Archive for the ‘Media Center’ Category:

If you would like to contact Parkinson’s NSW’s in regards to a media enquiry please call 1800 644 189


April Falls

Loss of balance and falling are common problems for people living with Parkinson’s.
These problems develop over time as the condition progresses. Falls carry a significant risk of physical injury and hospitalisation.

This information sheet identifies hazards to help reduce your risk of falling and tips on preventing falls.

Preventing Falls Information Sheet

Other tips and information for living well can be found here


Simon Lewis Parkinson’s Talk with Sydney Inner West Rotary

You are invited to join Sydney Inner West Rotary on Monday 10th April at  6:00pm for a 6.30pm start.

MEET Professor Simon Lewis, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. HEAR about the Latest Research on the Brain, Cognition and Movement. Darbar Restaurant, 134 Glebe Point Road, Glebe.

Latest Research on the Brain, Cognition and Movement.   Keynote Speaker, Prof Simon Lewis (MBBCh BSc MRCP FRACP MD, Associate Professor Brain & Mind Research Institute, Sydney).

Professor Simon Lewis is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Fellow who works as a Consultant Neurologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sydney. He is also the Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic at the Brain & Mind Research Institute and heads the NSW Movement Disorders Brain Donor program. He has published over 100 peer review papers, 2 books and 2 book chapters and has attracted funding from the NHMRC, ARC and Michael J Fox Foundation to support his research interests targeting quality of life in PD. In addition to this research, he has sat on the Board of Parkinson’s NSW. He recently led the nationwide ‘DASH to the InfoLine’ campaign aiming to raise awareness and reduce stigma in Parkinson’s, he has also headed the first trial to evaluate community based Parkinson’s nurse specialists in Australia.

COST:   $30 Dinner –  a glass of wine on arrival.

RSVP : by the 7th April 

For further information and to RSVP call or text:   0418 602014 


Psychological treatment of anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study

Macquarie University are looking for participants for a pilot study.
If you are interested please call (02) 9850 8034 or email Viviana.Wuthrich@mq.edu.au further information below.

RECRUITMENT for Macquarie Univeristy:

We seek patients with Parkinson’s disease, over the age of 50 years, who are experiencing symptoms of low mood and anxiety (or worry) to participate. If you are interested in participating, please call (02) 9850 8034 or email Viviana.Wuthrich@mq.edu.au for more information on the study. 

Depression and anxiety are very common conditions in Parkinson’s disease. We are seeking individuals aged over 50 years with Parkinson’s disease who suffer from anxiety and/or depression to participate in a treatment trial. We are comparing the benefits of a psychological program conducted over the telephone to treatment as usual. This project is supported by a seeding grant from Parkinson’s NSW to Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich and Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee, in the Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. If you are interested in participating, or want to find out more information please call (02) 9850 8034 or email Viviana.Wuthrich@mq.edu.au

 

Investigators: Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich & Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee

Affiliation: Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University.

Depression and anxiety is experienced in up to 50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease and is associated with poorer quality of life, poorer functioning and greater physical and cognitive decline. Depression in the patient is also strongly associated with caregiver or spouse distress. Therefore effectively treating anxiety and depression in people with Parkinson’s disease will have a major impact on burden of the disease for both the patient and their carer. Despite this, very few studies have examined the effectiveness of psychological interventions for treating anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and when they have they have focused on either treating anxiety or depression, but not both together. Depression and anxiety frequently co-occur and when they do are associated with worse outcomes. So therefore there is a great need to develop psychological programs that treat both depression and anxiety. In addition, the value of including carers in treatment programs has not been well evaluated. Given that carers can play a critical role in assisting the patient to manage their symptoms and to manage cognitive difficulties that can be associated with the disease, and given the high rates of burden on carers, it is critical to develop a program to treat anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease that also includes carer participation.

We have previously developed and demonstrated in two large randomised controlled trials the efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) intervention for treating co-occurring anxiety and depressive symptoms in older adults without Parkinson’s disease. In two trials, this program led to significant reductions in both anxiety and depressive symptoms with large effects that were maintained for 6 months post-treatment. In a novel approach we plan to modify our successful program to target anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The program will be modified to address the specific needs of patients with Parkinson’s disease. It will also be adapted to create a role for the carer in the program so that they will participate and learn the skills taught to the patient and can assist the patient with the skills if needed. Improvements in both patient and carer distress will be compared between the two interventions.


