Movement Disorder Specialists   -

Pasadena, CA

Free Confidential Memory Screenings at SoCalMDS, November 19th

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America presents the National Memory Screening Day with SoCalMDS. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s memory, get a free and confidential memory screening with the Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists


When: Tuesday, November 19th 2013 — 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Where: 65. N. Madison Ave., Pasadena CA 91101; Suite 410


For more information, call (626) 792–6683


Please note that a memory screening is not used to diagnose any illness and does not replace consultations with a qualified physician or other healthcare professionals.


Free Confidential Memory Screenings at SoCalMDS November 19th

Download confidential memory screening flyer (PDF)


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Do You Know What You're Eating and How it Can Affect Your Health?

Do You Know What You re Eating and How it Can Affect Your Health

I found these ingredients in the yogurt from a restaurant that I went to and decided to look up two of the ingredients when it wasn’t clear what they were made of. To my surprise I found out that titanium dioxide causes cancer when you inhale it. Well I don’t want to eat it since, even though not proven, it probably can cause cancer when eaten. Then I looked up yellow dye #6 and saw all of the different names they can use for it and that it is made from petroleum. I then found out that it also has been considered to possibly cause cancer. So then I found a recommended mg per kg amount per day, which makes me think: how am I going to keep track?


When you buy your food, look at the ingredients in the FDA label and avoid: monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated proteins (which get converted into glutamate), monosodium nitrate and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients can cause damage to DNA, alter glucose metabolism in the body, and damage the mitochondria in cells which are thought to be the answer to many diseases. Also look up the dyes in your food and other ingredients you don’t recognize. Avoid coal tar in shampoos and other products since 50% of the ingredients in coal tar are unknown. Know what you are putting in your mouth or risk your health in the process. It is no wonder the number of cases of cancer, diabetes and other neurological diseases are increasing.


Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, pigment white 6, or CI 77891. Generally it comes in two different forms: rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171.


Titanium dioxide is incompatible with strong reducing agents and strong acids. Violent or incandescent reactions occur with molten metals that are very electropositive, e.g. aluminium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, and lithium.


Titanium dioxide accounts for 70% of the total production volume of pigments worldwide. It is widely used to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, and toothpastes. It is also used in cosmetic and skin care products, and it is present in almost every sunblock, where it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light.


Many sunscreens use nanoparticle titanium dioxide (along with nanoparticle zinc oxide) which does get absorbed into the skin. The effects on human health are not yet well understood.


Titanium dioxide dust, when inhaled, has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, possibly carcinogenic to humans. The findings of the IARC are based on the discovery that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultra-fine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation. The series of biological events or steps that produce the rat lung cancers (e.g. particle deposition, impaired lung clearance, cell injury, fibrosis, mutations, and ultimately cancer) have also been seen in people working in dusty environments. Therefore, the observations of cancer in animals were considered, by IARC, as relevant to people doing jobs with exposures to titanium dioxide dust. For example, titanium dioxide production workers may be exposed to high dust concentrations during packing, milling, site cleaning, and maintenance if there are insufficient dust control measures in place. However, the human studies conducted so far do not suggest an association between occupational exposure to titanium dioxide and an increased risk for cancer. The safety of the use of nano-particle sized titanium dioxide, which can penetrate the body and reach internal organs, has been criticized. Studies have also found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause genetic damage in mice.

Do You Know What You re Eating and How it Can Affect Your Health 2

Yellow 6 Food Coloring

Sunset Yellow FCF (also known as Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6 or C.I. 15985) is a synthetic yellow azo dye, manufactured from aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum. When added to foods sold in Europe, it is denoted by E Number E110. Although there are reports it can induce an allergic reaction, this is not confirmed by scientific research.


Sunset Yellow is useful in fermented foods which must be heat treated. It may be found in orange sodas, marzipan, Swiss rolls, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, beverage mix and packet soups, margarine, custard powders, packaged lemon gelatin desserts, energy drinks such as Lucozade, breadcrumbs, snack chips such as Doritos, packaged instant noodles, cheese sauce mixes and powdered marinades, bottled yellow and green food coloring, ice creams, pharmaceutical pills and prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines (especially children’s medicines) cake decorations and icings, squashes, and other products with artificial yellow, orange or red colors.


Sunset Yellow is often used in conjunction with E123, amaranth, to produce a brown coloring in both chocolates and caramel.


At high concentrations, Sunset Yellow in solution with water undergoes a phase change from an isotropic liquid to a nematic liquid crystal. This occurs between 0.8 M and 0.9 M at room temperature.


Sunset Yellow is a sulfonated version of Sudan I, a possible carcinogen, which is frequently present in it as an impurity. Sunset Yellow itself may be responsible for causing an allergic reaction in people with an aspirin intolerance, resulting in various symptoms, including gastric upset, diarrhea, vomiting, nettle rash (urticaria), swelling of the skin (angioedema) and migraines. The coloring has also been linked to hyperactivity in young children.


As a result of these potential health issues, there have been calls for the withdrawal of Sunset Yellow from food use.


On 6 September 2007, the British Food Standards Agency revised advice on certain artificial food additives, including E110. The report said, "This has been a major study investigating an important area of research. The results suggest that consumption of certain mixtures of artificial food colors and sodium benzoate preservative are associated with increases in hyperactive behavior in children.


