Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Healthy Snacks
Beyond the Lattes: 30+ Healthy Pumpkin Spice Treats, Snacks, and Foods
Beginner Fitness Tips
If You've Always Wanted to Try Running, Read This

New Drug for Parkinson's Disease

New Drug for Parkinson's Disease

A new drug has been approved by the FDA to treat early Parkinson's disease. I always thought it was a disease that afflicted older folks, but remembered Michael J. Fox was only 30 years old when he announced that he had the disease.

With Parkinson's disease the substantia nigra, a part of the brain, begins to malfunction and eventually die, disrupting then halting the production of the chemical dopamine. And dopamine is important since it sends messages to your brain telling your body when and how to move. When a person has Parkinson's, those messages are delivered more slowly, which explains the trembling commonly seen in Parkinson’s patients.

This new drug called Neupro is actually in patch form that you apply once a day. It delivers the drug called rotigotine, which works by mimicking the action of dopamine in the brain.

Previously, patients would have to take pills orally. When the medicine wore off, symptoms would worsen until more pills were taken. The patch is more effective because it offers a continuous release of the drug.

There have been a few reported side effects including skin irritation where the patch is placed, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and insomnia. The FDA said that these are typical with this kind of drug.

About 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson's disease. Wow - that is more than I would have thought. Plus it is chronic (meaning there is no cure), and progressive (meaning it keeps getting worse). This disease impairs people's ability to control their movements, and also impairs their speech. It's great to hear there's a new drug that could help people deal with their symptoms better than taking oral pills.


Fitness Fitness 10 years
wackdoodle - I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I hope this new drug helps future people too.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
I hope this drug works with limited side effects. My dad had Parkinson's disease and it progressed so fast. Diagnosed right before I moved to SF when he was 52 then unable to live by himself by 53. One day he was a vital strong Ex-NAVY officier the next day he was unable to speak, shuffling along, shaking and frustrated. My siblings and I felt helpless. And he felt emasculated and hopeless. At 55 he moved into a Senior Citizen's Assisted Living Facility because he didn't want to burden us, though he was no burden. But the meds he was on literally made him psychotic, they were poisoning him. We didn't know and his neurologist did know he was suppose to cycle on and off of them. By 59 he was dead. It was horrible. But it was more horrible when my dad became more depressed because of the Parkinson's and decided that he wanted to give up and die. And sure enough he did wrongly and suddenly but not by his own hand-medical error in a hospital. My hope is that these new meds will save future women and men from the suffering that my dad went through and the frustration and despair he felt. Of course after he died Micheal J fox set up his foundation and he has been forcing scientists to make such amazing advancements. I'm so glad that part of my paycheck automatically goes to the MJF Foundation. And with the Christopher Reeves Foundation also working on spinal and neurological disorders I have no doubt that Parkinson's will be defeated.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
MJF has Young-onset Parkinsons Disease. Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease Young-onset Parkinson's disease is different from older onset Parkinson's disease. Generally, younger people have a smooth, long-term course of the illness, thus the rate of progression is still significantly slower. Associated problems like memory loss, confusion, and balance are less frequent in young people with the disease. Conversly, people with young-onset Parkinson's disease often have more movement problems due to Levodopa (the first and best-working drug on the market), than older people. My grandfather had young-onset Parkinsons diagnosed in his early 50's, but he probably had it well before then, but it was uncommon to diagnose a 40-yr old with Parkinson's back then. Young-onset Parkinsons has been made apparent much more recently (past 20 years). MJK had been a very important figure in getting the word out about YOP. The earlier this is detected, the better functioning one can become for a much longer piece of time. I was studying this while a neuro major in college, and they are actually developing new drugs to try to reverse breakdown of dopamine. This will be amazing if it ends up working out.
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds