Journal of Parkinson’s Disease

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8; 4 issues
Last issue (8:1) published on 20 February 2018
Next issue
8:2 scheduled for May 2018
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Biochemistry, Medicine & Health, Neurosciences
Institutional subscription for 2018 €600 / US$750 Excluding VAT
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Parkinson's Disease Funding Analyzer – The Journal of Parkinson's Disease offers users of its website ( access to the Parkinson's Disease Funding Analyzer. It is a free service that is part of a suite of online features designed to serve the needs of the Parkinson's disease research community. See here for more details. We are very interested to hear from you about other features that might benefit your research? Let us know here.

The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease is dedicated to providing an open forum for original research in basic science, translational research and clinical medicine that will expedite our fundamental understanding and improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The journal is international and multidisciplinary and aims to promote progress in the epidemiology, etiology, genetics, molecular correlates, pathogenesis, pharmacology, psychology, diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It will publish research reports, reviews, short communications, and letters-to-the-editor and offers very rapid publication and an affordable open access option.








Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD
Van Andel Research Institute
Grand Rapids, MI, USA

J. William Langston, MD
The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center
Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Associate Editors for Reviews

Daniela Berg
Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung, Tübingen, Germany

Darren Moore
Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, USA

Associate Editors

Roger Barker
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Bastiaan Bloem
University Medical Centre St Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Mark R. Cookson
NIH, Bethesda, USA  

Dennis Dickson
Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, USA

Robert H. Edwards
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA  

Howard Federoff
Georgetown University, Washington, USA

Thomas Gasser
University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

Glenda Halliday
The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Jeffrey H. Kordower
Rush University, Chicago, USA

Tilo Kunath
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Peter A. LeWitt
Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, USA

Tamas Revesz
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Eng King Tan
Duke NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore

Jens Volkmann
Universitätsklinikum Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany

Laura Volpicelli-Daley
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

Nick Wood
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Social Media Editors

Kayla Habermehl
Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, USA

Jon Palfreman
University of Oregon, Eugene, USA

Managing Editor

Bethany Kumar
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

Editorial Board

Dag Aarsland
University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

Asa Abeliovich
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, USA

Patrick Aebischer 
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland   

Yves Agid
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Paris, France

Alberto Albanese
National Neurological Hospital Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy

Ernest Arenas
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Alberto Ascherio
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

M. Flint Beal
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, USA

Alim Benabid
University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France

Hagai Bergman
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Erwan Bezard
University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Anders Björklund
Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Vincenzo Bonifati
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Heiko Braak
University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany

Jose Bras
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Alexis Brice   
Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France

Helen Bronte-Stewart 
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

David J. Brooks
Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Paolo Calabresi
University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

M. Angela Cenci Nilsson
Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Piu Chan
Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing, China

K. Ray Chaudhuri
Kings College Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Marie Francoise Chesselet
University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA

Cynthia Comella
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA

Ted M. Dawson
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA  

Valina L. Dawson
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

Benjamin Dehay
University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Steven DeWitte
Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson's, New Preston Marble Dale, USA

David Eidelberg
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, New York, USA

Omar M. El-Agnaf
United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

Alberto Espay
University of Cincinatti, Cincinatti, OH, USA

Stanley Fahn
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, USA

Matt Farrer
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Joaquim Ferreira   
Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisbon, Portugal

Tom Foltynie
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Nir Giladi
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Ann M. Graybiel
MIT, Cambridge, USA

J. Timothy Greenamyre
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA

James G. Greene
Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Rita Guerreiro
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Katrina Gwinn
NIH, Bethesda, USA

Mark Hallett
NIH, Bethesda, USA

John Hardy
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Nobutaka Hattori
Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

Etienne C. Hirsch
Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Paris, France

Joseph Jankovic
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA  

Christine Klein
University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany

Han Seok Ko
Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, USA

Amos D. Korczyn
Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

Dimitri Krainc
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Matt Lavoie
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Seung-Jae Lee  
Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

Virginia Lee
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA

Olle Lindvall
Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Andres Lozano
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Laura Marsh
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA

Ian Martin
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA

Soania Mathur
Designing a Cure Inc., Toronto, Canada

Mark P. Mattson
National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, USA

Wassilios Meissner
University Hospital Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Eldad Melamed
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Alice Nieuwboer
Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Robert Nussbaum
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Tiago Outeiro
University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Jon Palfreman
University of Oregon, Eugene, USA

Ronald F. Pfeiffer
Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, USA

Pierre Pollak
University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France

Serge Przedborski
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA

Niall Quinn
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Heinz Reichmann
University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Peter Riederer
University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

Olaf Riess
University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

Trevor Robbins
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Israel Robledo
Parkinson’s Movement, Midland, USA

Marina Romero Ramos
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Anthony Schapira
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Peter Schmidt
Parkinson’s Foundation, Miami, USA

Sonja Scholz
NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

Jie Shen
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Todd Sherer
Michael J. Fox Foundation, New York, USA

Ira Shoulson
Georgetown University, Washington, USA

Andrew Singleton
NIH, Bethesda, USA  

Richard Smeyne
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA  

Yoland Smith
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA 

Jon Stamford
Parkinson's Movement & The Cure Parkinson's Trust, London, United Kingdom

David G. Standaert
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, USA

Leonidas Stefanis
University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece

Dennis Steindler
University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Gerald Stern
University College Hospitals, London, United Kingdom

Fabrizio Stocchi
IRCCS San Raffaele, Rome, Italy

A. Jon Stoessl
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

David L. Sulzer
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

James Dalton Surmeier
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Michele Tagilati
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA

Jun Takahashi
Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Caroline M. Tanner
The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center, Sunnyvale, USA

Malú G. Tansey
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Bobby Thomas
Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA

Eduardo Tolosa
University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

John Q. Trojanowski
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Daniel Weintraub
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Zhenyu Yue
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

Founding Editors
From the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

George Perry
University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, USA

Mark A. Smith†
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

Biomedical Reference Collection
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)
Google Scholar
Web of Science: Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition
Web of Science: Science Citation Index-Expanded (SciSearch®)

Novel Genetic Mutation Discovered in Parkinson’s Disease Patient

13 Sep 2017 - Amsterdam, NL – Mutations in the human genome may be responsible for many diseases. In the case of Parkinson’s disease (PD), five locations have been the subject of recent attention. Variants of one of these locations, ACMSD (aminocarboxymuconate semialdehyde decarboxylase), may be implicated in PD, but until now, no mutations in ACMSD have been found in any PD patients. ...

Two New Studies Offer Insights into Gastrointestinal Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Patients

04 Aug 2017 - Amsterdam, NL – Constipation is one of the most common non-motor related complaints affecting Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. Two important studies from the same research group published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease expand the understanding of the relationship between PD and gastrointestinal dysfunction. In one study, investigators measured actual colonic dysfunction and compared it to reported constipation. In the other study, researchers tracked the position of an ingested wireless electromagnetic capsule using the novel 3D-Transit system in order to calculate gastrointestinal (GI) regional transit times....

2017 Neuroscience & Neurology brochure available

06 Jun 2017 - IOS Press Neuroscience & Neurology brochure...

Exercising 2.5 Hours Per Week Associated with Slower Declines in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

24 Mar 2017 - Amsterdam, NL – Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive condition that often results in mobility impairments and can lead to decreased health-related quality of life (HRQL) and death. There is evidence that physical activity can delay decline in PD patients. In a study in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers determined that that people who exercised regularly had significantly slower declines in HRQL and mobility over a two-year period....

Journal of Parkinson’s Disease Celebrates Key Breakthroughs that Shaped PD Research over the Last 200 Years

22 Mar 2017 - Amsterdam, NL – Marking the 200th anniversary of James Parkinson’s first published description of the disease that would come to bear his name, the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease is proud to publish Milestones in 200 Years of Parkinson’s Disease Research. This special issue features commentaries by luminaries in the field, who are responsible for some of the greatest advances in understanding and treating the disease since it was first characterized. The issue is openly available as a service to the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community....

Hospital Admissions Rising for Elderly Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

15 Nov 2016 - Although treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) is significantly extending the lives of patients, these patients are now being admitted to hospitals at increasing rates. In a study reported in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers in Ireland have found that the top five reasons for hospital admission of PD patients are urinary tract infections, pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, aspiration pneumonia and femur fracture. More troubling is the stark increase in PD patients requiring long-term nursing home care on discharge, with 27% of the over 65 group discharged to a nursing home compared to 12% admitted from a nursing home....

