Tagged: Parkinson’s Disease

Boston University supports Davis Phinney Foundation in launching new resource to encourage living well with Parkinson’s Disease

July 23rd, 2012 in News Releases, Uncategorized 0 comments

Contact: Stephanie Rotondo, (617) 353-7476, rotondos@bu.edu

(Boston) – Imagine you are one of the 60,000 new U.S. cases of Parkinson’s disease diagnosed each year. Where can you turn for accurate information? How can you learn what to expect and how to make things easier? Recognizing the need to provide a roadmap for people of all ages and at all stages of Parkinson’s, Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College has collaborated with The Davis Phinney Foundation and other renowned research institutions to launch the Foundation’s Every Victory Counts® manual’s second edition.  This manual uniquely gives people living with Parkinson’s – and their care partners and family members – the tools they need to take a proactive approach to self-care from diagnosis through advanced stages of the disease, including the latest information for the recently diagnosed, expanded content specifically for care partners and guidance for living with young-onset Parkinson’s. Boston University is among leading Parkinson’s research centers with contributors to the manual’s content.

The Every Victory Counts manual, which is endorsed by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, offers rich, interactive content including a chapter by Boston University’s Terry Ellis, PT, Ph.D., who also served as an advisor for the book. The manual includes worksheets, medication logs and questionnaires, all designed to help people monitor their health, create action plans and facilitate communication with healthcare professionals and care partners. The Every Victory Counts manual also addresses key topics, such as: talking to family and coworkers about the disease, exercise, nutrition, emotional health, deep brain stimulation, medical, surgical and behavioral therapies, intimacy, care partner issues and the importance of staying engaged.

“I’m honored to have worked with The Davis Phinney Foundation on developing a manual that offers individuals and their families a positive resource for living with Parkinson’s disease,” said contributor Terry Ellis, PT, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at the Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, and director of the National Resource Center for Rehabilitation established by Boston University and the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA).  “Our goal is to empower individuals with Parkinson’s to live life to the fullest and to take an active role in their own care. Using this manual, they can learn unique strategies and techniques to help manage all aspects of the disease.”

Some of the most powerful content in the manual is provided by more than 50 people with Parkinson’s who share compelling and inspiring insights on topics such as exercise, diet and intimacy. These heartfelt and often humorous testimonials offer wisdom on daily living with Parkinson’s and help create a sense of community for readers.

“The Davis Phinney Foundation is proud to provide this expanded resource to the Parkinson’s community,” said Polly Dawkins, executive director, the Davis Phinney Foundation. “Since launching the Every Victory Counts program more than two years ago, we have been encouraged and touched by the positive responses and valuable feedback, which shaped the direction and content for the second edition. We’ve added a primer for the recently diagnosed, extensive material for care partners and new worksheets and graphical references.”

Readers can complement the manual with online worksheets, the Living Well Challenge webinars (http://davisphinneyfoundation.org/living-pd/webinar/), expert Q&A videos (http://davisphinneyfoundation.org/living-pd/live/exercise/updates/) and tools like the Top 10 Tips for Exercising with Parkinson’s (http://davisphinneyfoundation.org/living-pd/tools-today/).”

“Having competed successfully in the Olympics, Tour de France and countless other grueling professional cycling events, I know firsthand that attitude, focus and engagement can lead to victory in difficult, demanding circumstances,” said Davis Phinney, founder of the Davis Phinney Foundation and the winningest cyclist in US history. “For people like me who face the challenges of Parkinson’s each day, it’s critical we apply this same approach to our journey with Parkinson’s. With the expanded Every Victory Counts manual, we are empowering people to take control and motivating them to find and savor their moments of victory.”

The Every Victory Counts program manual is available for a donation of $27.00 and can be ordered at http://davisphinneyfoundation.org/living-pd/victory-counts/getyourcopy/ or by calling 1-855-PHINNEY. All manual proceeds will support Davis Phinney Foundation-funded Parkinson’s research and education programs.

