Parkinson's Humor at the Supermarket Checkout

Parkinson’s Humor at the Supermarket Checkout

If you're easily offended or overly sensitive about either your Parkinson's symptoms, or those of a loved one, then I can safely predict that you will find the following video offensive. But watch it anyway, and try your best not to laugh for the next 90 seconds. It is unfortunate that Parkinson's Disease takes away our abilities to perform some tasks, and makes us feel more self-conscious in social situations, but don't let take away your sense of humor. What's funny about this piece is not the tremors, it is the facial expression of the customers and the awkward situation ...
June 30, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

June 30, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

This Week's Highlights: Parkinson's humor at the supermarket checkout; more evidence that PD starts in the gut; Blue Water Navy Vietnam vets finally get disability benefits; Michael J. Fox Foundation plans to take their show on the road; brain changing benefits of exercise; Parkinson's and Pain - is your mattress trying to kill you; Photobiomodulation and a stroll through the PD Red Light District ...
Am I a Fool to Consider Red Light Therapy?

Am I a Fool to Consider Red Light Therapy?

I know what you're thinking, there must be a sucker born every minute. That is a reasonable hypothesis, and by my calculation, probably a gross underestimate. The CIA estimates 2018 global population to be 7,503,828,180, with a birth rate of 18.2 births per 1,000 population. This translates to approximately 259 births per minute. In order to reach our target of one sucker born of every minute, we need 1 out of 259, or 0.38% of those born to be suckers. (Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html) In the USA alone, there are approximately 3.8 million births per year, or 7.23 per minute. In order ...
Wearing a red light bucket hat on your head for Parkinson’s

Wearing a red light bucket hat on your head for Parkinson’s

One of the most intriguing PD stories of the year has been an unusual fashion trend taking place in Tasmania (Australia). Wearing a red light bucket on your head for Parkinson’s is literally turning heads in Tasmania. The treatment is known as photobiomodulation. It is experimental and unproven. It does not claim to cure Parkinson's. The people who have been experimenting with this technology claim to see slow and subtle improvements in PD symptoms over time. It is not a double-blind study, and it is possible a placebo effect is responsible for any improvements. An article on the ABC News ...
Photobiomodulation, Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and Neuroplasticity

Photobiomodulation, Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and Neuroplasticity

I first read about red light therapy for the brain in the Norman Doidge book from 2015, “The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity”. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual's life, and the book explores different factors that may promote positive changes, particularly in the context of brain injury or neurological disease. This Doidge book is best known in Parkinson’s circles for Chapter 2, “A Man Walks Off His Parkinsonian Symptoms” the story of John Pepper, who used exercise (primarily fast walking) and conscious control ...
Parkinson's and Pain: Have You Thought About Your Mattress Lately?

Parkinson’s and Pain: Have You Thought About Your Mattress Lately?

I've been thinking a lot about Parkinson's and pain lately...not because it is a particularly fascinating topic, but let's just say that it is a topic of personal relevance. Recently, I was chatting with a friend who also has PD, and we were discussing our mutual enjoyment of travel. He remarked on how his (early stage) PD symptoms seemed to bother him less while traveling. He wonders if it is the distraction or break from the routine that helps. Normally, I'd steer the discussion toward dopamine and the placebo effect, because this is great example of creating your own placebo ...
The brain-changing benefits of exercise - Wendy Suzuki

The brain-changing benefits of exercise – Wendy Suzuki

Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist at New York University who studies brain plasticity (the ability of the brain to change over time) and how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory and higher cognitive abilities in humans. If you are not among the 3 million people who have already watched her video “The brain-changing benefits of exercise”, you might find her video inspirational and enlightening. (And don’t forget that caregivers need exercise too.) ...
Roxanne, You Don't Have To Put On The Red Light (But It Might Help Your Parkinson's)

Roxanne, You Don’t Have To Put On The Red Light (But It Might Help Your Parkinson’s)

(Please forgive me in advance, but I have red lights on my mind.) It seems like every other day, there is another ridiculous study about how one thing or another affects the probability of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Take for example, the recent study that concluded that residents of the red light district of Amsterdam are significantly less likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease than residents of brothels or bordellos that use either black lights or fluorescent lighting. When I first read this study, I was mostly intrigued that the researchers managed to get funding. I was not surprised that the Michael ...
PD Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy Experience (Photobiomodulation)

PD Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy Experience (Photobiomodulation)

On June 22, 2019, I began a 3 times per week, full-body Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy (Photobiomodulation) treatment with a local chiropractor (Dr. Eric Bunge). My primary objective is relief of muscle pain, soreness and. inflammation which may be directly or indirectly related to my Parkinson's condition. I am also aware of the group of PD sufferers in Australia who are experimenting with red light hats for treating PD symptoms, and am curious if I will see any effect on either PD or muscle pain/soreness. I am also aware of the power of the placebo effect. I will be sharing my ...
Nenad Bach & Ping Pong Parkinson

