New Findings in Parkinson’s Disease Research
Parkinson’s disease is a brain and body disorder that can affect some men and women at later stages in their lives. Even individuals with the best possible in home senior care in Colorado Springs may receive a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Most individuals with elderly care needs and their families learn to adapt to this disease’s challenges and symptoms. Yet they are also encouraged by promising new developments in Parkinson’s disease research.
Parkinson’s Symptoms Can Vary
Many symptoms are associated with Parkinson’s, and can vary for each person. The signs of Parkinson’s disease usually begin gradually and increase as the disease progresses. Although some symptoms are apparent, others are difficult to spot. Here are four primary movement symptoms that may occur:
- Experiencing tremors or shaking in the arms, hands, head, jaw, or legs
- Feeling stiffness in the limbs and trunk
- Noticing slowness when moving
- Encountering balance and coordination difficulties
These movement symptoms can lead to other problems with daily activities such as walking, talking, and writing. Non-movement symptoms can include depression, fatigue, memory loss, and trouble sleeping. The effects of Parkinson’s Disease increase as the disease progresses through five different stages. (link to Understanding Parkinson’s blog)
Breaking Research Developments for Parkinson’s Patients
Scientists and Parkinson’s disease organizations are working together to mitigate this disease. Their efforts have proven worthwhile. For example, a research team funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation recently announced ground-breaking progress with the following results:
- Diagnostic Imaging Tool for Parkinson’s. The Swiss biotechnology company, AC Immune, has created a non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool to detect and display an image of a toxic protein named alpha-synuclein. Clumps of this protein exist in the living brain and body of nearly all people with Parkinson’s disease. Scientists believe that the accumulation of alpha-synuclein proteins leads to cell death and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
- Clumps of Toxic Proteins on Display in Living Persons. Developing an alpha-synuclein imaging tracer has long been a priority to researchers, scientists and others in the Parkison’s Disease community. According to an AC Immune, this is the first time an imaging tool has shown the proteins in a living person with Parkinson’s. In the past, the only way to see harmful build-ups of alpha-synuclein protein has been after a person has died.
- Critically Important Discoveries. AC Immune’s research results are extraordinary because an earlier diagnosis may improve a patient’s quality of life and improve the effectiveness of new neurologic drugs.
- On the Horizon. With the development of this new diagnostic tool, earlier and more reliable Parkinson’s diagnoses are now a possibility. In addition, this tool can potentially contribute to new and more precise medications in the future.
Our Care Experts Receive Specialize Training
Our care specialists at Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs are ready to step in and lend a hand. We can provide information, resources and help whenever you have Parkinson’s disease questions and concerns. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist with your in-home senior care needs.