Davis Phinney Foundation

The Davis Phinney Foundation was created in 2004 and is dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s disease to live well today. The Foundation’s major initiatives include: the Every Victory Counts® manual, developed by movement disorder experts to provide practical ways to live well with Parkinson’s; The Victory Summit® symposia series, which brings leading experts into communities to share advances in science, care and to inspire those affected by the disease to celebrate their daily moments of victory; the Living Well Challenge™ educational webinar series; and, the funding of research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies. Visit the website: www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.

Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College is an institution of higher education, which fosters critical and innovative thinking to best serve the health care needs of society through academics, research, and clinical practice. As reported by U.S. News and World Report, its graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Physical Therapy are ranked in the top 8% of all programs while Occupational Therapy is #2 in the nation.  For more information and to learn about degree programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, language and hearing sciences, health science, athletic training, human physiology and nutrition, visit http://www.bu.edu/sargent.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 16 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

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BUSM Researchers Identify Role of FOXO1 Gene in Parkinson’s Disease

July 2nd, 2012 in News Releases, School of Medicine 0 comments

Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary, 617-638-6841, jenny.eriksen@bmc.org

(Boston) – A recent study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) revealed that the FOXO1 gene may play an important role in the pathological mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. These findings are published online in PLoS Genetics, a peer-reviewed open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science

The study was led by Alexandra Dumitriu, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in the department of neurology at BUSM. Richard Myers, PhD, professor of neurology at BUSM, is the study’s senior author.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and approximately one million Americans are currently living with the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a buildup of proteins in nerve cells that lead to their inability to communicate with one another, causing motor function issues, including tremors and slowness in movement, as well as dementia. The substantia nigra is an area of the midbrain that helps control movement, and previous research has shown that this area of the brain loses neurons as Parkinson’s disease progresses.

The researchers analyzed gene expression differences in brain tissue between 27 samples with known Parkinson’s disease and 26 samples from neurologically healthy controls. This data set represents the largest number of brain samples used in a whole-genome expression study of Parkinson’s disease to date. The novel aspect of this study is represented by the researchers’ emphasis on removing possible sources of variation by minimizing the differences among samples. They used only male brain tissue samples that showed no significant marks of Alzheimer’s disease pathology, one of the frequently co-occurring neurological diseases in Parkinson’s disease patients. The samples also had similar tissue quality and were from the brain’s prefrontal cortex, one of the less studied areas for the disease. The prefrontal cortex does not show neuronal death to the same extent as the substantia nigra, although it displays molecular and pathological modifications during the disease process, while also being responsible for the dementia present in a large proportion of Parkinson’s disease patients.

Results of the expression experiment showed that the gene FOXO1 had increased expression in the brain tissue samples with known Parkinson’s disease. FOXO1 is a transcriptional regulator that can modify the expression of other genes. Further examination of the FOXO1 gene showed that two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or DNA sequence variations, were significantly associated with age at onset of Parkinson’s disease.

“Our hypothesis is that FOXO1 acts in a protective manner by activating genes and pathways that fight the neurodegeneration processes,” said Dumitriu. “If this is correct, there could be potential to explore FOXO1 as a therapeutic drug target for Parkinson’s disease.”

Research reported in this publication was supported in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke under award number 1R01NS076843-01, the Cogan Family Foundation, the Robert P. & Judith N. Goldberg Foundation and the William N. and Bernice E. Bumpus Foundation.

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SAR professor enhances lives of Parkinson’s patients

November 4th, 2010 in Health 0 comments

Sargent College Clinical Associate Professor Terry Ellis is working to further develop Every Victory Counts, in conjunction with the Davis Phinney Foundation, helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease live better for longer.  Terry’s research is focusing on observing Parkinson’s patients to better understand how their lives change as the disease progresses and what treatments sustain or help eliminate symptoms. Here’s a bit more on Every Victory Counts:

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