Daily Health Headlines

Dementia Drug May Lower Risk of Falls Among Parkinson's Patients

👤by HealthDay 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A widely used dementia drug shows potential in reducing the risk of falls among Parkinson's patients, new research suggests.

"With the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells, people with Parkinson's often have issues with unsteadiness when walking. As part of the condition, they also have lower levels of acetylcholine, a chemical which helps us to concentrate -- making it extremely difficult to pay attention to walking," said study lead author Emily Henderson, from the University of Bristol in England.

The study included 130 people with Parkinson's disease who had fallen in the past year. Half took the drug rivastigmine (Exelon), while the other half took a placebo.

After eight months, those who took the rivastigmine capsules were much steadier when walking and 45 percent less likely to fall than those who took the placebo, according to the researchers.

The study, published Jan. 12 in The Lancet Neurology, was funded by Parkinson's UK.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder marked by tremors, stiffness and loss of coordination. About 70 percent of Parkinson's patients fall at least once a year and one-third have repeated falls, increasing their risk of broken bones and hospitalization, the researchers said.

"We already know that rivastigmine works to treat dementia by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine [in Parkinson's patients], however our study shows for the first time that it can also improve regularity of walking, speed and balance. This is a real breakthrough in reducing the risk of falls for people with Parkinson's," Henderson said in a Parkinson's UK news release.

One U.S. doctor added a caveat, however.

Dr. Andrew Feigin, director of the Experimental Therapeutics Unit at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., said the finding suggests "that rivastigmine may reduce falls in these patients, though the difference between the rivastigmine and placebo groups may have been driven by increases in falls in the placebo group as opposed to decreases in the rivastigmine group.

"Nonetheless, if validated in a larger trial, these findings could have significant implications for the treatment of gait abnormalities and falls in advanced [Parkinson's disease] patients," Feigin added.

Arthur Roach, director of research at Parkinson's UK, stressed the importance of preventing falls among Parkinson's patients.

"People affected by Parkinson's, their [caregivers], and health and social care professionals have said that preventing falls and improving balance is the biggest unmet need for people living with the condition, other than finding a cure," Roach said in the news release.

"Things that may be simple to us, such as walking upstairs or getting up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water or go to the toilet, are much harder and more dangerous when you could easily fall. You risk breaking bones and then needing an emergency hospital admission," he explained.

"This trial shows that there may be drugs already available, being used for other purposes, that can be tested to help treat Parkinson's. This takes us a step closer to improving the quality of life and finding better treatments for people with Parkinson's," Roach said.

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

HealthDay

HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Andrew Feigin, M.D., director, Experimental Therapeutics Unit, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Parkinson's UK, news release, Jan. 12, 2016

View More Articles From HealthDay 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Neurology Articles

Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids

Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids0

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis may have higher-than-average odds of developing epilepsy, a new study suggests. Children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis were ...

Brain Implant Lets 'Locked-In' ALS Patient Communicate

Brain Implant Lets 'Locked-In' ALS Patient Communicate0

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A high-tech implant has enabled a paralyzed woman with late-stage ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) to communicate through brain signaling, researchers say. The degenerative disease robbed Hanneke De ...

Blood Test May Someday Diagnose Concussion

Blood Test May Someday Diagnose Concussion0

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A simple blood test may one day diagnose concussions with more than 90 percent certainty, a small Canadian study suggests. This new test is unique, the authors said, because it looks for more than 100 ...

gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex FusePag)

gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex FusePag)0

home / neurology center / neurology a-z list / gabapentin index / gabapentin (neurontin, gralise, horizant, fanatrex fusepag) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, ...

MS Symptoms May Develop Earlier in Darker, Cooler Climes

MS Symptoms May Develop Earlier in Darker, Cooler Climes0

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The farther from the Equator someone with multiple sclerosis lives, the earlier symptoms begin, a new study finds. MS is a progressive disease affecting the central nervous system. Although symptoms ...

View More Neurology Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!