Parkinson’s Disease Patients Benefit from Physical Activity

15 Nov 2016 - A comprehensive review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease confirms that people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can benefit from being physically active, especially when it comes to improving gait and balance, and reducing risks of falls. It concludes that health professionals should be confident about prescribing physical activity to improve the health and quality of life of PD patients. ...

Leukemia Drug Shows Early Promise for Treating Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

13 Jul 2016 - Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder that causes a range of motor and non-motor symptoms. During the course of the disease, dopamine (DA)-producing neurons are lost and bundles of proteins known as Lewy bodies (LBs) form in the brain. A study reported in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease provided molecular evidence that the FDA-approved leukemia drug nilotinib may restore brain dopamine and reduce toxic proteins associated with LB formation in PD and dementia patients. ...

IOS Press Impact Factors Continue to Rise

23 Jun 2016 - IOS Press has announced that its journal Impact Factors continue to increase, according to the 2015 Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) released by Thomson Reuters © 2016. ...

Researchers Identify Tissue Biomarker for Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s Disease

12 Apr 2016 - Accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and the related disease “dementia with Lewy bodies,” can be difficult in the early stages of both conditions. While brain biopsies can be more accurate, the risk of complications has been considered too high. New research published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease indicates that a biopsy of the submandibular gland can help identify the same pathology that is seen in the brain, providing some of the increased accuracy of brain biopsy, but not the increased risk....

New Neuroscience & Neurology Brochure Available

01 Apr 2016 - Journals and Books...

Parkinson’s Disease Funding Analyzer Launched on Journal of Parkinson’s Disease Website

31 Mar 2016 - The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease (JPD) is proud to announce the launch of the Parkinson’s Disease Funding Analyzer (PDFA) on the JPD website. It is a free service that is part of a new suite of online features that have been designed to serve the needs of the Parkinson’s disease (PD) research community....

Are Stem-Cell Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease Ready for Clinical Trials?

29 Mar 2016 - As stem cell-based therapies are moving rapidly towards clinical trials, treatments for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), an incurable condition, may be on the horizon. A recent announcement of a Phase I/IIa clinical trial involving transplantation of stem cells into the first human subjects has raised hope among patients and sparked discussions in the research community. In a commentary published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, authors propose five key questions that should be addressed as this trial begins....

'Slow thinking' a conversation stopper for people with Parkinson's

18 Mar 2016 - Cognitive impairment could affect the conversational ability of people with Parkinson's more than physical speech problems - according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the University of Aberdeen....

Researchers Identify Biomarker for Early Cognitive Decline in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

17 Feb 2016 - Many patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Identifying biomarkers for cognitive impairment could be instrumental in facilitating both early diagnosis of MCI and developing new cognitive-enhancing treatments. New research published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease indicates that lower concentrations of α-synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is associated with reduced performance on several cognitive tests....

IOS Press partners with Kudos

12 Jan 2016 - IOS Press is happy to announce its partnership with Kudos (, an award winning service that helps researchers maximize the impact and visibility of their research. Kudos allows authors to enrich their articles with lay metadata, add links to related materials and promote their articles through the Kudos system to a wider public. From their personal dashboard, authors can track how often their articles are viewed and shared through Kudos. The service will be available to authors of all IOS Press journal articles starting the first quarter of 2016. ...

Researchers Face Potential Danger from Protein Particles in the Lab

08 Jan 2016 - Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites are found in the brains of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. They consist primarily of fibrils of the protein alpha-synuclein (α-Syn), which self-assembles into fibrils in vitro. If introduced into the human body, these seeds can act as prions and trigger the formation of toxic protein deposits. Because α-Syn fibrils are often used in research, it is important that they are not accidentally transferred to humans or cell cultures. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease describe three cleaning procedures that effectively remove and disassemble these α-synuclein seeds....

Use of Anticholinergic Drugs Does Not Increase Risk for Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

05 Jan 2016 - Recent evidence has shown a greater risk of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in individuals using anticholinergic medications regularly. These drugs are widely used by older adults to treat bladder dysfunction, mood, and pain, and many of them are available without prescription. Since these drugs are often used to treat both motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), there is concern for increased risk of dementia. Contrary to expectations, a study in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease determined that the cognitive performance of PD patients taking anticholinergic medications did not differ from those who did not....

Does Alcohol Consumption Affect the Risk for Parkinson’s Disease?