“However, parents should not think that simply taking these additives out of food will prevent hyperactive disorders. We know that many other influences are at work but this at least is one a child can avoid.”


On 10 April 2008, the Foods Standard Agency called for a voluntary removal of the colors (but not sodium benzoate) by 2009. In addition, it recommended there should be action to phase them out in food and drink in the European Union (EU) over a specified period.


Do You Know What You re Eating and How it Can Affect Your Health 3

Sunset Yellow is banned in Norway and Finland.

In 2008, a proposed EU deal specified that food and drinks containing any of six artificial colorings that may be linked to hyperactive behavior in children will have to carry warnings, including sunset yellow. The requirement would apply to imports, as well as those made in the EU. Hundreds of products containing the colorings are expected to disappear from shops in the period 2008–2010 following the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) call for a voluntary ban on their use in food products. UK ministers have agreed that the six colorings will be phased out by 2009.


EFSA decided in 2009 to lower the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for Sunset Yellow FCF from 2.5 mg/kg to 1.0 mg/kg bodyweight per day. Impurities in production may leave unsulphonated aromatic amines in concentrations of 100 mg/kg which may be associated with carcinogenicity. Also a study found that mixtures of four synthetic colors plus the preservative sodium benzoate (E211) cause increased hyperactivity in humans. Sensitivity reactions may occur when Sunset Yellow FCF is mixed with other synthetic colors.


Also, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel noted the The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) limit for lead is ≤ 2 mg/kg, whereas the EC specification is ≤ 10 mg/kg. The color additive can also increase the intake of aluminum beyond the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 1 mg/kg/week. Therefore, the limit for aluminum may become adjusted to accommodate for this.


On June 30, 2010, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called for the FDA to ban yellow 6. The CSPI said, “These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody.”


On September 9, 2011 the European Union announced that they would be reducing the maximum permitted concentration of sunset yellow (in drinks) from 50mg/L to 20mg/L. The proposed change to be adopted by the end of the year.


If you’re interested and would like to know more, visit the World Health Organization’s website. You’ll also want to check out information from European Food Safety Authority.


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General Sleeping Tips & Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

The most common cause of insomnia is a change in your daily routine. For example, traveling, a change in work hours, disruption of other behaviors (eating, exercise, leisure, etc.), and relationship conflicts can all cause sleep problems. Paying attention to good sleep hygiene is the most important thing you can do to maintain good sleep.


Do:

  • Go to bed at the same time each day.

  • Get up from bed at the same time each day.

  • Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning. There is good evidence that regular exercise improves restful sleep. This includes stretching and aerobic exercise.

  • Avoid bright light exposure one hour before bedtime. (LCD screens such as phones, TV’s or laptops. The light stimulates the awake centers of your brain.) Get regular exposure to outdoor or bright lights, especially in the late afternoon.

  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable.

  • Use white noise to avoid waking up (the quieter the room is, the more sensitive your ears are).

  • Keep the bedroom completely dark to facilitate sleep or use a sleep eye mask.

  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

  • Take medications as directed. It is helpful to take prescribed sleeping pills one hour before bedtime, so they are causing drowsiness when you lie down, or 10 hours before getting up, to avoid daytime drowsiness.

  • Use a relaxation exercise just before going to sleep.

  • Keep your feet and hands warm. Wear warm socks and/or mittens or gloves to bed.

  • Use aromatherapy with chamomile or lavender. You may also use vanilla but it is not as well-proven in research as chamomile and lavender. Another option is to spray lavender on your pillow.

  • Replace your pillow after 12 months of use.

  • Chamomile tea before bedtime can induce sleep.


Don’t:

  • Exercise just before going to bed.

  • Engage in stimulating activity just before bed, such as playing a competitive game, watching an exciting program on television or movie, or having an important negative discussions or arguments with a loved one.

  • Have caffeine in the evening (coffee, many teas, chocolate, sodas, etc.).

  • Read or watch television in bed.

  • Use alcohol to help you sleep.

  • Go to bed too hungry or too full.

  • Take another person’s sleeping pills.

  • Take over-the-counter sleeping pills, without your doctor’s knowledge. Tolerance can develop rapidly with these medications. Diphenhydramine (an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter sleep meds) can have serious side effects for elderly patients.

  • Take daytime naps.

  • Command yourself to go to sleep. This only makes your mind and body more alert.


If you lie in bed awake for more than 20–30 minutes, get up, go to a different room or a different part of the bedroom, participate in a quiet activity (e.g. non-excitable reading or television), and then return to bed when you feel sleepy. Do this as many times during the night as needed.

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What is Parkinson's Disease?

What is Parkinson s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder that is chronic and slowly progressive, where nerve cells in the brain (substantia nigra pars compacta) start to die well before physical symptoms occurs. These cells produce dopamine, which helps with motor (physical) movement such as walking, speed of movement, and fine motor coordination. The symptoms that occur before physical symptoms are called pre-motor or non-motor symptoms. These are red flags that signal a potential increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.


Non-motor symptoms with the highest risk:

  • REM behavior sleep disorder (acting our dreams in sleep by talking or moving arms and legs) with an average of 12 years before physical symptoms.
  • Decreased or no sense of smell (hyposmia or anosmia) as much as 5 years or more before physical symptoms.
  • Constipation (less than one bowel movement/day) with an average of 3 years or more before physical symptoms.
  • Depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulty (thinking or processing), apathy, and visual disturbances are also non-motor symptoms.


