Scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have discovered that the bowel may be more closely related to the brain than any of us would have cared to think. Apparently, exceptionally large quantities of alpha-synuclein can be found in the lower bowels of people in the early stages of Parkinson’s. It has also been detected, at higher than normal levels, in the bowels of people who later went on to develop Parkinson’s. The suggestion is that it may be possible to predict the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms by means of a colonic biopsy.
(I seem to have a Joe Jackson earworm courtesy of that title. A welcome earworm, because I like the song, but it isn’t actually very relevant to the topic.)
More specifically, Canada. And this Web site, which is the brainchild of Dr. Soania Mathur, who was 27 when she was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s. She’s about my age – 40 when she wrote My Story – and she has three daughters. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, I completed my first organised sponsored walk. 20 km (12.5 miles, more or less) of Sussex downland – and over £400 for Parkinson’s UK. A lot of that is down to you, my generous readers and friends.
This video, which a friend pointed out to me on the Guardian’s Web site, is quite intriguing. Its direct relevance to Parkinson’s is minimal, but it does discuss the role of dopamine in the brain and the psychological and sociological results of an excess thereof. Too much dopamine is, of course, precisely the opposite problem to that posed by Parkinson’s. Continue reading
There is a lot of interest in vitamin K2 at the moment; it has been shown to reverse the symptomatic effects of one of the genetic defects that causes Parkinson’s. In fruit flies.
It’s a long way from fruit flies to human beings, but, as it happens, these popular research insects share the PINK1 gene with us humans, and defects in the fruit fly version have a similar effect on the insects as they do on people. Continue reading
Well… not quite yet. But, come Monday, I shall once again be gainfully employed – and, more pertinently, earning a wage. Full time. Continue reading
The weather was beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine, but not so hot that it felt like hard work. The scenery was stunning, and the company was excellent.
I declare Just Walk 2012 a roaring success!
(Although I was mildly amused to find a 2010 tag on my event t-shirt.) Continue reading