Can ultrasound detect early stage Parkinson’s disease?

 

Assoc. Prof. Kay Double leads the Neurodegeneration Research Group at the Brain & Mind Centre at the University of Sydney, with a key interest in Parkinson’s disease. Currently, diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is based on observation of movement problems in the patient and there are no objective diagnostic tests available, such as a brain scan or blood test, to assist clinicians make a diagnosis. As a result, diagnosis can be delayed and incorrect diagnoses are not uncommon.

A major area of interest of Assoc. Prof. Kay Double’s research group is the use of ultrasound to visualize the brain to detect Parkinson’s disease. Ultrasound imaging has advantages over other available forms of brain imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in that it is fast, safe, inexpensive and widely available. Assoc Prof Double’s team believe it might be able to detect Parkinson’s disease in the very early stages of the disease, even before movement problems develop. Early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease will ensure patients receive the best treatment as early as possible, with the hope that future treatments will be able to slow the progression of the disease.

Assoc Prof’s team are currently looking for individuals aged between 50 and 70 years old to assist them with this research.  They are recruiting Parkinson’s disease patients within this age range, but also individuals without Parkinson’s disease in the same age range as a comparison group.  The study involves brain scans using ultrasound and MRI and assessments of movement, thinking and memory.

If you are a healthy older person aged between 50 and 70 years of age, or have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and are aged from 50 to 70 years old, and would like to assist with this research, please contact Assoc Prof Double (Email: kay.double@sydney.edu.au) or Karl Aoun (Email: kaou6412@uni.sydney.edu.au; Mob: 04 522 666 72) for further details.


Parkinson’s NSW member awarded Australia Day honour

8th February, 2017

Media release

For immediate release

Parkinson’s NSW member awarded Australia Day honour

 

Parkinson’s NSW are delighted to announce that long standing member and person with Parkinson’s, Mr. Adrian Unger has been awarded the Medal of The Order of Australia (OAM) for services to people with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Unger is the founder of Punchin’ Parko’s, an exercise class that uses non-contact boxing techniques in a fun and interesting atmosphere for both people with Parkinson’s and carers. The class aims to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s by increasing the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Jo-Anne Reeves, CEO of Parkinson’s NSW said “on behalf of Parkinson’s NSW, I congratulate Adrian Unger on his OAM and thank him for his efforts to support those living with Parkinson’s through Punchin’ Parko’s.”

In Australia, every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  There are 80,000 people with Parkinson’s in Australia across all age groups. Whilst the majority of people affected are over 60 at the time of diagnosis, 20% are of working age and 10% are under the age of 40. There is no known cause or cure.

To enquire about Punchin’ Parko’s classes, please contact our InfoLine on 1800 644 189.

Media enquiries:
Clare Audet
Parkinson’s NSW
0431 200 435

Full release here Parkinson’sNSWmediarelease080217

 

 


New research uncovers potential to delay Parkinson’s disease progression

 

25th January, 2017

Media release

Embargoed until 6am, 26th January 2017 (AEDT)

 

New research uncovers potential to delay Parkinson’s disease progression

Research published today in international scientific journal PLOS ONE has revealed that the activin A molecule may hold the answer to slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

The research project was funded by a Parkinson’s NSW seed grant and was led by researchers Dr Sandy Stayte and Professor Bryce Vissel from UTS in collaboration with Dr Kong Li from the University of Sydney.

Using an MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, the researchers found that when mice received an infusion of activin A directly into the brain, they had much higher numbers of surviving cells in the region of the brain that is damaged in Parkinson’s.

The findings of the research show the first evidence that the ability of activin A to increase survival of dopamine cells may be due to its anti-inflammatory effects.  This research gives people with Parkinson’s hope that new treatments may eventually be created to delay Parkinson’s disease progression.

Jo-Anne Reeves, CEO of Parkinson’s NSW said “Parkinson’s NSW are committed to supporting local researchers find new treatments and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease through our annual seed grant program.  We congratulate Professor Vissel and Dr Stayte on their contribution to advancing Parkinson’s research.”