Motor symptoms occur when 50%–70% if the nerve cells in the substantia nigra have died. Two out of three symptoms that are used in diagnosis are:
  • Rigidity
  • Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
  • Tremor starting in one arm and/or leg

  • Usually a decrease in volume of one’s voice, small handwriting, decreased arm swing and shuffling or taking shorter steps are early motor signs as well.


    Parkinson’s disease is a clinical diagnosis made by physician. There is no blood test or imaging to diagnosis idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.


    Parkinson’s disease is frequently misdiagnosed as essential tremor or mistaken for multiple system atrophy or other atypical Parkinson’s syndromes that don’t respond to medications by general neurologists, neurosurgeons or other physicians. A movement disorder specialist is a neurologist who does an extra one to two years of training (a fellowship). Any neurologist can call themselves a movement disorder specialist, so find out if they have done a fellowship.


    Exercise, medications, and deep brain stimulation surgery can help the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, allowing patients to be more functional. Lack of sleep worsens symptoms. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease yet, however research is getting closer to understanding Parkinson’s disease and identifying biomarkers that can help in early diagnosis and following progression.


    This was a response to a question on Dr. Jerome Lisk’s ShareCare

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    Walk On: The Causes and Treatments for 'Foot Drop'

    Walk On  The Causes and Treatments for  Foot Drop

    Dr. Moshe Lewis, colleague and esteemed pain management specialist, and was interviewed for an article about foot drop on AdvancedWeb.com. Foot drop is when the front of one’s foot hangs lower than it should due to a weakened or damaged nerve or muscle in the lower part of the leg. Individuals with foot drop will drag their toes along the group or will bend their knees in order to not drag their feet. In this article Danielle Bullen discusses how doctors and hospitals use exercises, as well as convectional and alternative treatments to ensure those with foot drop walk safely again.


    Foot Drop Conditions

    From exercise to medications to modalities, clinicians have a lot of tools at their disposal to treat foot drop. Just as its causes are many, so are the treatments. While the same approach may not work for each patient, trial and error can help doctors and physical therapists figure out the best possible outcomes.


    Foot drop is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom that develops as a result of various neurological, muscular or anatomical problems. Patients who suffer have difficulty lifting the front part of their foot due to muscle weakness or paralysis. Sometimes they drag their toes along the floor as they walk.


    Finding the Cause

    Some of the common reasons patients present with foot drop include stroke, spinal cord injury or injury to the peroneal nerve on the outside of the fibula, below the knee. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis can also lead to foot drop. Patients who have had a total knee replacement can also present with foot drop, although that is less likely. Moshe Lewis, MD, MPH, chief of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, described one unique case where a surfing accident lacerated someone’s peroneal nerve, causing foot drop.


    The Old and The New

    Other than exercise, clinicians have other options to treat foot drop. “We’re seeing a blend of the old and the new,” said Dr. Moshe regarding treatment. He cited vitamin therapy, particularly B6, as helpful. Nerve medications, which are relatively new on the scene, decrease pain and improve nerve function without peripheral swelling. Topical pain medications are another new development but Dr. Moshe advised his fellow physicians to use them wisely.


    Moshe

    This article had a guest contribution by Dr. Moshe Lewis - TheJetMD.com

    The original article is on AdvanceWeb.com.

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    6 Facts You Need to Know about Clinical Trials

    6 Facts You Need to Know about Clinical Trials

    It can take as long as 15 years to develop a potential treatment for Parkinson’s. Find out some important facts about Parkinson’s clinical research and the barriers we need to address.


    1. Low participation delays the development of potential therapies:

    • It is estimated that less than one percent of people with Parkinson’s participate in clinical trials.
    • If more people with Parkinson’s were study volunteers, more studies would be completed on time.
    • It can take as long as 15 years to develop a potential treatment for Parkinson’s.
    • In fact, 90 percent of all of the clinical studies conducted in the US must extend their original timelines in order to enroll the number of participants needed to complete the study (CISCRP Website, 2009).

    2. Low awareness and a lack of information contribute to low levels of participation:

    • 71 percent of people with Parkinson’s are unaware of available clinical studies in their area.
    • 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s want more information on clinical studies and want this information to be more accessible.
    • 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s state that they would participate in a clinical study if one was available in their area.
    • Close to 75 percent of physicians talk about clinical trials with 10 percent or fewer of their patients with Parkinson’s.
    • People with Parkinson’s learn about clinical studies most often from support groups (40 percent) and other people living with Parkinson’s (27 percent).

    3. People have different motivations for participating:

    • The primary motivations of people with Parkinson’s for participating in a clinical study are (from a GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media survey, 2008):
      • a doctor’s recommendation (90 percent)
      • knowing how the research would help the community (84 percent)
      • access to new medications (80 percent)

    4. Those who participate report having a positive experience:

    • 80 percent of clinical study participants report that a benefit was receiving specialized medical attention during the study.
    • 70 percent of clinical study participants state that they learned more about Parkinson’s and its treatment.
    • 88 percent of study participants state that they would be willing to do it again.

    5. People who participate have legally protected rights:

    • Every clinical trial must be approved and monitored by an institutional review board (IRB). An IRB is an independent committee of doctors, community advocates, and others, mandated to ensure that the clinical trial is ethical and that the rights of study participants are protected.
    • Federal guidelines require that all participants in clinical trials be given complete information about the trial before they agree to take part. This is known as informed consent.

