The objective of this cohort study was to determine the incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD) and the effects of race/ethnicity, other demographic characteristics, geography, and healthcare utilization on probability of diagnosis. The authors used the Pennsylvania state Medicaid claims dataset from 1999 to 2003 to identify newly diagnosed cases of PD among the 182,271 Medicaid enrolled adults age 40-65; 319 incident cases of PD were identified. The 4-year cumulative incidence of PD was 45 per 100,000; 54 per 100,000 among whites, 23 per 100,000 among African-Americans and 40 per 100,000 among Latinos (P < 0.0001), corresponding to a relative risk (RR) of PD of 0.43 for African-Americans (P < 0.0001) compared with whites. After adjusting for age, sex, geography, reason for Medicaid eligibility, and average number of visits, African-Americans were still half as likely to be diagnosed with PD as whites (RR 0.45, P < 0.0001). Older age, more healthcare visits and Medicaid eligibility because of income alone also were significantly associated with PD diagnosis, while male sex was not. Observed racial differences in incidence of PD are not explained by differences in age, sex, income, insurance or healthcare utilization but still may be explained by biological differences or other factors such as education or aging beliefs. Better understanding of the complex biological and social determinants of these disparities is critical to improve PD care.
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"Several studies suggest a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease in whites than in African-Americans or Latin Americans. This may be due to true biological differences in the risk of Parkinson’s disease or to underdiagnosis because of barriers to health care, such as education or cultural beliefs about health and aging.9 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews the role of an extended-release formulation of pramipexole in the treatment of Parkinson's disease at an early stage. Pramipexole is a nonergot D(2)/D(3) synthetic aminobenzothiazole derivative that is effective as monotherapy in early disease and as an adjunct to levodopa in patients with motor fluctuations. Although levodopa is the current "gold standard" for treatment of Parkinson's disease, its effectiveness fades rapidly and its use results in serious motor fluctuations (on-off, wearing-off, freezing, involuntary movements) for most patients with the disease. Pramipexole has selective actions at dopamine receptors belonging to the D(2) subfamily, where it possesses full activity similar to dopamine itself. Its preferential affinity for the D(3) receptor subtype could contribute to its efficacy in the treatment of both the motor and psychiatric symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The best approach to medical management of early Parkinson's disease remains controversial. While enormous progress has been made in the treatment of the disease, challenges still remain. A variety of treatment-related and patient-related factors must be taken into account when making these decisions. The current approach to treatment of early Parkinson's disease depends in part on individual patient factors, including age, severity and nature of symptoms and their impact, presence of cognitive dysfunction, possible underlying behavioral factors predisposing to impulse control disorders, and other comorbidities. Today, the once-daily extended-release formulation of pramipexole offers the advantages of easy continuous delivery of drug and convenience to patients, particularly early in the disease when monotherapy is the rule. Thus, a new "levodopa-sparing" paradigm for treating Parkinson's disease may now be possible, whereby patients are initially treated with pramipexole and levodopa is added only as necessary.
"The primary cause of PD is still unknown although aging seems to be a major risk factor. Parkinson's disease displays racial differences as can be seen from recent studies which have shown that incidence of PD in African-Americans is lower than in Caucasian whites and Asians  . Both environmental and genetic factor contribute to PD pathogenesis. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra. Although the exact cause of the dopaminergic neurodegeneration remains elusive, recent postmortem and experimental studies have revealed an essential role for neuroinflammation that is initiated and driven by activated microglial and infiltrated peripheral immune cells and their neurotoxic products (such as proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species, and nitric oxide) in the pathogenesis of PD. A bacterial endotoxin-based experimental model of PD has been established, representing a purely inflammation-driven animal model for the induction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This model, by itself or together with genetic and toxin-based animal models, provides an important tool to delineate the precise mechanisms of neuroinflammation-mediated dopaminergic neuron loss. Here, we review the characteristics of this model and the contribution of neuroinflammatory processes, induced by the in vivo administration of bacterial endotoxin, to neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we summarize the recent experimental therapeutic strategies targeting endotoxin-induced neuroinflammation to elicit neuroprotection in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. The potential of the endotoxin-based PD model in the development of an early-stage specific diagnostic biomarker is also emphasized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Movement disorders are a diverse group of hypokinetic and hyperkinetic neurologic diseases characterized by abnormal function of the basal ganglia. In this chapter, we will discuss the four most common diagnoses encountered in subspecialty movement disorders clinics: Parkinson disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and spasticity. The presentation and natural history of each of these disorders varies widely in terms of age of onset, anatomic distribution, and severity. We will review the demographics, clinical characteristics, diagnostic criteria, natural history, and management of these diseases. The medical and surgical management of Parkinson disease will be covered in the chapters "Update on the Medical Management of Parkinson Disease" and "Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorders," respectively.
CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology 02/2010; 16(1 Movement Disorders):13-48. DOI:10.1212/01.CON.0000348899.02339.9d