An exciting new discovery on a genetic mutation that appears to be associated with Parkinson’s disease once again brings hope to some PD patients. The gene, known as VPS35, was identified in a large Swiss family with a history of Parkinson’s disease. While this may not be applicable for every case of Parkinson’s disease, it does open up possibilities about further understanding the genetic mechanisms related to certain cases where there is a strong family history of PD.
Swine flu is a respiratory infection, with symptoms similar to that of the common flu and people living with Parkinson’s disease are at particular risk of developing severe symptoms if infected. Swine flu is caused by a new strain of influenza A virus, called the H1N1 virus. Normally, swine flu is a disease confined to pigs, and transmission to humans is rare, but the new strain has spread rapidly from pigs to humans. In this current pandemic, human-to-human transmission by direct contact (hand to mouth or nose) and by sneezing or coughing.