    6. There are two types of trials—interventional and observational:

    • In an interventional trial, the investigators give the participants a particular investigational drug or other intervention, which may include a gene transfer, vaccine, device or procedure, such as surgery. Interventional studies are also looking at how activities such as exercise affect Parkinson’s.
    • In an observational study, there is no intervention. Studies that examine brain activity, motor activity, or genetic or environmental factors, may fall into this category. These studies are often performed to better understand Parkinson’s, which is an important part of developing new treatments, therapies, and preventions.

    To learn more about clinical trials visit The Micheal J. Fox website and read Clinical Trials 101. Learn about the facts of clinical trials and how it can help you and others that share medical condition you or your family might have.


    Data from PDtrials Harris Interactive Poll, 2005

    To learn more about clinical trials going on in your area click on the following links:

    Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists Clinical Trials

    Neurosearch-USA Clinical Trials

    Micheal J. Fox Clinical Trial Finder

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    Practical Tips for Those Living with Parkinson's Disease

    This article is based of a presentation given by Ben Mishico, president of Hello! Home Care.


    Making getting around and eating easier


    Canes

    • Use an adjustable cane with a comfortable handgrip.
    • Hiking poles can also be useful and can promote better posture if adjusted correctly. Your forearms should be roughly horizontal or 90 degrees to your body.
    • Don’t use a cane with three or four point bases. People living with PD often have trouble keeping all points on the floor.
    • Avoid using a wooden cane if it is not sized correctly. The cane height should be as high as the break in your wrist when standing straight with arms at your side. Using an adjustable cane makes getting this just right an easy task.

    Walkers

    • Use a four-wheeled walker. Essential features are large swivel wheels and handbrakes. Walkers that come with a basket and a seat are most helpful.
    • The standard walker is not recommended. People living with PD may lose balance when picking up the walker to move.
    • Stretching, balance and posture exercises help prevent falls. Ask your physician to send you to physical therapy. Doing home exercises to help reduce fall risk is important.

    Eating

    • Try and schedule meals around times when the medication is working best your “on-times”.
    • Sit up as straight as possible during meals. Continue to sit up straight for an extended period after finishing your meal.
    • If you have difficulty swallowing try using a straw with thin liquids. This helps control the volume of water entering your mouth.
    • Cut up your food into very small pieces. Don’t try and force yourself to swallow the entire bite or sip. Swallow a few times per bite or sip to make swallowing easier.
    • Use eating aids. Special utensils, plates and cups can make eating easier and more enjoyable.

    Practical Tips for Those Living with Parkinson s Disease

    Some useful utensils

    • Angled Utensils: Makes picking up food easier.
    • Nosey Cups: Makes drinking easier. It allows you to drink without tipping the head back.
    • Rocker Knife: Makes cutting food easier with a rocking motion.
    • The Hi-lo Scoop Plate: Helps keep food on the plate. Non-slip matting can also be used to keep the plate in place. Dycem is the name of one company that makes these products.

    Making toileting, bathing, and grooming easier


    Toileting

    • Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine in very high doses can act as a diuretic and therefore increase the frequency of urination.
    • Decrease fluids either two hours before bedtime, after dinner or earlier to reduce waking up at night to use the bathroom. Sleep deprivation worsens symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
    • Put your bathroom trips on a regular schedule. Try going to the bathroom every couple of hours.
    • Put a bell in the bathroom so that friends and care providers can be alerted if you need help.
    • Use a bidet. A good quality bidet has both a warm water spray and dryer, which can make cleaning much easier.
    • At night use a portable urinal and or bedpan if you find getting out of bed to make trips to the bathroom is too difficult.
    • Incontinence products such as briefs and pads can also be helpful if you find it difficult to make it to the bathroom. Using washable pads in lieu of disposable plastic pads that go over the bed sheets can help keep the bed dry and also saves money.

    Bathing

    • It is essential to use a non-skid rubber bath mat to prevent slipping.
    • Using a shower stall is much easier and much safer than a shower/tub combination. If you must use a shower/tub combination, it is advisable to use a transfer bench. This is a seat that you sit on which allows you to scoot from the outside to the inside of the tub.
    • Installing handrails is essential. The showering area should have at least two handrails installed. Do not use the towel rack, soap dishes, etc. for support.
    • Use soap on a rope or tie one leg of a pair of nylons to the handrail and drop a piece of soap into the nylon leg. Then lather up through the nylon.
    • Bring a cordless phone into the bathroom so that you can call for help in the case of a fall.

    Grooming

    • Using an electric toothbrush and razor can make brushing your teeth and shaving easier.
    • Use a hair dryer stand so that hair drying can be performed hands-free.
    • Sit down when grooming to reduce the risk of falling and to conserve energy. When you are seated you can prop your elbows on the sink counter to reduce the tension on your shoulders.

    BB306150 8B21 43CE B8B7 0D8E427A4FC6 14

    Source: National Parkinson Foundation Activities of Daily Living

    A PDF version of this presentation can be downloaded here.

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    Most Physicians, Including Neurologists, Do Not Discuss Clinical Trials with Their Patients

    Most Physicians Including Neurologists Do Not Discuss Clinical Trials with Their Patients

    The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of the Advancing Parkinson’s Trials campaign, sponsored by major Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders groups, including WE MOVE. The survey was funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and was conducted in the United States between January 17, 2005 and March 2, 2005. Five hundred physicians who treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, including 250 neurologists and 250 primary care physicians/gerontologists, responded online, while 518 patients responded via mail. Sampling errors were 5–9%, and samples were not necessarily representative of patients or physicians as a whole.


