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Congratulations to Drs Okun & Hass on the publication of “Effects of a Cycling Dual Task on Emotional Word Choice in Parkinson’s Disease.”  This article was published in the May issue of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.

Abstract
Purpose

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) demonstrate language- and emotion-related impairments; however, emotional language production has received little attention within the literature despite the fact that deficits could significantly impact one’s daily interactions with loved ones and others. Multitasking (i.e., dual tasking), specifically while completing language tasks, is a common everyday occurrence and typically impacts performance on 1 or both tasks. This study compared emotional word use during discourse production in individuals with PD and healthy older adults (HOAs) under single- and dual-task conditions.

Method

Participants completed a discourse task while sitting in a quiet room and while stationary cycling. Discourse output was analyzed along several emotional and intellectual language dimensions obtained from the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007).

Results

Groups did not differ on any outcome measure in the single-task condition. However, HOAs produced a higher percentage of words associated with affective processes and positive emotion while completing the dual-task condition, whereas the PD group exhibited a decrease in production of these words. Compared to the single-task condition, during cycling, individuals with PD also produced a lower percentage of inhibition-related words.

Conclusions

These results suggest that cycling, like other types of exercise, improves mood as manifested in discourse word choice in HOAs; however, it may lead to reduced use of emotional words in individuals with PD. Expressing emotion may also be more difficult in those with PD than in HOAs and, therefore, easily disrupted in distracting circumstances.

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Top row, left to right: Daniel Bonnin, Brian Coffey, Keith Kincaid, Nicholas Nelson
Bottom row, left to right: Stephen Rohrbough, Alexander Senetar, Amol Mehta

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Learn about the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health’s mission and the generous gift that helped create it.

Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health - YouTube
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(From left) Drs. Adam Woods, Dawn Bowers and Christopher Hess

A group of UF researchers recently received a Parkinson’s Foundation Impact Award to pilot a novel, low-cost intervention for improving motor skills and cognition in individuals with Parkinson disease at the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health.

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Please welcome

Shirley Chua, Patient Intake at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases

Amber Miller, Clinical Research Coordinator

Dequan King, Clinical Services Coordinator

Maria Bolanos, Research Coordinator

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Do you have an AED in your campus building or dorm room? Is it registered? Help responders know where to find it – register it in PulsePoint AED during the scavenger hunt June 1-15
Learn more at http://ufhealth.org/heart/pulsepoint

—————

Find an AED. Save a life. Here’s why:
• The likelihood of survival decreases by 10 percent for every minute without CPR or AED.
• More than 30 percent of cardiac arrests in Alachua County occur in a public space.
• Mouth-to-mouth breathing is not required.

From June 1-15, UF Health invites Alachua County residents to join a scavenger hunt that helps save lives by locating automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, across the county. Log each AED you find in the PulsePoint AED mobile app, and compete to win prizes for the most AEDs #CPRAEDAwarenessWee https://bit.ly/2EPQvij

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Congratulations Dr. Nikolaus McFarland on the publication of “Safety of the tau-directed monoclonal antibody BIIB092 in progressive supranuclear palsy: a randomised, placebo-controlled, multiple ascending dose phase 1b trial,” in the June edition of The Lancet Neurology.

Background

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare neurodegenerative disease associated with dysfunctional tau protein. BIIB092 is a humanised monoclonal antibody that binds to N-terminal tau and is thus being assessed as a potential novel treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy. We aimed to investigate the safety and tolerability of BIIB092 in individuals with progressive supranuclear palsy.

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Selecting the right deep brain stimulation (DBS) system is a complex decision. Dr. Michael Okun, chair of UF neurology, explains DBS and the patients it helps, and offers tips for choosing the right device.

How to choose the right DBS device - YouTube
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Congratulations to  Robert S. Eisinger, Daniel Martinez-Ramirez, Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, Christopher W. Hess, Leonardo Almeida, Michael S. Okun and Aysegul Gunduz on the publication of “Parkinson’s disease motor subtype changes during 20 years of follow-up.”  This article was published in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.

Highlights
  • Tremor dominant, postural instability/gait dominant, and intermediate type categories are reproducible subtypes of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Parkinson’s disease subtypes continuously vary with disease duration.
  • Intermediate subtypes require further delineation.
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Congratulations to Bhavana Patel, Ryan Barmore, Ahmad El Kouzi, Pam Zeilman, Leonardo Almeida, Kelly Foote, Michael Okun, on the publication of “Longitudinal follow-up of dual-lead thalamic deep brain stimulation for patients with treatment refractory multiple sclerosis tremor, which was published in the May 8 issue of Neurology.

Abstract

Objective: To report longitudinal outcomes of tremor improvement in patients with medically refractory MS tremor.

Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) tremor is typically pharmacoresistant and disabling.

Studies of treatment outcomes with stereotactic lesioning or single-lead deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been variable. Dual-lead thalamic DBS targeting the ventralis intermedius (VIM) and ventralis oralis (VO) has been shown to be a safe and effective therapy. Currently there is limited data on long-term outcomes of dual-lead thalamic DBS for tremor management. We report long-term outcomes in a cohort of patients with medically refractory MS tremor treated with dual-lead thalamic DBS.

Design/Methods: Retrospective review of 19 patients with medically refractory tremor who underwent dual-lead thalamic DBS from 2007–2015. In this study 15 patients were included who were evaluated using the Tolosa-Fahn-Marin Tremor Rating Scale (TRS) before surgery and on-stimulation at 1, 3, and 5 years postoperatively.

Results: Median total TRS scores improved from baseline during a five-year follow-up (p=0.026). Median TRS motor scores were reduced from baseline during this period (p=0.044). No statistically significant differences were found in TRS activities of daily living (ADL) scores postoperatively compared to pre-surgical baseline (p=0.212).

Conclusions: Dual-lead thalamic DBS is potentially an effective treatment for the long-term improvement of severe, medication refractory tremor in MS. Although there is an improvement in motor scores, the disability questionnaire components remained unchanged from baseline, this may be related to disability due to underlying ataxia.

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