Category Archives: From Research to Real Life

Wearable health data monitoring – is it really useable? Implications for physicians and Parkinson’s research.

With the availability of devices that can track health information – you know, those wristbands and phone apps that measure how much exercise you’re getting or how many calories you’re eating – it’s no surprise that patients are bringing this information to their primary care physicians. Wearable-digital-health-information industry is a fast growing market – worth between $3 billion and $5 billion (Credit… Read more »

8 weeks to a better brain? Meditation changes your brain’s gray matter.

Our brain’s gray matter can change in shape and size (for the better!) after just eight weeks of practicing meditation. 16 participants took part in an eight-week meditation practice at The University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness (est.1979!) (more info HERE). The participants meditated “on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and state of mind” and also incorporated mindful yoga and movement. They practiced daily… Read more »

Predicting cognitive changes in Parkinson’s #parkinsons #PDdementia #cognition

So, it’s not new information that you can develop some cognitive changes with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Not everyone with PD experiences some changes to memory, language, executive function, mood, personality or behaviour; however, people with PD are 6x more likely to develop one of these issues (to differing levels of severity) compared with persons of the same age without-PD. If… Read more »

“Virtuous Ageing”: another way to be who you are

Did you know I teach an online course for the School of Public Health and Social Policy at UVic on ‘Healthy Ageing’? The ageing of the world’s population – in developing and developed countries – is an indicator of improving global health. Older people make important contributions to society as family members, volunteers and as active participants in the workforce…. Read more »

Postdoc 101

kaitlynroland   February 5, 2015   No Comments on Postdoc 101

I get a lot of people very cautiously approaching the question: what is a postdoc? what do you actually do? TRANSLATION: *do you have a real job? If so, what is it? I was a fairly successful graduate student. I had an amazing support team (PhD co-supervisors, committee members, colleagues and good friends) and some tri-council research funding; I completed… Read more »

Drug developments in Parkinson’s disease

Have you heard the latest drug developments in Parkinson’s disease? I thought I’d take a minute to break it all down for you…   RYTARY™ Impax Laboratories Inc.‘s drug called “RYTARY™” was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration early January (and available in 4 weeks). RYTARY™ is an extended release carbidopa-levodopa available in 4 strengths. Patients taking RYTARY™ in… Read more »

microglia: the key to Alzheimer’s? A new study.

microglia cells are the immune defence for central nervous system (brain + spinal cord). They are extremely sensitive and monitors suspicious activity – and similar to garbage collectors, microglia scavenge for dead, damaged and/or infectious cells … like “A-beta” which accumulates and clumps together to form “plaques” implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A new study from Stanford University published in The Journal of Clinical… Read more »

Can aging really be cured?

Have you seen the October cover of The Atlantic? Gregg Easterbrook discusses how society will change if life-expectancy trends continue (umm, meaning if we all continue to live longer!). Life expectancy is currently 83 years in Canada, and if the trend continues – by the end of the century, it will be 100 years! – Longevity research is a hot topic –… Read more »

A blood test for Alzheimer’s disease?

“In this study we sought to find a set of circulating molecules in the blood of individuals who were cognitively normal that would allow us to predict who in the next several years will develop cognitive impairement or Alzheimer’s disease, and that is exactly what we found“ Dr. Federoff at Georgetown University published research in the journal Nature Medicine that identified… Read more »

Alzheimer’s and Vitamin E

Can vitamin E slow Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression? According to a new double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that alpha tocopherol (2000IU/d vitamin E) reduced the rate of functional decline in 561 patients with mild to moderate AD. In the vitamin E group, the delay in clinical progression of AD was translated to 19% per year compared with placebo or a delay of approximately… Read more »