    Results from the survey showed:

    • 96% of physicians and 95% of patients agree that clinical trials are necessary to find better treatments for the disease.

    • 65% of neurologists and 54% of PCPs/gerontologists have discussed clinical trials with 10% or fewer of their patients with Parkinson’s disease.

    • 53% of neurologists and 83% of PCPs/gerontologists have never referred a patient to a clinical trial.

    • 11% of patients report that their doctor ever suggested that they participate in a trial.

    • Patient awareness of clinical trials comes primarily from support groups (40%) and other people with Parkinson’s disease (27%), rather than their doctors (11%).

    • 14% of primary care physicians, 21% of neurologists and 18% of patients surveyed indicated that they are somewhat or very satisfied with the amount of information available about clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.

    • 52% of physicians would not recommend that a patient enroll in a trial if their disease is well-controlled.

    • 72% of patients expressed concern about continued access to medication once the trial has stopped.


    To learn more about clinical trials visit The Micheal J. Fox website and read Clinical Trials 101. Learn about the facts of clinical trials and how it can help you and others that share medical condition you or your family might have.


    If you’re interested in clinical trials going on in your area click on the following links:

    Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists Clinical Trials

    Neurosearch-USA Clinical Trials

    Micheal J. Fox Clinical Trial Finder

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    Does Diet Soda Lead to Stroke and Cardiovascular Events?

    Do Diet Sodas Lead to Stroke and Cardiovascular Events

    A new and controversial study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and presented by the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference indicates that diet soda drinks — such as beverages that contain aspartame or sucralose — can increase the risk of cardiovascular events by 61%. However, many dietary experts and scientists warn not to take this study at face value because it does not prove cause and effect.


    The study involved 2,563 individuals in New York with the average age of 69. The individuals participating in the study were asked about their consumption of soda over nine years. The study factored out age, sex, smoking, physical activity, alcohol and calorie consumption, and pre-existing syndromes and diseases before publishing the results. 212 of the participants had strokes, 149 had heart attacks, and 338 of them died from vascular disease, indicating diet sodas nay be linked to adverse health effects. At first glance, this study seems to show that diet sodas are not an optimal substitute beverage for regular soda but there are many critics of this study that make important counter-arguments. 


    There have been conflicting reports on the safety of diet sodas. Some studies found that those who consume diet sodas have larger waist lines on average while others found it the opposite to be true. Aspartame and related sweeteners are also believed to be the cause of many conditions. More specifically, diet soft drinks don’t have any nutritional value and there is evidence that it actually makes you gain weight and boosts blood-sugar levels, which cab lead to diabetes. This is reinforced by a study executed by the University of Texas Health Science Center in which 70% of the participants experienced weight gain. Their hypothesis was that the fake sugar triggered their appetite by inhibiting the brain cells that tell you that you are full. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to headaches, mood swings, seizures, depression, and “fuzzy” thinking.


    Many experts believe that population-based studies are merely “food for thought” but should not form the basis for lifestyles, laws, or litigation. Part of the reason for this is that population studies tend to attract and be composed of a certain type of person such as those who are healthier and more concerned about their health. The study wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect, but it still could be indicative of the participant’s lifestyle. It’s important to look at what people eat in totality before jumping to conclusions. For example, people who consume soda, diet or not, tend to have a greater sweet tooth which could lead to unhealthier lifestyles.


    The scientific communities believes this survey does not prove diet sodas are unhealthy. As more studies like these are done, we will get a better picture of how diet sodas effect the body. Our experts at Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists will keep a close eye on this study. Read in-depth article on this study at ABC News, Web MD, and Yahoo! Health. For further in depth reading visit the Huffington Post’s article The Deadly Neurotoxin Nearly Everyone Uses Daily and NYposts Diet soda in ‘fat’ shocker.

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    New Early Detection Method Could Change Outlook for Parkinson’s Disease

    New Early Detection Method Could Change Outlook for Parkinson s Disease

    There are few medical diagnoses more life changing than Parkinson’s disease. This neurodegenerative disorder is detected in some 70,000 people in the U.S. each year; Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali are best known for having Parkinson’s disease.


    As a neurologist, I find it particularly tragic that most of these patients are referred late and do not find out they have Parkinson’s until they are already suffering from severe tremors, walking difficulties, loss of smell and other physical manifestations of the disease.


    Parkinson’s occurs when dopamine-producing cells, which control aspects of movement, diminish in the brain. We know that the disease starts working its damage long before physical symptoms show up. Parkinson’s can take as long as 12 years or more to develop, and the first mild symptoms are often mistaken as part of the normal aging process.


    Because there are no simple tests to detect Parkinson’s in its early stages, it can take up to two to three years to accurately diagnose the disease. By the time someone has their first physical sign—tremor, rigidity or shuffling gait—50 percent to 70 percent of the brain cells that produce dopamine, which controls movement, have already died. Unfortunately, there is little that we physicians can offer patients at that point other than damage control. If we could intervene earlier on, we might be able to stave off or delay the progression of disease through neuroprotection. In Pasadena, we have the first FDA-approved radiopharmaceutical imaging agent that can help physicians evaluate patients with suspected parkinsonian syndromes (PS) and related diseases. It is called DaTscan. Despite the unavailability of a simple blood test, tools like DaTscan can offer evidence that may help lessen diagnostic uncertainty and confusion for early-stage Parkinson’s patients and their families.