10 Nov 2015 - For many years, researchers have been investigating whether there are any associations between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and lifestyle choices such as smoking and coffee and alcohol consumption. In a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, the literature concerning alcohol consumption presents conflicting information....

Gaucher Disease May Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease-Related Color Visual Impairment

10 Nov 2015 - Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients have a five-fold greater risk of carrying genetic mutations in the β-glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA), which are commonly associated with Gaucher disease (GD). Patients with both PD and GD tend to experience earlier onset of PD and more serious cognitive changes than PD patients without the mutations. A new study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease suggests that GD or the presence of GBA mutations may actually shield patients from deficiency in visual color discrimination, which is a hallmark of PD. ...

New Study Calls for Partnering of Parkinson’s Disease Research Community with Patient Groups to Improve Effectiveness of Clinical Trials

25 Jun 2015 - Despite an urgent need for new medications, clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease (PD) have a relatively low rate of success. The reasons for this are complex, prompting a group of investigators from PD advocacy groups to conduct a survey of the principle stakeholders, PD scientists, patients, and caregivers, to determine some of the underlying barriers. Their results are published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

What Is the Role of the Gut Microbiome in Developing Parkinson’s Disease?

24 Jun 2015 - In recent years, an important Parkinson’s disease (PD) research focus has been on gut-related pathology, pathophysiology, and symptoms. Gastrointestinal dysfunction, in particular constipation, affects up to 80% of PD patients and idiopathic constipation is one of the strongest risk-factors for PD. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and coffee consumption, as well as blood urate levels, have been associated with a decreased PD risk. These factors may also be influenced by the bacteria living in the human gut mediating the effects of various chemicals and nutrients on disease processes. In a contribution in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers review some of the latest studies linking gut microbiota to PD....

Levodopa-Carbidopa Intestinal Gel May Prove More Effective for Long-Term Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease than Standard Levodopa

27 Feb 2015 - Although levodopa remains the “gold standard” to effectively control motor deficits in the treatment of early stage Parkinson’s disease (PD), it loses effectiveness as the disease progresses. After four to six years of treatment with oral medications for Parkinson’s disease, about 40% of patients experience lack of muscle control (dyskinesias), end-of-dose wearing off, and fluctuations in “On/Off” states. By nine years of treatment, about 90% will suffer these effects....

Parkinson’s Disease Patients Have Reduced Visual Contrast Acuity

26 Feb 2015 - Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often have difficulties with visual acuity in low-contrast images. Because they may have normal high-contrast vision, this is often overlooked during routine eye exams. In the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers report that PD patients had significantly worse vision for low-contrast images at close (40 cm) and far (2 m) distances. Even for high-contrast images, PD patients’ vision was deficient at far distances....

Simple Clinical Tests Help Differentiate Parkinson’s Disease from Atypical Parkinsonism

18 Nov 2014 - Two simple tests conducted during the neurological exam can help clinicians differentiate between early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonism. By asking patients to perform a tandem gait test and inquiring whether they are still able to ride a bicycle, clinicians can ascertain whether medio-lateral balance is impaired, a defining characteristic of atypical parkinsonism. These findings are published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

Few Mild-to-Moderate PD Patients Suffer from Malnutrition, Yet Almost One Third Are at Risk

11 Sep 2014 - Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can experience difficulties with food preparation and ingestion, which could contribute to poor nutrition and place them at risk for malnourishment. Published studies have also suggested that PD is associated with low weight, however, few studies included control groups. A report published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease counters this conclusion in patients with mild-to-moderate PD, finding that the incidence or risk of malnutrition is no different for patients with mild-to-moderate PD compared to healthy controls....

Sleep Disturbances, Common in Parkinson’s Disease, Can Be Early Indicator of Disease Onset

11 Jul 2014 - Up to 70% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience sleep problems that negatively impact their quality of life. Some patients have disturbed sleep/wake patterns such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, while other patients may be subject to sudden and involuntary daytime sleep “attacks.” In the extreme, PD patients may exhibit REM-sleep behavior disorder (RBD), characterized by vivid, violent dreams or dream re-enactment, even before motor symptoms appear. A review in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease discusses the underlying causes of sleep problems in PD, as well as medications, disease pathology, and comorbidities, and describes the most appropriate diagnostic tools and treatment options....

Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Non Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease as well as Motor Symptoms

03 Jul 2014 - Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson’s disease. Evidence now indicates that DBS can decrease the number and severity of non motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well, according to a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

Exenatide Has Potential as a Disease Modifying Agent in Parkinson’s Disease

06 May 2014 -

A follow-up study of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who participated in an earlier “proof of concept” clinical trial using exenatide showed that improvements persisted twelve months after discontinuing exenatide therapy. These data provide strong encouragement for the further study of this drug in patients with PD, report researchers in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Several recent discoveries have highlighted common cellular pathways that potentially relate neurodegenerative processes with abnormal mitochondrial function and abnormal glucose metabolism.

Exenatide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1 agonist) medication marketed as Byetta® and Bydureon® and used in the treatment of insulin resistance in patients with Type 2 diabetes, has been proposed as a disease modifying drug in PD. Earlier studies had shown that exenatide is neuroprotective and promotes functionally beneficial neuroplasticity in animal models of neurodegeneration. Furthermore, exenatide has a favorable safety profile, with only relatively mild gastrointestinal side effects (including nausea and weight loss) as frequent adverse events.

In an earlier “proof of concept” randomized controlled trial published in May 2013, participants were randomized to either self-administer exenatide in addition to their regular PD medications or to act as controls, i.e., receive their conventional PD treatment only. All of the participants had moderate severity PD. In total, 44 patients (20 in the exenatide group and 24 controls) completed the trial. After 12 months the results showed significant and clinically meaningful differences in both motor and cognitive symptoms between those patients receiving exenatide and the controls. At 14 months, when the patients had discontinued exenatide for two months, the exenatide-treated and control groups still differed from each other. The authors concluded that the study supported potential disease-modifying benefits of exenatide in PD, while acknowledging the lack of a placebo arm.

All of the participants took part in a repeat assessment 12 months after the trial ended. The motor and cognitive advantages persisted in the exenatide group. Compared with the control group, those in the exenatide group had an advantage of 5.6 when using the blinded MDS-UPDRS motor subscale and 5.3 points on the Mattis Dementia Rating scale.

“We found that patients on exenatide appeared essentially unchanged throughout and beyond the trial period, while the control group had the expected rate of gradual decline in movement and cognitive ability,” comments senior investigator Thomas Foltynie, MRCP, PhD, of the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

The investigators did not find evidence in their data to suggest that glucose tolerance is different in PD patients who received exenatide for 12 months.

“Aside from the changes in MDS-UPDRS scores, there was also persistent divergence in cognitive performance between the groups, with significant differences which were sustained along the trial period, far beyond the 12-month period of drug exposure,” says Foltynie. “These data provide continued support for formal double blind trials of GLP-1 agonists as disease modifying drugs in PD.”

“The present study could represent a milestone if future controlled trials provide evidence supporting a disease-modifying effect of exenatide and could lead to a revolution in PD therapy,” comment Tanya Simuni, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, of the Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI. Writing in the same issue, they warn however that: “Notwithstanding the promising nature of the results, it has to be emphasized that placebo effects can be highly significant and long-standing in PD. Therefore one should not jump to premature conclusions, While placebo effects ought to have diminished 12 months after drug withdrawal so that the exenatide-treated and control groups no longer differed, a lingering placebo effect cannot be excluded.”

Tom Isaacs, Co-founder and President of The Cure Parkinson's Trust which funded the follow-up study, says: "Although we have to remain cautious on the estimation of these results, we are encouraged by the findings. This is the first time that I have come across a program that has the potential to make an enduring change for Parkinson’s patients and we are excited by the potential of this scientific research.” 

#  #  #


Motor and Cognitive Advantages Persist 12 Months After Exenatide Exposure in Parkinson’s Disease,” by Iciar Aviles-Olmos, MD, PhD; John Dickson, PhD, Zinovia Kefalopoulou, MD, PhD; Atbin Djamshidian, MD, PhD; Joshua Kahan, BSc; Peter Ell, FmedSci; Peter Whitton PhD; Richard Wyse; Tom Isaacs; Andrew Lees, MD, FRCP; Patricia Limousin, MD, PhD; and Thomas Foltynie, MRCP, PhD (DOI: 10.3233/JPD-140364). 