In Australia, every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  There are 80,000 people with Parkinson’s in Australia across all age groups. Whilst the majority of people affected are over 60 at the time of diagnosis, 20% are of working age and 10% are under the age of 40. There is no known cause or cure.

Media enquiries:
Clare Audet
Parkinson’s NSW
0431 200 435

 

 

 


Punchin’ Parkos on 7:30

Punchin’ Parkos was on the 7:30 report on Wednesday 3rd June.

Click the link below to view the report and read the article:

Punchin’ Parkos on 7:30


Exercise For Your Life

There is growing evidence that exercise slows progression and improves some symptoms for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological condition, which reveals itself differently in each individual. The development of Parkinson’s challenges those diagnosed to remain active while the condition restricts their motor-neuron control, leading to the gradual degradation of physical control and ability. Some of the common symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, muscle rigidity and freezing, slowed movement and lethargy.

Exercise might feel like the last thing those with Parkinson’s want to do but there is increasing recognition that regular, intense exercise is crucial and can provide immense benefits in all stages of the diseases’ progression. A 2014 study supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council found that exercise improved balance, mobility, fear of falling and quality of life in a controlled trial of patients with Parkinson’s (Brooks, 2014).

The Challenges of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is not just an old person’s disease, and challenges all those who are diagnosed to live the best life they can with the limits imposed by the disease. It is a debilitating condition affecting balance, flexibility, co-ordination, gait, fatigue levels and leads to feelings of social isolation and depression. Stress and tension only exacerbate symptoms.

The right medication and support after diagnosis can make all the difference to quality of life and one of the most difficult yet vital recommendations is to keep active (Schlender, 2015). There are many benefits to regular exercise, even for people without the condition, and such advantages are even more important for those with Parkinson’s.

The Benefits of Exercise

An excellent advantage of physical activity for those with Parkinson’s is the opportunity to meet others who are dealing with similar issues, realising that you are not alone and interacting with like-minded individuals, positively influencing mental state.

Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s and it has a positive effect on quality of life, these benefits include (Better Health Channel, 2012):

  • Greater muscle strength and flexibility
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved coordination and balance
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced muscle cramping
  • Greater confidence in performing daily tasks
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved joint mobility
  • Combating depression

Exercise Recommendations

Consistency and intensity are important to see the benefits from exercise on Parkinson’s symptoms. Some general recommendations include:

  • Aim for at least 15 minutes a day
  • Thoroughly stretch, warm up and cool down
  • Start with the easiest exercises, working up as fitness increases
  • Try to perform each movement to best of ability
  • If you feel tired, stop and rest
  • Stop any exercise that causes pain
  • Try to make exercising fun!

Exercise takes many forms, from Yoga to Dancing, even Boxing, you can choose to do what you enjoy. Consult your physician for specific recommendations on exercising and look for Parkinson’s specific fitness groups in your local area or contact Parkinson’s NSW on our free InfoLine 1800 644 189.

Parkinson’s NSW is the only organisation in NSW providing free support services including a free InfoLine which is staffed by health professionals, counselling and support groups to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers.

References

Better Health Channel. (2012). Parkinson’s Disease. Retrieved from Better Health Channel: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Parkinson’s_disease_explained

Brooks, M. (2014). Exercise Has Benefits in Parkinson’s Disease. Retrieved May 13, 2015, from Medscape: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/838128

Petzinger, G. M. (2009). Does Exercise Impact Parkinson’s? Retrieved from Parkinson’s Disease Foundation: http://www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_exercise_impact

Schlender, S. (2015, January). Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease. Retrieved from Voice of America: http://www.voanews.com/content/exercise-new-prescription-for-parkinsons-disease/2616831.html


Research funded by Parkinson’s NSW uncovers potential new therapy for slowing cell death

Research funded by Parkinson’s NSW uncovers potential new therapeutic approach for slowing neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease

Research funded by a grant from Parkinson’s NSW, led by Dr Bryce Vissel and Dr Sandy Stayte at Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, has discovered a potential new therapeutic approach with promise for slowing dopamine neuron cell death in Parkinson’s disease.  The results of this groundbreaking research project have been published today in international peer reviewed scientific journal, PLOS ONE and may have implications for ultimately treating the condition.

