Archives May 2021

Parkinson’s Disease: Its Over Diagnosis And Under Diagnosis

In this era of genuinely marvelous, high-tech, medical devices, it is sometimes surprising that certain diseases are still diagnosed “clinically,” meaning that the clinician makes the call based on just the story of symptoms and the physical exam. Parkinson’s disease is one such disease. There is no “Parkinson scan” or “Parkinson blood-test” to rely upon. MRI scans, CT scans and blood tests are usually normal in people with this disease.

Of course, once upon a timebefore scans and blood-tests even existedthis is how all diagnoses were made. So, in a sense, diagnosing Parkinson’s disease gets back to the very roots of what doctors are supposed to do. But when there are no corroborative tests available to prove or disprove a diagnosis, even the doctor sometimes gets it wrong.

Before delving into the challenges of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, let’s first consider what is known about this condition.In 1817 James Parkinson, an English surgeon and apothecary, published a classic, short book entitled “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy.” In it, Parkinson identified a consistent pattern of physical abnormalities in six patients he had examined. Although people with identical abnormalities had doubtlessly been around for thousands of years, Parkinson was the first to recognize this pattern of abnormalities as a distinct condition. For this important achievement, the disease was eventually named for him.

In the book’s opening sentence Parkinson wasted no time in laying out prominent features of this disease: “Involuntary tremulous motion, with lessened muscular power, in parts [of the body] not in action and even when supported; with a propensity to bend the trunk forwards, and to pass from a walking to a running pace: the senses and intellects being uninjured.”

Subsequently, scientists discovered that degeneration of a limited group of brain cells containing the chemical transmitter dopamine was responsible for these clinical changes. (The group of brain cells involved is too slight to show up on brain scans in all but the most advanced of cases.) In 1967, levodopa (one of two ingredients in brand-name Sinemet) a drug the body can convert into dopamine, was found helpful in alleviating many of the symptoms. Later, other drugs (dopamine agonists) were created that improved symptoms by mimicking the action of the missing dopamine. These include bromocriptine (brand name Parlodel), pergolide (Permax), pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip). To date, there are no treatments that reliably stop or reverse the underlying disease-process.

As a condition that affects about one percent of people over the age of 60, Parkinson’s disease is usually on the radar screen of patients and doctors alike when new symptoms are present that suggest the disease. That other conditions can resemble it was not news to James Parkinson who devoted a chapter of his 1817 book to “Shaking palsy distinguished from other diseases with which it may be confounded.”In my consultation practice of neurology, I see both over-diagnosis and under-diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The problem usually centers on one of the most visible of symptoms, the tremor. When tremor of the hands is present, doctors often diagnose Parkinson’s disease, even when another condition is to blame. When tremor is absent, doctors often fail to consider Parkinson’s disease, even when it is present. One key to accurate diagnosis is to focus on the characteristics of the tremor itself. The Parkinsonian tremor usually affects one hand first, and at all stages of the disease the initially affected hand remains more tremulous than the other hand. And, as Parkinson himself emphasized, the tremor is most evident when the hand is at rest or supported, and decreases when the hand is in the air or put to use. In other conditions that cause hand-tremors, the hands are more equally affected, and the tremor is more evident when the hands are in the air or put to use.

What about cases in which no tremor is present? Because symptoms of Parkinson’s disease worsen slowlyyear by year instead of month by monthpatients and their families often mistake these changes as due to normal, healthy aging. Non-tremor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can include relative immobility of body-parts (hypokinesia), especially of the face which can show a mask-like lack of expression. Movements, once initiated, are slow (bradykinesia). Walking, as James Parkinson noted, involves a bent-forward posture with shuffling, short steps and reduced swinging of the arms. Sometimes the body’s center of gravity gets ahead of the feet’s ability to catch up, resulting in the passing “from a walking to a running pace” that Parkinson described and is known as festination.

The physical exam also shows clumsiness in hands and feet. Increased muscle tone, called “rigidity,” is encountered in the patient’s neck and arm muscles, even while they are supposed to be relaxed.

Patients who have Parkinson’s disease without tremor are often the most gratifying cases to treat. Having developed their problems slowly and having believed all along that their symptoms were due to aging, they are happily astonished by the rapid improvement in function produced by appropriate medication.

(C) 2005 by Gary Cordingley

RTÉ’s Eddie Hobbs attracts massive audience

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In Ireland, RTÉ’s new “Rip Off Republic” TV series has attracted a record audience of 667,000 for its second show, making it one of Ireland’s top TV programs. The second show broadcast on Monday 15th August captured 50.5% of all TV viewers in Ireland.

