Friday, March 25, 2011

Predicting Dementia in Parkinson’s


Post 57
I am developing that good old School Spirit regarding the hospital that treats me for my P.D.  If the research department held Friday afternoon pep rallies, I’d attend.  I would dress in school colors, wave pom-poms and cheer on my favorite players. Of course, the players would be in lab coats, and the game they play is about quality of life and the mitigation of suffering for patients just like me.
This collegial pride surfaced when I discovered that Dr. A was the lead author of a research study that garnered a lot of media attention. The study revealed the first blood test to determine potential cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease patients. It turns out that all that blood that I, and hundreds of others had been donating was being analyzed to find a biomarker that would signal future dementia due to P.D.
This is a first step in an effort to test medications that might preserve cognition throughout the progression of the disease. The biomarker would identify those most at risk to develop dementia, who would then be asked to take part in clinical trials. Having good potential test patients could lead to quicker evaluation of drugs designed to preserve cognition.
This is, admittedly, somewhat technical for this old carpenter to comprehend. All I know is that it’s a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep cheering for the home team.

To read more about the study, visit:

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