This research project undertaken by Drs Vissel and Stayte investigated the potential of a molecule called activin A to protect against dopamine cell death in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease.  Activin A is classified as a growth factor, a class of molecules in the brain that have been shown to be important in the development and survival of cells that die in Parkinson’s. The study demonstrated that mice receiving an infusion of activin A directly into the brain had much higher numbers of surviving cells in the region of the brain that is damaged in Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, the team have also previously shown that activin A can stimulate brain regeneration, suggesting that activin A may have a number of beneficial effects in the brain.

“We believe our work reveals a very attractive target that may prevent dopamine cell death and thus possibly slow disease progression” said Dr Vissel.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition which affects the brain’s ability to control movement and may also be associated with other symptoms including mood, depression and anxiety. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop when approximately 70% of dopamine cells are damaged. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is necessary for smooth, purposeful movement and the loss of cells that produce this neurotransmitter cause the classic signs of Parkinson’s; tremors, rigidity, and trouble walking and moving.

In Australia, every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  There are 80,000 people with Parkinson’s in Australia across all age groups. Whilst the majority of people affected are over 60 at the time of diagnosis, 20% are of working age and 10% are under the age of 40. There is no known cause or cure.

Miriam Dixon, CEO of Parkinson’s NSW said “Parkinson’s NSW are committed to helping people living with Parkinson’s disease by providing critical services  and through providing grants to help leading local researchers  contribute to worldwide efforts to cure this condition.  It is fantastic to see a research project funded by a Parkinson’s NSW grant produce an outcome that is directed to this goal.”

 


Getting closer to a cure –grants awarded for research into Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s NSW has awarded $288,000 for research into Parkinson’s disease.

Leading Australian researchers have received grant funding for 7 projects that,  if successfully developed will aid in finding a cure for Parkinson’s and help those living with the disease improve their quality of life.  The 7 projects chosen by the Parkinson’s NSW independent judging panel cover the most innovative research in biological/non-clinical and clinical/psychosocial research.    The highly competitive grants cover areas such as; new drug treatments, non-drug treatments, familial Parkinson’s, uptake and adherence to exercise programs and new treatments for hallucinations.

Parkinson’s NSW has awarded over $1 million in research grants over the past 8 years to help find a cure for Parkinson’s.  These grants have been made possible by the fundraising and events program by Parkinson’s NSW and sponsorship by Bendigo Bank.

The grant recipients include:

Dr Bryce Vissell, Garvan Institute, University of New South Wales
Associate Professor Kay Double, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Colleen Canning, University of Sydney
Dr James Macquarie Shine, Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney
Dr Dan Johnstone, University of Sydney
Dr Jin Sung- Park, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney
Dr Nicolas Dzamko, Neuroscience Research Australia, University of New South Wales

Miriam Dixon, Parkinson’s NSW CEO said “the awarding of these research grants plays a crucial role in helping to support innovative research to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and finding a cure for Parkinson’s”.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition which affects the brain’s ability to control movement and may also be associated with other symptoms including mood, depression and anxiety. In Australia, every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  There are 25,000 people with Parkinson’s in NSW across all age groups. Whilst the majority of people affected are over 60 at the time of diagnosis, 20% are of working age and 10% are under the age of 40. There is no known cause or cure.

MEDIA INFO: Clare Audet, Marketing Director, Parkinson’s NSW  (02) 8875 8913 / 0431 200 435 / clareaudet@parkinsonsnsw.org.au

About Parkinson’s NSW

Parkinson’s NSW funds research for people living with Parkinson’s disease and is the only organisation in NSW providing free support services including a free InfoLine which is staffed by health professionals, counselling and support groups to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers.


1600km ride to raise money for Dad with Parkinson’s Disease

MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10th APRIL 2015

Balmain local, 31 year old Sarah Hetherington will be riding an epic 1600kms from Sydney to Melbourne return this Saturday 11th April (World Parkinson’s Day) on her motorbike to raise funds for research into Parkinson’s disease. Sarah’s father David has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Sarah is seeking to drive awareness of this disease and raise much needed funds for Parkinson’s NSW.

Sarah is aiming to complete this epic endurance ride within 24 hours and will only be stopping for short breaks along the way in Yass (NSW), Wodonga (NSW) and Whallan (VIC).