Commentary: “Is Exenatide the next big thing in Parkinson’s disease?” By Tanya Simuni, MD, and Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD (DOI: 10.3233/JPD-149001). Openly available at

Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, published by IOS Press

Contact Daphne Watrin, IOS Press, +31 20 688 3355, for additional information. Journalists wishing to interview the authors should contact Dr. Thomas Foltynie at or Patrik Brundin at


Launched in June 2011 the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease is dedicated to providing an open forum for original research in basic science, translational research and clinical medicine that will expedite our fundamental understanding and improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The journal is international and multidisciplinary and aims to promote progress in the epidemiology, etiology, genetics, molecular correlates, pathogenesis, pharmacology, psychology, diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, and letters-to-the-editor and offers very rapid publication and an affordable open access option. 


Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press serves the information needs of scientific and medical communities worldwide. IOS Press now (co-)publishes over 100 international journals and about 90 book titles each year on subjects ranging from computer sciences and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences.

IOS Press continues its rapid growth, embracing new technologies for the timely dissemination of information. All journals are available electronically and an e-book platform was launched in 2005.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with satellite offices in the USA, Germany, India and China, IOS Press has established several strategic co-publishing initiatives. Notable acquisitions included Delft University Press in 2005 and Millpress Science Publishers in 2008.


2014 Neuroscience Neurology Brochure

31 Jan 2014 - Download the 2014 Neuroscience Neurology Brochure here. ...

Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated with Better Cognition and Mood in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

17 Jan 2014 - A new study exploring vitamin D levels in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) opens up the possibility of a new avenue of early intervention that may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment and depression. The findings are published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

New Research Suggests Changes in Parietal Brain Gray Matter Volume Associated with Memory Deficits in Early PD

17 Jan 2014 - Research by a team of investigators in Finland suggests that the free recall memory deficits common even in early stages Parkinson’s disease (PD) are related to structural changes in the brain, specifically parietal cortical gray matter volume. Their findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

New Study Links Depression in Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease Patients to Reduced Striatal Dopamine Synthesis

10 Oct 2013 - According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, up to 60% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit mild to moderate depression, which is often underdiagnosed. It is unclear whether depression results from having a debilitating disease or reflects a parallel abnormal change in the brain caused by PD pathophysiology. ...

PD-Like Sleep and Motor Problems Observed in α-Synuclein Mutant Mice

11 Jun 2013 - The presence of Lewy bodies in nerve cells, formed by intracellular deposits of the protein α-synuclein, is a characteristic pathologic feature of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In the quest for an animal model of PD that mimics motor and non-motor symptoms of human PD, scientists have developed strains of mice that overexpress α-synuclein. By studying a strain of mice bred to overexpress α-synuclein via the Thy-1 promoter, scientists have found these mice develop many of the age-related progressive motor symptoms of PD and demonstrate changes in sleep and anxiety. Their results are published in the latest issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

Shedding Light on Early Parkinson’s Disease Pathology

02 Apr 2013 - In a mouse model of early Parkinson’s disease (PD), animals displayed movement deficits, loss of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-positive fibers in the striatum, and astro-gliosis and micro-gliosis in the substantia nigra (SN), without the loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons. These findings, which may cast light on the molecular processes involved in the initial stages of PD, are available in the current issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience....

Blood-Based Biomarkers May Lead to Earlier Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

21 Jan 2013 - Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological condition. At present, it is usually diagnosed only when motor features are present. Hence, there is a need to develop objective and measurable biomarkers to improve PD diagnostics during its earlier stage, prior to its motor onset. In this pilot study, researchers identified and tested the first blood-based circulating microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for PD. Their results are published in the latest issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

2013 Neuroscience Neurology Brochure

27 Nov 2012 - Download the 2013 Neuroscience Neurology Brochure here. ...

Years before Diagnosis, Quality of Life Declines for Parkinson’s Disease Patients

02 Jul 2012 - Growing evidence suggests that Parkinson’s disease (PD) often starts with non-motor symptoms that precede diagnosis by several years. In the first study to examine patterns in the quality of life of Parkinson’ disease patients prior to diagnosis, researchers have documented declines in physical and mental health, pain, and emotional health beginning several years before the onset of the disease and continuing thereafter. Their results are reported in the latest issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. ...

