Nanaimo Caregiver Support Group

Meetings for the new Nanaimo Caregiver Support Group will be held at the Hope Lutheran Church, 2174-Departure Bay Road on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 2pm until 4pm.

The next three meetings are November 1, November 16 and December 6 after which there will be a review of when and how to continue.

 

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Dr. Jonathan Squires on Medication Management in PD

HeadWay, aka the Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre, recently sponsored a talk by Dr. Jonathan Squires on medication management in PD. A copy of his slides are available as a PDF at the following link:

The Art of Medication Management in Parkinson’s including Minimizing the Risk of Motor Fluctuations

There are a total of 63 slides in the presentation so I have created a short table of contents to help you find a section more quickly:

SECTION PAGE
PARKINSON’S DISEASE 101 3
HOW IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE DIAGNOSED? 6
SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE 7
PROGRESSION OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE 17
TREATMENT OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE 18
MOTOR COMPLICATIONS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE 36
MOTOR FLUCTUATIONS 37
WEARING OFF 38
OFF-PERIOD DYSTONIA 42
DELAYED KICKING IN 43
FREEZING OF GAIT 44
NON-MOTOR FLUCTUATIONS 45
THE ROLE OF LEVODOPA 51
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT BOTHERSOME SYMPTOMS? 53

Dancing and Parkinson’s

Susan brought the following article from the Parkinson Post to my attention:

You should be dancing

Makes you want to start dancing again!

There is a Rhythm and Moves class that has been offered from time to time for Nanaimo area Parkies. There is no class at present because not enough people signed up but if enough interest materializes the instructors will reconsider the cancellation. If you are interested add a comment to this post or send us a message through the Contact page.

 

New Rhythms and Moves & PWR! Classes (Updated)

Updated with corrected times
Symphony Neurological Rehabilitation’s Spring classes at Vibe Studio 

start next Tues. May 23,  

 
Pre-registration is required thru Symphony clinic 250-618-4548 
 
$80/8 weeks (we miss the weeks when the Parky group meets)

 
TIMES:
 
12:00-1:00pm 12:30 – 1:30 pm Rhythms and Moves for Brain Health (corrected times)
 
1:45- 2:45 pm  PWR! Moves (adapted exercise, seated class)
Contact info. for our instructor Genya –  
250-739-0589

Cycling and Parkinson’s

An NBC news article on cycling and Parkinson’s disease was brought to my attention by one of our members.  Thanks Susan! The research shows that a few hours of ‘intense’ cycling a week can relieve PD symptoms. In fact the article says: “(cycling) can even do something that medicine can’t – slow down the progression of the disease itself.”  As the neuroscientist Jay Alberts at Cleveland Clinic says: “Exercise is, in fact, medicine.”

Jay founded an organization called “Pedaling for Parkinson’s” which promotes cycling for managing PD symptoms and has helped set up numerous cycling programs at YMCAs across America.

Hmmm! Maybe we should be running PD cycling classes here in Nanaimo…

 

Fanga

Our new drumming class appears to be a success. We had 22 drummers in the third week up from 12 in week one. One thing that makes the class interesting is that it is not just about drumming. There’s hand-clapping, knee-slapping, foot-stomping and even singing.

The song that Dave has been teaching us is called Fanga (though it is often pronounced and written ‘funga‘) and is worth saying more about.

Fanga is an African greeting song. In our version, each line is sung first by the instructor and then echoed back by everyone else. The lyrics that we learned are:

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe

Ashe ashe

Ashe ashe

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe.

Note that ‘ashe’ is pronounced ‘a-shay’. The song Fanga was written by Babatunde Olatunji, a Nigerian born who spent much of his life introducing African music to America. The words are from the Yoruba language of Nigeria while the melody is taken from the American song ‘Li’l Liza Jane‘. See the Wikipedia link for Fanga song for more historical information.

But fanga is not just a song – it is also a rhythm and a dance. Here are some audio and video links for Fanga that are worth checking out:

Now if we could just get our dancers, drummers and singers together maybe we could put on quite a show.

 

Communicating with Drums

I recently came across a YouTube video of a presentation called Do You Speak Djembe?  In light of the new PD drumming class that our Nanaimo PD support group helped start earlier this month, I thought that this would be worth mentioning.

The talk was part of a one day series of TEDx talks given under the theme of Technology vs Humanity in Hollywood in September 2016.  The drummer-presenter, Doug Manuel, makes a case for the importance of community in our lives and the drums ability to help bring together people into communities.

Doug’s message is interesting but, to me at least, the drum-dominated music is the reason to watch the video. Listen and you’ll find it hard not to be drawn in.

 

 

 

Cognition, Memory & Yoga

Laura Frey, who runs the Nanaimo Yoga class for persons with PD, recently forwarded the following link to me: Cognition and Memory in Parkinson’s Disease and Yoga: An Interview with Richard Rosen.

Richard Rosen is a California Yoga teacher who has adapted his program as a result of his PD diagnosis. The interviewer starts by asking:

What has been your personal experience with how yoga can affect cognitive function and memory?

Richard’s answer begins:

As soon as you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), if you’re not already a yoga student, get yourself to a yoga class…

That’s pretty powerful. Read the whole interview – there’s lots more interesting insight and several links at the end of the interview for those wanting to dig deeper. And underneath the interview window is a whole new blog, Yoga for Healthy Aging, to explore.