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition which affects the brain’s ability to control movement and may also be associated with other symptoms including mood, depression and anxiety. There is no cure.

In Australia, every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. There are 80,000 people with Parkinson’s across all age groups. Whilst the majority of people affected are over 60 at the time of diagnosis, 20% are of working age and 10% are under the age of 40.

Parkinson’s NSW receives almost no government funding, with less than $1 per person received in funding. Parkinson’s disease has an $8.3 billion annual impact on the Australian economy and an individual cost of $165,000 per patient from diagnosis through to their remaining life span (an average of 12 years).

MEDIA INFO: Clare Audet, Marketing Director, Parkinson’s NSW (02) 8875 8913 / 0431 200 435 / clareaudet@parkinsonsnsw.org.au

About Parkinson’s NSW

Parkinson’s NSW funds research for people living with Parkinson’s disease and is the only organisation in NSW providing free support services including a free InfoLine which is staffed by health professionals, counselling and support groups to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers.


Aussies invent gizmo for Parkinson’s falls

AUSTRALIAN scientists have invented a device that warns people with Parkinson’s disease when they are in danger of a bone-breaking fall.


Gene therapy gives new hope for Parkinson’s sufferers

A revolutionary new treatment is giving hope to tens of thousands of Australians affected by Parkinson’s disease. For the first time, the use of gene therapy has been found to improve some of the crippling symptoms.


Young with Parkinson’s ‘not given support’

THOUSANDS of younger Australians are living with Parkinson’s disease, but neither employers nor the government have given them the recognition they deserve, according to a research report.


Parkinson’s disease patients concerned about their fate

Parkinson’s disease patients fear they will be forced into hospitals or nursing homes, after a shortage of money to keep a specialist travelling nurse available to look after them..


Attention! Stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s disease unproven

Parkinson’s NSW has recently become aware that some NSW PwP have expressed interest in seeking stem cell-based treatments for their PD, or for specific symptoms related to their PD, from overseas-based “clinics”. The lack of rigorous scientific trials on any offered stem cell treatments for PD anywhere around the world has been discussed previously in SBM and on the PNSW website.

Intense research activity is underway to investigate the potential of stem cells for novel treatments for PD but to date there have been no medical trials in humans to test if stem cells can effectively treat PD. Thus any clinics in any country offering such treatments are doing so in the absence of any scientific proof that the treatment might work. Even more worryingly, without proper medical trials it is not possible to be confident that a treatment will be safe. Parkinson’s NSW strongly advise their members, and all PwP, not to undergo any stem cell treatments for PD until these are shown to be safe and effective.

Assoc Prof Kay Double and Dr Simon Lewis


Researcher recognised in NHMRC grants

SimonLewis_100x135Dr Simon Lewis, Director of the Parkinson’s Research Clinic at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), and a Consulting Neurologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, will receive $430,000 over five years for his research into Parkinson’s disease.

He has published extensively on the disease, particularly addressing symptoms that impact on the quality of life of sufferers. In addition to his research, he also sits on the council of Parkinson’s NSW and is now heading the first trial to evaluate community-based Parkinson’s nurse specialists in Australia.


Virtual reality assists in Parkinson’s discovery

Doctors in Sydney have used computer technology to link brain processes and physical movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.


World-first virtual reality study to trial new Parkinson’s treatment

In a world-first study, researchers at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) at the University of Sydney may have found a new way to help the Parkinson’s disease patients who experience walking problems.


Access Economics Report

“Challenges and Positive Steps for the Future”

Report by Access Economics Pty Limited for Parkinson’s Australia


Brain Freeze: Inside the minds of Parkinson’s sufferers

Sydney scientists have come up with an innovative way of seeing what happens in the brain when Parkinson’s sufferers experience a freeze of gait. Story from ABC TV’s Catalyst program (05/08/2010)


Parkinson’s Vote in 2010 Election

People with Parkinson’s disease, their families and friends are calling for the next Federal government to support a national strategy tackling the burden of Parkinson’s disease. “The Parkinson’s vote could make or break the forth coming election for a number of close electorates”.


2010 Federal Policy Initiatives


Electric Probes Helping Patients

From Television segment about DBS (Direct Brain Stimulation) on 7 network’s Today Tonight program.

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