The series which contains four shows broadcast from Dublin City University’s “Helix” centre, aims to expose over pricing and the exploitation of consumers in Ireland. Hosted by financial advisor Eddie Hobbs, the show has attracted huge media commentry, particularly as it has attracted the attention of the governments main party, Fianna Fail.

The main argument against the show has been that it generalises issues and makes exaggerated claims – for example it claimed that restaurants make a 300%+ profit on a typical bottle of wine, leading the viewer to believe that all businesses are making such a profit. This claim has since come under attack by restaurant owners nationwide. Other arguments against the show have stated that while inflation is less than 3%, wage growth is over 6% meaning people are still better off.

The third show will be broadcast on 29th August at 9.30pm on RTÉ One. It will focus on the transport sector in Ireland.

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James Brown dies of pneumonia

Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown, often referred to as the Godfather of Soul, died in Atlanta due to congestive heart failure, combined with pneumonia. His death at age 73 was announced by his agent. After his dentist noticed something unusual with him, Brown was told to visit a doctor immediately. He was taken into the hospital yesterday for treatment of his pneumonia until his death at around 1:45 AM (6:45 AM GMT). It is not known whether he received a pneumonia vaccination, as recommended for people of his age.

He was born in 1933 and grew up in poverty until he formed James Brown & The Famous Flames. His influence on 20th century music, from funk to hip hop was profound.

Before he died, he scheduled a New Year’s Eve concert series in New Jersey and New York that would help kick off a 2007 tour.

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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The Value Of Mini Storage Units In Estero Fl

byAlma Abell

When many people think of renting storage units, their first thoughts go to larger units that allow them to pack away all sorts of belongings for longer periods of time. Not everyone needs a storage unit that is large enough to pack away a whole house worth of belongings. The fact is that there are situations in which mini storage units in Estero, FL are an ideal fit. Here are a couple of scenarios in which a smaller unit can be just right.

Packing Away the Seasonal Decorations

For people who live in apartments, closet space is often at a premium. Even a creative individual who knows how to use the space under the bed can still find that there just isn’t room for all those holiday decorations. By checking out the options for mini storage units in Estero, FL, it is possible to find one that makes it easy to organize those decorations by holiday, season, or any other method that works for the customer. Leasing the unit will make it easier to keep everything in order at home, and getting to the right decorations will always be a breeze.

Storing Things For Future Use

Another away to make use of these mini storage units is as a place for things that do not fit in the present apartment, but will be needed when the tenant moves to a larger place. By having the unit rented, it is easier to take advantage of a great deal on a dining room set that will work great in that larger apartment someday. It is also a great way to collect wall art and other things that are not needed now, but will come in handy in a year or two.

There are all sorts of ways to put these mini storage units to good use. For anyone that could use a little extra storage space, contact the experts at Romar Rentals. They can help customers identify the right unit for their needs, and ensure that there is enough space for anything that they choose to store. Best of all, the pricing and the terms will be competitive with anything else that the customer can find in the local area.

California teamsters picket Orange County transit system in contract dispute

Sunday, July 8, 2007

In an ongoing labor dispute from May of this year in California, United States, Teamsters Local 952, which represents the Orange County Transportation Authority‘s 1,200 coach operators, went on strike at 12:35 a.m. (0035 hrs) PDT Saturday morning after a cooling-off period declared by State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expired.

Sanctioned picket lines have been formed outside Authority facilities in Garden Grove, Anaheim, and Santa Ana. About 200,000 regular passengers are affected.

Major sticking points in the negotiation appear to be related to cost-of-living increases and pension funding allocations. The strike was declared after the Authority’s bargaining agent said he lacked authority to approve a union counter proposal, which he said had to be taken before the OCTA’s board of directors, who will not be available to meet until Monday the 9th at the earliest.

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News briefs:April 23, 2010

 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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Kent Hovind’s April 2007 appeal denied

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Kent Hovind‘s motion for acquittal was denied on Wednesday, April 18, 2007. Hovind, a Pensacola young Earth creationist and operator of Dinosaur Adventure Land, along with his wife, Jo Hovind, were found guilty in November 2006 on 58 federal counts of “willful failure” to payroll taxes, structuring bank withdrawals, and obstructing federal agents.

On January 19, 2007 Kent was sentenced to ten years in prison and ordered to pay US$640,000 in owed funds to the Internal Revenue Service, pay prosecution’s court costs of $7,078, and serve three years parole once released.

In his motion, Hovind had contended that under the rule in a case called United States v. Davenport the crime is not the individual withdrawals, but is instead the total transaction, also known as the “unit of the crime.” Thus, Hovind argued that in his case there was no “unit of the crime” “separate and distinct from the alleged act of withdrawing, and without such a separate amount to be structured [. . .] there could be no crime alleged, and no conviction on any charge in Counts 13 through 57.” The trial court rejected Hovind’s “unit of the crime” argument.