    When DaTscan is combined with a single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain scanner, it produces visual evidence of the amount of dopamine transporter cells, allowing physicians to determine whether occasional tremors are the result of Parkinson’s or some other cause.


    DaTscan has been in available in Europe for more than 10 years. The FDA approved the imaging agent for use in the U.S. in January 2011. I scanned the first patient in Pasadena with it on September 6. I believe that DaTscan will revolutionize both neuroimaging and the treatment of Parkinson’s as more and more hospitals and physicians learn about this method.


    DaTscan can also detect Parkinson’s disease by detecting early risk factors (red flags) alone or in combination, that may appear more than a decade before physical symptoms, such as decreased or lost sense of smell or certain sleep disorders, but these uses are not yet FDA-approved.


    Just think how much we could slow down this difficult disease and improve lives of patients and their caregivers if we are able to act before the symptoms of Parkinson’s become debilitating and ensure that treatment recommendations are appropriate. I am certain that early detection is the future for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Jerome Lisk is a physician at Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists, 65 N. Madison Ave. Suite 410, Pasadena. 626-792-6683. www.socalmds.com

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    Cogane in Parkinson’s Disease

    Cogane in Parkinson s disease

    Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder effecting 0.3% of the world population and growing, could have a new effective treatment. Parkinson’s disease is classically characterized by muscle rigidity, tremors, and slowed physical movement, but a new treatment named Cogane could could directly fight it with less side effects


    Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder effecting 0.3% of the world population and growing, could have a new effective treatment. Parkinson’s disease is classically characterized by muscle rigidity, tremors, and slowed physical movement, but a new treatment named Cogane could reduce the amount of damaged nerves in the brain, which could directly fight it.


    How does Cogane work?

    Cogane helps your brain release glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor and brain derived neurotrophic factor, both naturally occurring proteins in the brain that regrow damaged nerves, which Parkinson’s disease hinders. The latest study shows increased an outgrowth of neurites, the extended part of the neuron cell, while reversing some of the effects of Parkinson’s disease in the striatum decreasing both motor and non-motor symptoms. Also, Cogane has been shown to reduce the side effects of L DOPA, a popular Parkinson’s disease treatment.


    Cogane is currently being testing by 400 patients in a randomized, double blind and placebo controlled study. You can read more about Cogane on Phytopharm.com. You can also get updates on the current cynical trial on PDtrials.org and ClinicalTrials.gov.

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    A Simple Explanation: Why Checking Your Blood Pressure Regularly is Important

    A Simple Explanation  Why Checking Your Blood Pressure Regularly is Important

    The medical industry has come a long way when it comes to understanding hypertension. We’ve learned a great deal about how hypertension can harm you and how monitoring it can save your life. The latest scientific research on hypertension suggests that patients who proactively monitor their high blood pressure and hypertension will be less likely to have severe health complications. You know your body best, so you are most empowered to track and maintain your health.


    Just like diabetics who monitor their blood sugar, patients with hypertension must monitor their blood pressure regularly. If your family has had a history of hypertension, it’s important to check your blood pressure even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any variation of this disease. Even if you are not familiar with how to gauge your blood pressure using monitoring systems, it’s highly recommended that you record the numbers and show them to your doctor. Your doctor can work with you to help you find the most convenient way to do this.  


    It is important to know that blood pressure fluctuates with your diet and aerobic activity. Your blood pressure may have been in a healthy range last year, but as you age and as your lifestyle changes, these numbers can change. If you have any questions regarding your blood pressure or hypertension, feel free to contact Dr. Jerome Lisk or his staff at Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists. Always ask your doctor about lingering questions you have about hypertension.

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    Impax Parmaceuticals Submits New Drug Application for IPX066 in Parkinson's Disease

    Impax Laboratories Releases IPX066 a New Treatment for Idiopathic Parkinson s Disease

    Impax, the Hayward and technology-based generic pharmaceuticals company, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, announced their new treatment for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease on December 21st, 2011. It is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Titled “IPX066,” this extended release capsule “is intended to maintain consistent plasma concentration of levodopa for a longer duration versus immediate release levodopa, which may have an impact on fluctuations in clinical response.”


    IPX066 has been researched for three and a half years “through multiple clinical studies of efficacy and safety.” IPX066 has been studied in early and advanced U.S. and European Parkinson’s patients.


    Caribdopa/levodopa, also known as Sinemet, was one of the first major drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and is currently widely used. This drug is converted to dopamine voa a natural enzyme to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with less side-effects.


    Learn more about Parkinson’s disease

    Read this press release at ImpaxLabs.com.

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    San Marino Parkinson's Support Group - January 18th

    Isolated SocietyLogo

    Event Sponsors: Southern California Movement Disorders Society & NeuroSearch USA

    Learn about neurological movement disorders and meet with Southern California Movement Disorder Specialist staff.


    This upcoming event: January 18, 2012 at 3:30PM - 4:30PM


    Topic of this support group:

    Ghosts of PD: Past, Present, and Future. Parkinson’s disease treatment options have drastically improved over the past few decades. Before Sinemet (Carbodopa/Levodopa) was available, the life expectancy after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s was a maximum 5 years. Today, the disease has a multitude of treatment options available. But the fight for the cure is still not over! The future of Parkinson’s disease treatments begins with research opportunities and treatment advancements!        


