Tag Archives: Parkinson’s Disease

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
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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…

 

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.

Drumming is Coming to Nanaimo

Drumming (therapy) classes for PWP (Persons with Parkinson’s) is coming to Nanaimo.

After a successful demonstration at the February PD Support Group, the first of four weekly hour-long classes will take place on Wednesday March 1 2017 at 3pm. If all goes well and interest is good, there will be more sessions to follow.

Lessons will be led by Dave McGrath, a local Nanaimo drummer who also makes his own African style hand drums which we will use for the lessons. If you are interested in participating or just want more information and you are not a member of the support group (in which case you would have received an invitation email from us) then send us a message through the Contact Menu.

Djembe Drums By Vahram Mekhitarian - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Djembe Hand Drums
Image by Vahram MekhitarianOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

 

Drumming as Therapy

A page on the about.healing.com website on the Therapeutic Effects of Drumming (accessed 2017-02-26) has the following:

Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Current research is now verifying the therapeutic effects of ancient rhythm techniques. Recent research reviews indicate that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self.

Other studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing, and healing effects of drumming on Alzheimer’s patients, autistic children, emotionally disturbed teens, recovering addicts, trauma patients, and prison and homeless populations. Study results demonstrate that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders, and a wide range of physical disabilities.

The article goes on to say:

Drumming Accesses the Entire Brain

The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision for example is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music, “Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, as with Parkinson’s patients…” The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experiences become.

I’ve been to several of Dave McGrath’s evening group lessons and they are both fun and challenging – good exercise for the brain and the arms.

Research on Dancing and Parkinson’s

On January 23, CBC had an interesting article on Dancing and it’s effects on people with Parkinson’s Disease. The article, Dancing with Parkinson’s research, is worth a read. If you’re interested in trying a little dancing, Symphony Neuro-Rehab will run a Dance with Parkinsons class if enough people sign up.

 

February 2017 Carepartners Workshop

A Carepartners Workshop is being held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Burnaby Executive Suites at 4201 Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby. It runs from 10:00 am until 2:30 pm. Anyone wishing to travel same-day will have to catch the 06:30 am ferry out of Departure Bay in Nanaimo in order to arrive in time for registration which opens at 9:30.

Here is the link for registration details and to register (open the section on Regional Conferences and Seminars).

We’re looking into whether or not there will be special rates for workshop attendees who wish to spend the night at the hotel.

If anyone is interested in going and would like to carpool, leave a comment on this post or send us a message via the Contact Us Page and we will try to find you a ride or a rider.

Here is a Google Map showing the proposed route from the church where we hold monthly meetings to the Burnaby hotel.

Device Helps Control Hand Tremors

I found the following December 7 BBC story, The invention that helped me write again, from a posting on a Facebook page for Young Onset PD (YOPD). The article, which includes a cool 3 minute video, shows how a special vibrating wrist-band can greatly reduce the hand tremors of Emma, a young woman with YOPD, to the point where she can do graphic design again. The effects of this device are pretty spectacular. Apparently it was inspired by spoons that can reduce tremors through a feedback vibration. I have not been able to find out any information on availability as a commercial device though.