Prediagnostic PSP – symptoms appear almost 8 years before diagnosis

This interesting study of “prediagnostic” progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) out of the UK Biobank was recently published.  It concludes that symptoms of PSP can be seen almost 8 years before diagnosis.  Reaction time was the strongest predictive marker with changes evident as early as 10 years before diagnosis!

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Four hours/week exercise (even household chores) slows progression of Parkinson’s

I don’t know of any medication that gets these kinds of results in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Newly-published research shows that four hours per week of moderate “exercise” slows the progression of PD.  “Exercise” means any kind of regular physical activity, even household chores.  See this article in MedPage Today about this latest research:

Parkinson’s Progression Slower with Sustained Physical Activity
by Judy George, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
January 13, 2022

www.medpagetoday.com/neurology/parkinsonsdisease/96651

One open question is HOW exercise works to slow disease progression.

Here are excerpts from the MedPage Today article:

People with early Parkinson’s disease who exercised regularly over 5 years performed better on cognitive testing and had slower disease progression in several domains, an observational cohort study showed.

“We found that to slow progression of the disease, it was more important for people with Parkinson’s to maintain an exercise program than it was to be active at the beginning of the disease,” Tsukita said in a statement.

“Although medications can provide people with Parkinson’s some symptom relief, they haven’t been shown to slow the progression of the disease,” Tsukita added. “We found that regular physical activity, including household tasks and moderate exercise, may actually improve the course of the disease over the long run.”

Participants who engaged in 4 or more hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercise had slower instability and gait decline over 5 years, the researchers found. Those who participated in at least 15.5 hours a week of paid or volunteer work that included physical activity had better processing speed scores over time.

“To maintain high physical activity levels for Parkinson’s disease patients, it is essential that they themselves are convinced of the benefits of high physical activity levels,” the researchers pointed out.

Robin

“4 ways that older people can bolster or improve their mental health” – WaPo

This interesting article in a recent Washington Post is written by a psychologist.

Excerpts:

 

The elderly who deal with significant physical problems or cognitive decline, who are lonely, or who are grieving or dealing with multiple losses are more likely to experience psychological problems, especially depression. So are older people who have a lot of regret about a life not well-lived and who struggle to find meaning in their lives.

 

Late life depression, in turn, has been found by researchers to increase self-neglect, cardiovascular problems, morbidity, and risk of suicide.  It also leads to worse social and cognitive functioning and compromised quality of life.

 

Among those living outside group settings, the rate of clinically significant depressive symptoms is 8 to 16 percent and anxiety disorders is 10 to 15 percent. The elderly living in nursing homes fare worse. Most older adults with depression and anxiety do not receive treatment for it.

The author suggests four approaches to bolster or improve mental health: 

  • life review
  • engage in meaningful activities
  • disengage from unattainable goals, and
  • deal with death anxiety.

This article may be behind a paywall.

4 ways that older people can bolster or improve their mental health
By Jelena Kecmanovic
Washington Post
November 6, 2021
Link