    Do you have any questions about the support group meeting?  Please feel free to call or email Ryan Nguyen (contact information below). Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to seeing you at the support group meeting.


    More information on the San Marino Support Group:

    Pasadena Senior Center

    Click here for directions on Google Maps

    1750 Virginia Road

    San Marino, CA 91108

    Upcoming Support Group Meetings:
    • February 15, 2012
    • March 21, 2012
    • April 18, 2012


    If you have any questions, please get in touch with SoCal MDS or Ryan Nguyen of Neurosearch.

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    San Marino Parkinson's Support Group - December 21st

    Isolated SocietyLogo

    Event Sponsors: Southern California Movement Disorders Society & NeuroSearch USA

    Learn about neurological movement disorders and meet with Southern California Movement Disorder Specialist staff.


    Next Event: December 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM


    Topic of this support group:

    Ghosts of PD: Past, Present, and Future. Parkinson’s disease treatment options have drastically improved over the past few decades. Before Sinemet (Carbodopa/Levodopa) was available, the life expectancy after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s was a maximum 5 years. Today, the disease has a multitude of treatment options available. But the fight for the cure is still not over! The future of Parkinson’s disease treatments begins with research opportunities and treatment advancements!        


    Do you have any questions about the support group meeting?  Please feel free to call or email Ryan Nguyen (contact information below). Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to seeing you at the support group meeting.


    More information on the San Marino Support Group:

    Pasadena Senior Center

    Click here for directions on Google Maps

    1750 Virginia Road

    San Marino, CA 91108

    Upcoming Support Group Meetings:
    • January 18, 2012
    • February 15, 2012
    • March 21, 2012


    If you have any questions, please get in touch with SoCal MDS or Ryan Nguyen of Neurosearch.

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    Pasadena Parkinson's Support Group - December 27th

    Isolated SocietyLogo
    Event Sponsors: Southern California Movement Disorders Society & NeuroSearch USA

    Learn about neurological movement disorders and meet with Southern California Movement Disorder Specialist staff.


    Next Event: December 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


    Topic of this support group:

    Ghosts of PD: Past, Present, and Future. Parkinson’s disease treatment options have drastically improved over the past few decades. Before Sinemet (Carbodopa/Levodopa) was available, the life expectancy after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s was a maximum 5 years. Today, the disease has a multitude of treatment options available. But the fight for the cure is still not over! The future of Parkinson’s disease treatments begins with research opportunities and treatment advancements!        


    Do you have any questions about the support group meeting?  Please feel free to call or email Ryan Nguyen (contact information below). You can also register for attendance using the link below. Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to seeing you at the support group meeting. Happy holidays!


    More information on the Pasadena Parkinson’s Support Group:

    Pasadena Senior Center

    (Click here for directions on Google Maps)

    85 E. Holly Street

    Pasadena, CA 91103 

    Upcoming Support Group Meetings:
    • January 24, 2012
    • February 28, 2012
    • March 27, 2012

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with SoCal MDS or Ryan Nguyen of Neurosearch.

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    Fitness Components for Conditioning the Mature Adult

    Fitness training can be beneficial for everyone including mature adults. There is no doubt the aging process affects the body and in turn adversely effects activities of daily living. Learn which steps can limit and even reverse the effects of age. MOVE: as a mature adult get back into the game of living life to the fullest.


    Fitness training can be beneficial for everyone including mature adults. There is no doubt the aging process affects the body and in turn adversely effects activities of daily living. Learn which steps can limit and even reverse the effects of age. MOVE: as a mature adult get back into the game of living life to the fullest.


    Fitness exercises and training can be very beneficial for the mature adult. The aging process decreases mobility, limits flexibility, negates strength, and lowers energy levels. All which are crucial components in the achievement of the activities of daily living. 

    



    The good news is there is help: certain steps can be taken to alleviate these symptoms of the aging process. For example, modifications in your surrounding environment can help, changes in body mechanics can be of great benefit, and the implementation of a fitness program can be of immense assistance as well. These three steps can assist in returning your body to a level previously achieved or to an improved state of an even higher level than ever before. In order for this to occur, the mature adult must remember it is a combination of all three of these parameters; environment, body mechanics, and fitness training working seamlessly together. 


    Fitness Components for Conditioning the Mature Adult

    Looking at the fitness side for better living as a mature adult, are a few statistics which may provide some relatively important information concerning exercises for improvement of energy. First and foremost, research indicates after the age of 25, the body looses muscle mass at approximately 1% a year. This decreases both the strength and energy power outputs of the neuromuscular system. If nothing is done to improve both the strength and power outputs of the body by the time an individual is 50 years old they will have lost 25% of their muscle mass. 

    



    Why is this statistic relatively important to adults as they mature? 

    



    In order to complete each phase of the activities of daily living efficiently, the neuromuscular system must have certain levels of strength. This allows the person to maintain a fixed spine angle, execute the proper postural position required in the activity, and generate speed to complete the task. Basically, a loss of strength equates to the loss of stability in the activity affecting every phase of the movement pattern from start to finish. 

    A second component of the aging process relative to everyday living is mobility and flexibility. Mobility is a combination of both joint range of motion and flexibility. Joint range of motion concerns itself with the actual articular structure of the joint (i.e. skeletal structures), and flexibility has to do with extensibility of muscle tissue surrounding the joint. 

