Thursday, June 30th, 2011
MIAMI, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) has awarded more than $1 million dollars in clinical research projects in 2011. Through NPF’s individual investigators awards program, NPF is supporting work to advance three key areas of Parkinson’s disease (PD): 1) an advanced biomarker study, 2) a clinical trial to treat memory impairment, and 3) a study of the effectiveness of a treatment for sleep apnea in PD.
“Each of these projects can have an immediate impact on the lives of Parkinson’s disease patients, from a novel approach to developing a new biomarker to treatments for two important non-motor symptoms,” said Joyce Oberdorf, NPF’s President and CEO. “Both sleep issues and cognition are important, but often overlooked, contributors to the burden of the disease.”
Under the direction of the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board (CSAB), NPF supports leading-edge research conducted by the top neurological experts at its 43 Centers of Excellence worldwide. These research awards will support three novel clinical investigations at Centers of Excellence in the United States and Canada.
NPF funded the following two-year clinical research grants:
1. MRI Biomarkers for Motor and Non-Motor Manifestations of Parkinson’s Disease: Martin McKeown, MD, and Silke Cresswell, MD, Pacific Parkinson’s Research Center, University of British Columbia. This study will examine Parkinson’s disease patients to measure the shapes of deep structures in the brain; the goal is to develop a biomarker for Parkinson’s. This new technique combines advances in computing power with established (and inexpensive) imaging techniques to provide greater insight. Drs. McKeown and Cresswell hope to develop a reliable method to assess overall disease severity and this sophisticated technique could be replicated at hospitals anywhere.
2. Sleep Disordered Breathing and its Impact on Cognitive Performance and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease: Poor sleep affects the quality of life for people with PD, but there is also evidence that it may also contribute to decreased cognition. This study will evaluate the prevalence of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and test the effectiveness of a common SDB treatment in people with Parkinson’s. Sleep disturbance in PD has been highlighted as not only having a measurable impact on quality of life, but also contributing to trauma and injury associated with reduced vigilance due to fatigue.
3. Sleep and Learn with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in Parkinson’s Disease: M. Felice Ghilardi, MD, New York University Medical School. Motor learning involves practicing a task followed by forming a habit—a short-cut in the brain to do a complex motion. This study will investigate this process and how it is affected by PD. Dr. Ghilardi will study motor learning in people with PD and then attempt to improve motor learning by stimulating neurons using TMS. TMS therapy has been shown to activate neurons in the brain and can be targeted to those associated with motor learning. If this technique works, it could be applied to reinforce important motor tasks associated with falls prevention, for example.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) has been named one of the “five big developments in neuroscience to watch,” by Forbes.com on June 17. The article highlighted new research that uses TMS for brain injury treatment. Currently, TMS is being used for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, Parkinson’s disease, migraines and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The use of TMS for brain injuries could prove to have a significant impact on the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions.
At South Shore Neuropsychiatric Center Dr. Fruitman and his staff are committed to keeping up with the advancements in TMS therapy to better serve our patients. Because TMS is now becoming a treatment option for various psychiatric and physical ailments, we have been able to successfully treat patients with depression, ADHD and Parkinson’s, and hope to begin TMS therapy for migraines and PTSD, as well as brain injuries after research has been concluded.
After completing treatment, our patients have experienced a tremendous increase in the level of daily functioning. We hope to continue these successes through expanding our treatment approach and the practice by advocating whole body wellness.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
Jun. 2, 2011-UTD News Center
The Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Department of Defense to further test a cutting-edge treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Up to 8 percent of the population will have PTSD at some point in life, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Up to 20 percent of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTSD.
With the funding, 50 patients will be treated with a combination of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), a behavioral therapy treatment designed to give individuals suffering from PTSD a new way to handle distressing thoughts.
The study being conducted at the Center for BrainHealth will combine rTMS, a magnetic coil that alternates polarity resulting in the right frontal lobe of the brain to temporarily reduce the fear response to a tolerable level, and CPT, a method of psychological training that will teach patients how to lessen the emotional response associated with PTSD. The blinded study will measure subjects’ EEG (brain wave) tests and functional MRIs (fMRI) before and after to determine positive treatment response.
“We are very hopeful that the combination of these two treatments will positively affect one of the most debilitating symptoms of PTSD,” said Dr. John Hart, medical science director at the Center for BrainHealth and lead researcher of the study. “If this clinical trial proves successful, thousands of veterans returning from war will have an even greater chance of transitioning smoothly back into civilian life.”
Friday, June 3rd, 2011
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)- Depressions a disease that affects an estimated 19 million Americans. But for many people suffering from it, medication just dosen’t work. Now there is a new FDA approved treatment available in that is giving new hope to patients.
Melanie Wright first experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety when she was 18 years old. A condition that has gotten worse for this mother of two boys.
“I had issues with eating, not eating enough or not wanting to eat things, not having a present relationship with my kids or my husband,’ said Wright.
Wright doses of medication gave her some relief, but she didn’t like the side effects. Now thanks to a new one of it’s kind treatment wright is getting her life back. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS. A technician places a magnet about the size of a hockey puck over the left front part of Wright’s brain. Electricity is then pulsed through the magnet to the brain.
That pulse is charging up neurons which then get the neurotransmitters changing and that change the system of the brain. The foundational system of the brain if you will is healing and restructuring, said Dr. Carole Orem-Hough a psychologist, who runs TMS Centers of Maine.
Dr. Orem-Hough invested nearly 90-thousand dollars to bring the magnetic therapy to Maine. Patients must undergo more than 30 minutes of treatment five times a week for six weeks. wright says after a couple of weeks — her anxiety decreased.
‘I see life as so hopeful, I see it so differently. It’s hard to describe,’ said Wright.