Had the judge ruled in Hovind’s favor his sentence would have reduced Hovind’s prison sentence from ten years to five years.

Jo Hovind sentencing was delayed pending the ruling on the motion. She will be sentenced soon though no date has been set.

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Last Wills And Testament: Nuncupative Wills

By Lorabella

Although more than one type of will exists, not all of the fifty states accept them as legally binding or valid. Nuncupative wills are quite possibly the least recognized type of will. The guidelines given by the states severely limit the right to make such an agreement as well as the amount and disposition of property that can be orchestrated within such an agreement.

What Are Nuncupative Wills?

Oral or spoken wills are referred to as nuncupative wills. The individual creating the will, referred to as the testator, states how he wants his property to be distributed to his inheritors. He will need to state all of these in front of two or more witnesses. These are not considered valid in every state. Typically, this type of will must be spoken in front of a minimum of two witnesses. In some states, more than two witnesses are required in order for it to be legally binding.

This type of will is sometimes referred to as a deathbed will since this is commonly when it takes place. The intention for this type of will in the states that accept it as valid is to provide a safety measure for those individuals who find themselves on their deathbed without a written will in place.

What Is the Validity of Nuncupative Wills?

In general, a minimum of two witnesses must be present in order for a nuncupative will to be valid. In some states, this minimum is three witnesses.


Today, nuncupative wills are often intended for service men or women who are in active service. Therefore, some states only recognize the validity of one when it has been created by a service member. The reason behind this is that in times of war, the need may arise to create a will upon fear of imminent death without access to legal services or documentation.

What Are the Disadvantages of Nuncupative Wills?

Nuncupative wills are often found to be invalid if a written will exists. This is particularly true when the spoken will contradicts the contents of the written one. Therefore, misunderstandings can arise that will not lead to the deceased persons property being distributed in the manner that he desired.

The possibility of fraud exists with nuncupative wills since the only proof of the testators intentions is the word of the witnesses. It would be quite simple for two witnesses to get together to plan a fraudulent oral will.

Even if the will is spoken in front of two witnesses by the dying person, other people can come forward and claim that fraud has occurred when it has not. If the proper precautions have not been made, the will could be determined to be invalid.

Oral wills that are made with the intention of changing part of a written will are usually not accepted as valid. Changes to written wills need to be drafted in writing.

Oral wills might not be valid if the individual moved to a new state of residence prior to his death yet the will was created in his original state of residence.

What Are Some of the Requirements for a Nuncupative Will to be Valid?

Depending on the state, one or more of the following circumstances must be met in order for the agreement to be considered valid:

Each of the witnesses must write down the intentions of the deceased within ten days of his statement.

The will must be submitted within six months of the persons death for probate.

Dollar-amount restrictions must be met.

The terms must have been stated during the last illness experienced by the deceased individual.

What States Accept Holographic Wills as Valid?

Approximately two dozen states accept this type of will as valid. Among the states that accept nuncupative wills to be valid as long as the states requirements have been met are: Mississippi, New York, and Ohio.

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International participants showcase different industry cultures at 2008 Taipei Game Show

Friday, January 25, 2008

B2B Trade Area of Taipei Game Show, criticized by trade buyers last year, but accompanied with 2008 Taiwan Digital Content Forum, moved to the second floor at Taipei World Trade Center for world-wide participants with a better exchange atmosphere this year.

Not only local OBMs (Softstar Entertainment, Soft-World International Corp., International Games System Corp., …, etc.) but also companies from New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea showcased different specialists with multiple styles. Especially on South Korea, participated members from G? Trade Show (Game Show & Trade, All-Round, aka Gstar) showcased gaming industry of South Korea and the G? upcoming at this November with brochures.

In the 2-days Digital Content Forum, world-class experts not only shared industry experiences, members from Taiwan Gaming Industry Association also discussed and forecasted marketing models for gaming industry. With participations from governmental, industrial, and academical executives world-wide, this forum helps them gained precious experiences of digital content industry from several countries.

According to the Taipei Computer Association, the show and forum organizer, the digital content industry in Taiwan was apparently grown up recent years as Minister of Economic Affairs of the Republic of China Steve Ruey-long Chen said at Opening Ceremony yesterday. Without R&Ds from cyber-gaming, and basic conceptions from policies and copyright issues, this (digital content) industry will be fallen down in Taiwan. If this industry wanted to be grown up in sustainability, gaming OBMs in Taiwan should independently produce different and unique games and change market style to market brands and games to the world.

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