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Parkinson's News in Brief: February 2011

Dear Friend of PDF,

Welcome to the first installment in 2011 of Parkinson’s News in Brief, which provides you with updates on advances made in the world of Parkinson's research.  In each story, we ask “what does it mean?” for a person with Parkinson’s and do our best to give you the answers.


Travel of Proteins May Spread Parkinson’s in the Brain

Could Parkinson’s progress because a protein is “infecting” neurons?  Patrik Brundin, Ph.D., M.D., and his colleagues at Lund University in Sweden, think it may be possible, and report on their findings in the January 19 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. 

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Is DaTscan a New Tool for PD Diagnosis?

Recent headlines say a new brain scan approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could help with diagnosis of Parkinson’s.  What is DaTscan exactly and how will its approval affect your life with Parkinson’s?  See answers to some of the questions you recently asked us.

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Test Predicts Cognitive Decline in Parkinson’s

Cognitive decline is one of the most disabling of Parkinson’s symptoms and one many families worry about.  In an issue of last fall’s Neurology, Andrew Siderowf, M.D., M.S.C.E., and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, demonstrated that a test for Alzheimer’s could help to identify who is at risk.

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I hope you will find these reports informative.  If you have any additional questions about these reports, please feel free to call PDF’s HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 or email us at 

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James Beck, Ph.D.
Director of Research Programs, PDF

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If you have or believe you have Parkinson’s disease, then promptly consult a physician and follow your physician’s advice. This email is not a substitute for a physician’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or for a physician’s prescription of drugs, treatment or operations for Parkinson’s.