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September 1, 2014

L-dopa remains the gold standard

Clinical update: Parkinson’s disease – There are multiple problems, which are not related to dopamine, at the end stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD) for which there are no effective treatments. Patients at the end may have memory problems, pain, depression, falls and urinary difficulties. Though it is the easiest to manipulate, dopamine is not the […]

Timely diagnosis is vital in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Clinical update: Parkinson’s disease – A landmark paper from the UK Parkinson’s Brain Bank over 25 years ago looked at patients who had died with a condition that was thought at the time to be Parkinson’s disease (PD). Pathologically, a total of 24 per cent of them did not have PD. Thus, they were misdiagnosed […]

Genetic causes are identified

Clinical update: Parkinson’s disease – Until around 15 years ago, Parkinson’s disease (PD) was not thought to be a genetic disease. Since that time, five single-gene causes of Parkinson’s have been identified, and another gene is a substantial risk factor. Prof Niall Quinn believes that tremendous advances are about to be made as a result […]

Associated sleep effects of nocturia

Mary Anne Kenny looks at the causes of nocturia and examines the associated sleep-related risks that accompany the condition Nocturia causes a person to wake during the night one or more times in order to urinate. It is acknowledged to be clinically relevant and have significant impact upon patients when two or more voids are […]

ITP perspectives — the local and international outlook

Irish and international perspectives in the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura were recently discussed at a Dublin meeting Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease, is characterised by a decreased number of circulating platelets. First noted in the 17th century, ITP was not properly defined until 1951, having received many misnomers along the way, including […]

Social inequality gap still exists for types of common cancers

Despite the implementation of a national cancer plan, social factors still strongly influence access to and the provision of care delivered by NHS hospitals in England, a new study has found. The NHS Cancer Plan was published in 2000 to improve outcomes overall and to reduce health inequalities, in part through greater equity of access […]

Lower radiotherapy dose can result in better quality of life

Radiotherapy for breast-cancer patients, given as a lower overall dose in fewer higher doses, does not seem to increase adverse symptoms or result in worse body image compared with the international standard treatment, according to a new study. The results add to the evidence that shorter hypofractionated radiotherapy schedules do not cause more side effects […]

Some pain medications not appear to be associated with skin cancer

Contrary to previous hypotheses, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not appear associated with risk of squamous cell skin cancer, according to a new report. Laboratory studies of cells and animals have indicated that NSAIDs protect against squamous cell carcinomas. However, while some studies have examined the associations between NSAIDs and other types […]

Guide to relievers for asthma control

Clinical Update: Asthma – Taking treatment for asthma regularly is important, said Dr Patrick Manning, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Bon Secours Hospital in Dublin. Dr Manning is also Chair of the Asthma Society of Ireland’s Medical Committee. The aim is to control asthma symptoms. A variable plan that is tailored to a person’s current […]

Medications under-used in treatment of COPD

Clinical Update: Asthma – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an under-diagnosed condition and medications are under-used, said Dr Tim McDonnell, Consultant Respiratory Physician at St Vincent’s University Hospital. In the UK, one million patients are known to have the disease. However, two million people who have COPD are thought to be undiagnosed. Tiotropium (Spiriva), […]

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