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After Neil Diamond's Parkinson's disease diagnosis, here's what you need to know

Music legend Neil Diamond announced Monday he would be unable to finish the final leg of his tour because of a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Here, we take a look a few basic facts about the disease, symptoms that lead to it, and different forms of treatment. What is Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a long-term, neurodegenerative disease that results in movement-related problems, commonly referred to as “motor” functions. These include impaired balance and coordination, slurred speech and difficulty walking. The condition occurs in 1 percent of adults…

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Neil Diamond retires from touring after Parkinson's diagnosis

Singer Neil Diamond has announced he will retire from touring, after a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Diamond, who turns 77 on Wednesday, cancelled his March tour dates for Australia and New Zealand on medical advice. The Solitary Man singer was midway through his 50th anniversary tour. In a statement he said he took the decision “with great reluctance and disappointment”. “I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years,” he said. “My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were…

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Scientists sniff out Parkinson's disease smell

Media playback is unsupported on your device Scientists are close to establishing what causes a smell associated with sufferers of Parkinson’s disease. They hope it could lead to the first diagnostic test for the disease. The breakthrough came after Joy Milne astonished doctors with her ability to detect the disease through smell under scientific conditions. A team from Manchester has found distinctive molecules that seem to be concentrated on the skin of Parkinson’s patients. One in 500 people in the UK has Parkinson’s – that is 127,000 across Britain. Musky…

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Parkinson's disease: What you need to know in wake of Jesse Jackson's diagnosis

Iconic American civil rights activist, politician and minister Jesse Jackson announced Friday that his doctors have diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease – a diagnosis that he says comes after several years of symptoms. Below are answers to some of the more common questions about this disease. What is Parkinson’s disease? Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder globally, after Alzheimer’s disease, affecting more than 1 million people in North America. It was originally described by English surgeon James Parkinson in 1817. While the precise causes of this condition…

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Spiral drawing test detects signs of Parkinson's

A test that involves drawing a spiral on a sheet of paper could be used to diagnose early Parkinson’s disease. Australian researchers have trialled software that measures writing speed and pen pressure on the page. Both are useful for detecting the disease, which causes shaking and muscle rigidity. The Melbourne team said the test could be used by GPs to screen their patients after middle age and to monitor the effect of treatments. The study, published in Frontiers of Neurology, involved 55 people – 27 had Parkinson’s and 28 did…

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Trial raises Parkinson's therapy hope

Scientists have restored nerve cells destroyed by a condition similar to Parkinson’s disease, in monkeys. The Japanese team hope their work could lead to stem cell trials in human patients before the end of 2018. Parkinson’s disease causes the progressive loss of nerve cells that release dopamine, a chemical that helps control body movement. The researchers triggered a similar loss of cells in macaque monkeys, then used human stem cells to replace them. The animals showed significant improvement in their symptoms two years after having precursor dopamine neurons derived from…

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First hints Parkinson's can be stopped

It may be possible to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease with a drug normally used in type 2 diabetes, a clinical trial suggests. Current drugs help manage the symptoms, but do not prevent brain cells dying. The trial on 62 patients, published in the Lancet, hints the medicine halted the progression of the disease. The University College London (UCL) team is “excited”, but it urges caution as any long-term benefit is uncertain and the drug needs more testing. “There’s absolutely no doubt the most important unmet need in Parkinson’s…

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