Sleep Improves Functioning in Parkinson’s Patients, but Reasons Remain Elusive

20 Jun 2012 - Some Parkinson’s patients report that their motor function is better upon awakening in the morning, which is contrary to what would be expected after a night without medication. This phenomenon, known as sleep benefit, has been studied but no consistent variables have been found and in the last decade there has been little new research. A new study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, assesses a large sample of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and confirms that some patients experience sleep benefit, both overnight and following afternoon naps, but finds no significant variables between those who do benefit and those who do not. ...

19th Century Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease May Help Patients Today

23 Apr 2012 - In the 19th century, the celebrated neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, developed a “vibration chair” to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He reported improvements in his patients, but he died shortly thereafter and a more complete evaluation of the therapy was never conducted. Now a group of scientists at Rush University Medical Center have replicated his work, and they report that while vibration therapy does significantly improve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the effect is due to placebo or other nonspecific factors, and not the vibration. Their study is published in the April issue of Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. ...

New Findings and Imaging Techniques May Aid Diagnosis of Concomitant Alzheimer’s in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

17 Apr 2012 - Dementia is a frequent complication of Parkinson’s disease (PD), but it is clinically impossible to distinguish PD dementia (PDD), which develops from the progression of the Lewy body pathology that underlies PD, from PD with coexistent Alzheimer’s disease (PDAD). Both have similar characteristics. A team of scientists has found that PDAD patients have much denser accumulations of amyloid plaques in the striatal area of the brain than PDD patients. The results suggest that recently developed imaging techniques may be able to identify striatal amyloid plaques in the living brain and could be useful for distinguishing PDD from PDAD. Their results are published in the April issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

Journal of Parkinson's Disease Brochure 2012

27 Feb 2012 - Download the Journal of Parkinson's Disease Brochure 2012 here. ...

Scientists Report First Step in Strategy for Cell Replacement Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease

25 Jan 2012 - Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are a promising avenue for cell replacement therapy in neurologic diseases. For example, mouse and human iPSCs have been used to generate dopaminergic (DA) neurons that improve symptoms in rat Parkinson’s disease models. Reporting in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, a group of scientists from Japan evaluated the growth, differentiation, and function of human-derived iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in a primate model, elucidating their therapeutic potential. ...

New Research Reveals How α-Synuclein Interacts with Cell Membranes in Parkinson’s Disease

19 Jan 2012 - The accumulation of α-synuclein, a small, negatively charged protein, in neural cells, is one of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested that oligomeric α-synuclein causes membranes to become permeable, or to form channels on the outer cell membrane. Now, a group of scientists from Sweden has found a way to reliably replicate α-synuclein aggregation on cell membranes to investigate how different forms of α-synuclein interact with membranes under different conditions and to learn if any of the α-synuclein species can penetrate these membranes. Their results are published in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease....

New Study Supports View that Lewy Bodies Are Not the Primary Cause of Cell Death in Parkinson’s Disease

10 Jan 2012 - The pathology of Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra (SN), an area of the brain associated with motor control, along with the development of α-synuclein (αS) protein in the form of Lewy bodies (LB) in the neurons that survive. The spread of LB pathology is thought to progress along with the clinical course of Parkinson’s disease, although recent studies suggest that they are not the toxic cause of cell death. A new study published in The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease finds no support for a primary pathogenic role of LBs, as neither their distribution nor density was associated with the severity of nigral cell loss. ...

Genetic Factors Can Predict the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

16 Dec 2011 - Parkinson’s disease is marked by the abnormal accumulation of α-synuclein and the early loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. A polymorphism in the promotor of α-synuclein gene known as NACP-Rep1 has been implicated as a risk factor for the disease. Now, researchers have found that different variants of NACP-Rep1 and its interaction with the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1 haplotype can influence the speed of clinical deterioration in patients with Parkinson’s disease. ...

New Study First to Link Mitochondrial Dysfunction and alpha-Synuclein Multiplication in Human Fibroblasts

07 Oct 2011 - A new study in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease shows for the first time the effects of α-Synuclein (α-syn) gene multiplication on mitochondrial function and susceptibility to oxidative stress in human tissue. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been frequently implicated in the neurodegenerative process that underlies Parkinson’s disease, but the basis for this has not been fully understood. ...

Ability to Ride a Bike Can Aid Differential Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in Any Setting

07 Oct 2011 - In a new study published today in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, Japanese researchers report that the ability to ride a bike can differentiate between atypical parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease, regardless of the environment or situations for bicycling. ...