Friday, January 7, 2011

Your Word of The Day and other things too........

I read an interesting study about a new and low-tech method of diagnosing and differentiation of Parkinson's disease and ran across the word extranigral.  Now it's not surprising that there are medical terms one has never seen before but the surprise came when I turned to Wikipedia for a simple definition and for the first time it let me down!  I guess I'm not the only one left wondering what extranigral means.  I've highlighted the meaningful, understandable and as it turns out a very simple definition if you can get through the other words.

Wolters ECh. Non-motor extranigral signs and symptoms in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 15 Suppl 3:S6 (2009): "Non-motor extranigral signs and symptoms in Parkinson's disease.
Erik Ch Wolters
Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, Dept. of Neurology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Clinical symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) comprise both motor and non-motor symptoms. In this disease, synucleinopathic-induced, nigral dopamine deficiency-related dysfunction of the basal ganglia is held responsible for the characteristic levodopa-responsive motor signs and symptoms (bradykinesia, hypokinesia, rigidity), known as parkinsonism and essential for clinical diagnosis in PD, as well as subtle motivational and cognitive dysfunctions. Some motor symptoms, such as tremor and postural instability, and most non-motor symptoms, however, are not fully levodopa-responsive, and suggested to manifest extranigral pathology. These symptoms include autonomic, sleep, sensory and neuropsychiatric symptoms, which in some cases may precede the first signs of motor parkinsonism,"

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The ability to ride a bicycle can determine whether a patient has atypical or "regular" Parkinson's disease, according to researchers in the Netherlands.
Dr. Bastiaan R. Bloem and colleagues used brain imaging and other tests to assess 45 patients with Parkinson's disease and 66 with atypical Parkinsonism. The patients were also asked if they could still ride a bicycle. Only two (4 percent) of those with regular Parkinson's said they could no longer ride, compared with 34 (52 percent) of those with atypical Parkinsonism.
The researchers found that asking patients if they could still ride a bike had better diagnostic value than the tests. This suggests that asking about bike-riding could save money and reduce the burden for patients, said the researchers at the Parkinson Center Nijmegen. 
[Link provided for the entire article.]

Quite by accident a few weeks ago I found out that Nijmegen, Netherlands was the centre for Parkinson's disease research while I was doing some research of my own about my uncle Ken who died in WWII .  I was looking for the exact location where was buried and it turns out that it is close to Nijmegen, a city name I had never heard of before.
They do say that 'travel is broadening' and I guess it applies to virtual travel as well now days.

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