Tagged: overview

Monthly Research Review – March 2018

At the end of each month the SoPD writes a post which provides an overview of some of the major pieces of Parkinson’s-related research that were made available during March 2018.

The post is divided into four parts based on the type of research (Basic biology, disease mechanism, clinical research, and other news). 


So, what happened during March 2018?

In world news:

March 25th – Qantas launches direct non-stop Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights between Perth Airport and Heathrow Airport, making it the first commercially non-stop service between Australia and the United Kingdom (17 hours on a plane – strewth!).

Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Source: Deredactie

March 14th – Prof Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, sadly passed away at age 76. Diagnosed with in a very rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; also known as motor neurone disease or MND) in 1963 at age 21, he was gradually left him wheel chair bound. An amazing mind and a sad loss.

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Prof Stephen Hawking. Source: BBC

A funeral for Prof Hawking was held in Cambridge. The bell at Great St. Mary’s tolled 76 times at the start of the service. His remains will be cremated and his ashes will be interred at London’s Westminster Abbey near the remains of Isaac Newton.

King’s Parade in Cambridge was absolutely packed with mourners. Source: News.rthk

March 19th – In other sad news, ‘Sudan’, the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros died in Kenya, making the subspecies ‘functionally extinct’. Poachers had reduced the population from 2000 in the 1960s to just 15 1980s, and efforts to keep the species alive .

Sudan, the last surviving male northern white rhino. Source: PBS

March 24 – In over 800 cities internationally, people participated in student-led demonstrations against gun violence and mass shootings, calling for stronger gun control in the ‘March for our lives‘.

Source: Marchforourlives

And finally, on the 17th March, a driver in Milton Keynes (UK) got into big trouble with the law when he was pulled over and presented a police officer with an obvious fake drivers license (Source: Sky News):

Fake news Mr Trump? Clearly a fake. Everyone knows Homer lives at 742 Evergreen Terrace!

In the world of Parkinson’s research, a great deal of new research and news was reported:

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Monthly Research Review – February 2018

At the end of each month, the Science of Parkinson’s writes a post which provides an overview of some of the major pieces of Parkinson’s-related research that were made available.

In this post we review some of the research from February 2018.

The post is divided into four parts based on the type of research (Basic biology, disease mechanism, clinical research, and other news). 


Seeing shadows: Punxsutawney Phil. Source: Wordonfire

In major world event news: On the 2nd February of 2018, Punxsutawney Phil – the groundhog who resides at Gobbler’s Knob of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania – scurried out of his little hole and saw his shadow. This omen indicates that we have a long winter. Given how hard and bitter this particular winter has been, Americans naturally rejoiced.

On the 6th February, SpaceX successfully launched a Tesla sports car into space – see the video below for the highlights (and if you don’t have time to watch it all, at the very least jump forward to 3:45 and watch the two boosters land simultaneously – surely they didn’t plan for it to be that perfect!)

In other news, on the 1st February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was dramatically downsizing its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries, due to concerns about funding.

And of course we had the 2018 Winter Olympics – where New Zealand came in 27th on the medals board:

Source: Madison365

In the world of Parkinson’s research, a great deal of new research and news was reported.

In February 2018, there were 698 research articles added to the Pubmed website with the tag word “Parkinson’s” attached (1577 for all of 2018 so far). In addition, there was a wave to news reports regarding various other bits of Parkinson’s research activity (clinical trials, etc).

The top 5 pieces of PD news

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‘Talking bout my resolution’

As we have previously discussed, 2017 was a fantastic year for Parkinson’s research (Click here to read that post). And as we approach the end of January, it is already apparent that 2018 is likely to be as good if not better (Click here for an overview of what to expect from 2018).

The transition into a new year brings with it a period of reflection and resolutions. At the start of each year I usually have a post that asks for readers feedback regarding how the SoPD website could be improved.

This year is going to be slightly different.

In today’s post we will discuss some of the ideas that I have in mind for 2018 – any and all reader feedback would be greatly appreciated.


The title of today’s post is a play on words. It is a salute to the song ‘My generation’ by the rock band “The Who” (click on the image above to hear the song). The song was released as a single on the 29th October 1965. It reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 74 in America.

Despite never actually reaching No.1, Rolling Stone magazine still named ‘My generation’ the 11th greatest song of all time (Source). The British music magazine New Musical Express (NME), noted that the song “encapsulated the angst of being a teenager,” and was a “nod to the mod counterculture” (Source).

Pete Townshend. Source: Rnrchemist

The Who‘s guitarist, Pete Townshend, apparently wrote “My Generation,” on his 20th birthday (19th May 19th, 1965), while riding a train from London to Southampton for a television appearance. He claims that it was never meant to be the battle cry for young mod rebels that it went on to become.

Rather it was intended to express Townshend’s fears about ‘the impending strictures of adult life’. He preferred to stay young, free and experimental.

I am not having any teenage angst issues or fearing the very current strictures of adult life. I am simply using a play of the song’s title here in order to discuss a new year’s resolution I have made regarding the SoPD website over the never 12 months.

Let me explain.

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The EMPRSN talk #1

Recently I was invited to speak at the 6th Annual East Midlands Parkinson’s Research Support Network meeting at the Link Hotel, in Loughborough. The group is organised and run by the local Parkinson’s community and supported by Parkinson’s UK. It was a fantastic event and I was very grateful to the organisers for the invitation.

They kindly gave me two sessions (20 minutes each) which I divided into two talks: “Where we are now with Parkinson’s research?” and “Where we are going with Parkinson’s research?”. Since giving the talk, I have been asked by several attendees if I could make the slides available.

The slides from the first talk can be found by clicking here.

I have also made a video of the first talk with a commentary that I added afterwards. But be warned: my delivery of this second version of the talk is a bit dry. Apologies. It has none of my usual dynamic charm or energetic charisma. Who knew that talking into a dictaphone could leave one sounding so flat.

Anyways, here is the talk – enjoy!

I hope you find it interesting. When I have time I’ll post the second talk.