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RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News


Parkinson's gene affects more people than previously thought New research finds that a gene previously thought to affect only a small percentage of Parkinson's disease cases actually affects many more. The findings mean that treatments that are being developed for a small number of people may, in fact, benefit many more. Almost 1 million people in the United States and nearly 10 million people across the world live with Parkinson's disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 15 percent of those living with Parkinson's have a hereditary form of the disease. Such hereditary forms of the

condition are often down to mutations in several genes. The LRRK2gene is one of them. Responsible for creating a protein called dardarin — which has important roles in maintaining the structural health of cells — LRRK2 has been found to play a key role in lateonset Parkinson's disease, which is the most widespread form of the condition. More specifically, 100 mutations of this gene have been found in familial cases of Parkinson's. Overall, 3–4 percent of Parkinson's cases have been

linked with mutations in this gene. But now, researchers have made a discovery that suggests that LRRK2 is implicated in far more cases than previously thought. It isn't just the mutated version of the gene that may cause Parkinson's, and it isn't just people with a family history of the disease who are affected by this gene, suggests the new study. Dr. J. Timothy Greenamyre, chief of the Movement Disorders Division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, is the senior

author of the study, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. LRRK2 activity leads to toxic protein buildup Dr. Greenamyre and colleagues used an innovative technique called "proximity ligation assay" to detect the activity of LRRK2. They designed a molecular "beacon" that they attached to the LRRK2 protein. If the protein was active, it would glow, enabling the researchers to see in which brain cells LRRK2 was active….Read More

Parkinson's Disease Treatment Enters Human Trials A Japanese research team announced it will start human clinical trials for a new Parkinson’s disease treatment. On Monday, a team from Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application announced it will begin testing the new treatment on humans after successful rounds of animal trials. The injected treatment uses stem cells to help those with Parkinson’s diseases and received approval from the government.

Parkinson’s disease affects about 10 million around the world, including one million in the United States, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Parkinson’s disease reduces neurons in the brain that produce dopamine. This loss of cells causes tremors in the feet and hands. It also causes stiffness in someone’s body. Treatments exist for those symptoms, but scientists haven’t been able to find a cure. This treatment could

be a breakthrough option for those with Parkinson’s disease. The team plans to inject induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells into the patient’s brains. The five million injected cells have the potential to develop into any cell in the body— including the neurons that produce dopamine. The iPS cell technology was created at Kyoto University in 2006 and can be generated from adult cells, which means the treatment

doesn’t require the use of embryonic stem cells. The creator of the technology, Shinya Yamanaka, was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2012 for the finding. Monkeys were used in the last round of trials. Over two years of observation, the scientists found that the movement of monkeys with Parkinson’s disease improved and no tumors that could turn cancerous developed in the brain. ..Read More

Only 2 weeks of inactivity can hasten diabetes onset in seniors A new study shows that 2 weeks of physical inactivity can trigger full-blown diabetes in seniors with prediabetes. As we get older, physical exercise becomes more and more important. The internet abounds with the latest research extolling the multiple benefits of physical exercise for seniors. For instance, aerobic activity and muscle training have been shown to improve the psychological well-being of elderly people, and even a few

minutes of light exercise can increase lifespan and improve brain function. The benefits of physical activity have long been praised, but what are the effects of physical inactivity? Some studies have shown that having a sedentary lifestyle harms brain health and raises the risk of diabetes and dementia in seniors, while others have suggested that being physically

inactive simply makes you age faster. New research delves into the metabolic effects of physical inactivity for seniors. A team of scientists led by Chris Mcglory — a Diabetes Canada Research Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada — set out to investigate the effects of 2 weeks of inactivity on elderly adults at risk of diabetes. The findings were published

in The Journals of Gerontology. Harmful effects of inactivity hard to reverse Mcglory and colleagues examined a group of seniors aged between 60 and 85 who had already been diagnosed with prediabetes. The researchers asked the study participants to restrict their daily number of steps to fewer than 1,000 for a period of 2 weeks. No more than 1,000 steps per day is the equivalent of being housebound...Read More

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August 5, 2018 RI ARA E-Newsletter  

August 5, 2018 RI ARA E-Newsletter  

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