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease

By Kristen Teesdale

Adamas Pharmaceuticals yesterday announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an extended-release formulation of amantadine (GOCOVRI) to treat dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease (PD). This is the first drug indicated specifically for dyskinesia — uncontrolled, involuntary movements that can develop with long-term levodopa use.

Extended-release amantadine is intended to be taken once daily at bedtime. In this way it can control dyskinesia during the day, when it typically is most prevalent. The new therapy’s approval is based on data from three placebo-controlled trials that demonstrated safety and efficacy. In addition to easing dyskinesia, the drug also may lessen total daily “off” time, when Parkinson’s symptoms return because medication is not working optimally.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) helped move this drug to market by supporting the creation and authentication of the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale, a tool that was used to measure the drug’s impact in trials.

“Dyskinesia can significantly compromise quality of life for people with Parkinson’s,” says Todd Sherer, MJFF CEO. “We are pleased that patients have another option to manage this aspect of the disease and glad the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale — a tool our support helped develop and validate — could show clinical efficacy of GOCOVRI for the treatment of dyskinesia.”

Extended-release amantadine is a reformulation of a currently available generic immediate-release version, which is approved to treat Parkinson’s symptoms. (Read more about this and other medications for Parkinson’s disease.)

Read more about extended-release amantadine.

Register for Fox Trial Finder to participate in dyskinesia and other studies to advance PD understandings and therapies.

Source: Fox Feed Blog

Breaking News: A New Dyskinesia Drug Will Be Submitted to FDA This Year

By Holly Teichholtz

A new formulation of amantadine to better treat levodopa-induced dyskinesia is entering the home stretch. Its developer, Emeryville, California-based biotech Adamas Pharmaceuticals, expects to file an NDA (New Drug Application) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this year.

According to Nasdaq:

“Data from the study demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in LID at 12 weeks in patients receiving ADS-5102 compared with placebo, as assessed by the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS). The candidate was safe and generally well tolerated. The study met its primary endpoint.[…] Results from the study showed an improvement in activities of daily living (ADLs) in PD patients.”

As FoxFeed reported in December 2015, the company measured the impact of the drug using a new dyskinesia rating scale developed by Chris Goetz, MD, and Glenn Stebbins, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center with support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Choosing Parkinson’s Medications

By Michael J. Fox Foundation

In this podcast, Thomas Davis, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, speaks about how doctors and patients work together to create a medication regimen.

Source:: MJFF Podcasts

Birmingham Symposium

2015 Birmingham Symposium: Living Your Best Life with Parkinson’s Disease

The Parkinson Association of Alabama (PAA) is thrilled to host its annual Birmingham Symposium on Saturday, June 13 at the Embassy Suites in Hoover from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Register online now!

Check-in and Breakfast are from 8:00 – 8:30 AM. The program is from 8:45 AM – 1:00 PM and includes a boxed lunch. Admission is free with registration, but donations are appreciated and may be submitted online or at the event. Space is limited, so we do encourage everyone interested in attending to register online.

The theme for this years forum is Living Your Best Life with Parkinson’s and we encourage anyone affected by PD to attend. Whether you’re a PD patient, caregiver, medical professionalthought leader, or simply want know more – the Birmingham Symposium offers something for everyone.

Contact the PAA Executive Director, Mary T Miller, for more information.

 

5 Ways to Improve Their Day

The daily process of coping with Parkinson’s Disease can be a challenge for patients, caregivers, and their families. Here are 5 ways to brighten the day of someone dealing with PD courtesy of the FoxFeed blog…

Fight Parkinson’s with Exercise

Medical professionals at UAB and around the world continue to promote exercise as a critical factor that can positively influence longterm health and quality of life for Parkinson patients. Here is another great piece on the benefits of exercise for Parkinson patients by NPR’s Morning Edition.