    



    The aging process decreases the extensibility of muscular tissues thus causing tightness in the muscular system and decreased mobility in the joint system. Both of these conditions are detrimental to completing everyday tasks such as bending over to put on a pair of socks or reaching up and across towards a high shelf to grab a glass. The mechanics of these activities requires mobility within the joint system and flexibility within the muscular system. This allows for the required loads of movements through a large range of motion to be met by the body. If mobility is limited and “tightness” exists within the muscular system, compensations within the body will occur in an attempt to execute the mechanics of the task correctly. 

    It is unfortunate the aging process results in the aforementioned negative affects on movement, but as stated previously, steps can be taken to address such situations and prevent decreased activity in life. These steps on the “physical side” of the equation are contained within a fitness program.


    Regina

    By Regina Tula, NASM-CPT,CES

    www.adafitness.com, www.adafitness.abmp.com

    626-456-1163

    Privately run by Regina Tula, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified corrective exercise specialist and personal trainer. ADA Fitness is dedicated to bringing an appreciation to the God given body people are born with, through fitness tools and massage. The two go hand in hand. Flexibility, strength, power, and endurance are the keys to movement and a healthy body no matter what age, condition or size you are.
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    What is Hypertension?

    Hypertension
    Image Provided By Sundesigns

    Hypertension, the most common primary diagnosis in the United States, affects approximately 50 million Americans. According to the JNC 7 Report, using data from the Framingham Heart Study, individuals who are normotensive at 55 years of age have a 90% lifetime risk of developing hypertension. For individuals aged 40 to 70 years, each increment of 20 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure or 10 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease across the entire blood pressure range from 115/75 to 185/115. (Chobanian et al., JAMA 2003)


    Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is an affliction that occurs when the heart has to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. It is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension. About 90–95% of cases are categorized as primary hypertension, which means high blood pressure with no obvious medical cause. Secondary hypertension is caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart, or endocrine system.


    Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for many heart-related injuries such as stroke or chronic kidney failure. Moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. However, dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment may prove necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.


    Essential hypertension

    Although no direct cause has been identified, there are many factors that may play a role in developing essential hypertension such as a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, obesity, salt sensitivity, alcohol intake, and vitamin D deficiency. This form of hypertension is mostly prevalent in adolescents. Risk also increases with aging and having a family history of hypertension. In addition, there are several other rare factors including low birth weight, high levels of renin.


    Secondary hypertension

    Secondary hypertension has no obvious cause. It is important to recognize that it is treated differently than essential hypertension is and therefore must be accurately diagnosed. Secondary hypertension is more common in preadolescent children. Hypertension of this kind results in the compromise or imbalance of the pathophysiological mechanisms, such as hormone regulation or blood plasma volume. Secondary hypertension can have many causes such as renovascular hypertension, Cushing’s syndrome, hyperthyroidism, tumors, obesity, kidney disease, and certain drugs.



    A simple video explaining the dangers of hypertension

    Diagnosis, Prevention, & Treatment

    Generally, hypertension will be diagnosed on the basis that patient has persistent high blood pressure and this process often involves three visits to the physician’s office where an assessment of medical history and physical condition will be conducted.


    At that point, risk factors and other possible symptoms will be examined and the form of hypertension should be distinguished with laboratory tests. Tests will determine whether hypertension has caused damage to the heart, eyes, and kidneys. Due to the fact that diabetes and high cholesterol levels are risk factors for heart disease, additional tests will determine if further treatment is required.


    Prevention is complicated, and the ability to prevent hypertension depends on factors such as current blood pressure level, sodium/potassium balance, detection and omission of environmental toxins, changes in end/target organs, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and the age at diagnosis of prehypertension or at risk for hypertension. A prolonged assessment that involves repeated blood pressure measurements provides the most accurate blood pressure level assessment. In addition, lifestyle changes–diet, exercise, weight loss–are recommended before drug therapy to lower blood pressure.


    A low sodium diet is beneficial. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a diet promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to control hypertension. A major feature of the plan is limiting intake of sodium, and it also generally encourages the consumption of nuts, whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables while lowering the consumption of red meats, sweets, and sugar. It is also “rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as protein”.


    Medications called antihypertensive drugs are used for treating hypertension and often multiple medications are combined to achieve the goal blood pressure.


    Learn more about Hypertension & High Blood Pressure at:

    WebMD.com

    Wikipedia.org

    MayoClinic

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    Cervical Dystonia: The Difficulty of Diagnosis


    • Patient would stretch his neck before and during workout sessions
    • Started moving his neck in a certain direction followed by a constantly stiff neck
    • Was told by multiple doctors that it would go away and he was fine
    • Visited Chiropractor, didn't help stiff neck
    • Dizziness arose, visited Orthopod?, was told degenerative disk disease was the culprit
    • Was referred to an ear doctor for dizziness and was told that his neck problem caused it
    • Physical therapy didn't help, was scared by his angled neck causing him pain
    • His neck problem caused depression. He feared that his life would never be the same.
    • Educated himself, thought it might be Dystonia
    • Found Dr. Lisk. Lisk listened to his story and started testing for Dystonia
    • Got Botox injections
    • After several injections, he "feels great" and is "living his life like he used to"
    • Dr. Lisk's compassion helped him get over his dystonia, depression
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