Nenad Bach & Ping Pong Parkinson

From the first time I saw stories about Ping Pong Parkinson, I was sold. I’ve always enjoyed ping pong, even though I’m horrible at the game, and I spend 90+% of the time chasing the ball around the room. So, come to think of, I’m not really sure that I do like ping pong. I like the idea of it, but chasing the little ball around the room, and especially when the ball rolls under a piece of furniture…that is not so much fun. But I do have fond memories of ping pong in my youth, playing in my friend ...
Jon Pawelkop – 50 State Rock Steady Boxing Tour

Jon Pawelkop – 50 State Rock Steady Boxing Tour

Congratulations to Jon Pawelkop, who just completed his goal of visiting a Rock Steady Boxing affiliate in every one of the 50 states. Jon believes in the Rock Steady program and wanted to spread the word about how RSB is changing the lives of thousands of people with Parkinson’s. Read about his journey via his Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/625146757836705/ ...
June 23, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

June 23, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

This Week's Highlights: Is Laughter Still The Best Medicine - Carbidopa/Laughodopa Therapy; Best Blogs from World Parkinson Congress 2019; Gut bacteria ate my Parkinson's meds; magnetic button adapters; Performing DBS while you sleep (the patient that is, not the surgeon); what is the glymphatic system; somatic genetic mutations; PD Summer School; 50-state Rock Steady Boxing Tour; Ping Pong Parkinson; What's in the pipeline for PD; Hype or Hope for treatments in the news; and more ...
World Parkinson Congress 2019: Best of the Blog Reports

World Parkinson Congress 2019: Best of the Blog Reports

World Parkinson Congress 2019 in Kyoto was educational, inspirational, and a great excuse to visit Japan again. And in 3 years time, it'll give us an excuse to return to Barcelona for WPC 2022. What did we learn this time? I mean, aside from the fact that serving lunch at a Parkinson's Disease conference with chopsticks as the only utensil is a sick and twisted form of torture. We've highlighted some of the best official and unofficial blog reports from the conference: ...
Gut Bacteria Ate My Parkinson's Meds

Gut Bacteria Ate My Parkinson’s Meds

The dog ate my homework, and gut bacteria ate my Parkinson’s meds. I'm glad it wasn't the other way around. In spite of my poor attempt at humor, this is one of the most interesting scientific discoveries related to Parkinson’s Disease so far this year. No, it does not bring us any closer to a cure, but it is of practical significance because it identifies a naturally occurring scenario that can severely limit the effectiveness of levodopa ...
Carbidopa/Laughadopa: One Pill to Rule Them All

Carbidopa/Laughadopa: One Pill to Rule Them All

Someone once told me that laughter was the best medicine. I think it was the claims reviewer at my health insurance provider. Thanks to carbidopa/laughadopa therapy, I can repurpose so many of my Parkinson's symptoms to treat other symptoms, that the worse my PD gets, the better I feel. ‘Off’ time can be repurposed as meditation time. Loss of smell/taste can be useful, if not absolutely essential, in eating healthier. Soft voices give an excuse to shift attention and become better listeners. Periods of freezing can be research/self-analysis of how fear holds us back in other areas of life ...
Gavin Mogan - Parkinson’s Si Buko

Gavin Mogan – Parkinson’s Si Buko

Gavin Mogan has lived with Parkinson's for 11 years, and finds exercise and a positive attitude essential to maintaining a good quality of life. He is also a certified personal trainer in Richardson, Texas, offering personal and group training, with a particular focus on helping others battling Parkinson's or other health issues. Gavin's website is https://yourmove.fitness. [Update: Gavin is also now a contributing author on this website. View his contributions here: https://parkinson.fit/author/gavinmogan] Gavin recently traveled to Uganda, to learn from, and to offer support to a Parkinson's advocacy program in that country.  On his blog, he wrote about this experience, sharing ...
June 16, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

June 16, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

Weekly Update Highlights: Parkinson's Disease and the nagging spouse; Parkinson's Si Buko (the must-read inspiring effort in Uganda to educate that PD is not witchcraft); Generic Carbidopa/Levodopa Extended Release; Gut Bacteria Interferes with Parkinson's Disease Medication; PD research updates; diet and nutrition for Parkinson's; PD exercise programs in the news; and more ...
WPC2019 Anecdote: Parkinson's Disease and the Nagging Spouse

WPC2019 Anecdote: Parkinson’s Disease and the Nagging Spouse

My wife went to one session at the World Parkinson Congress 2019 without me.  It is my fault. I suggested it. I had another time commitment, so I suggested that she use the time to go to a panel discussion about living well with Parkinson's. I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what was said, or the context in which it was said. I only know what she told me she heard. Her takeaway from this session was that one of the panelists said that one of their keys to living well with Parkinson's was that it was very helpful ...
WPC2019: Role of Diet and Nutritional Supplements in Parkinson’s Disease Progression

WPC2019: Role of Diet and Nutritional Supplements in Parkinson’s Disease Progression

From the perspective of people with Parkinson's, one of the most interesting presentations at World Parkinson Congress 2019 was Laurie Mischley's talk "Is there any evidence that nutrients modify PD?" during the session "The Microbiome and Diet in Parkinson's disease". Dr. Laurie Mischley of Bastyr University is a leading researcher on diet and nutrition as it relates to Parkinson’s Disease. She wrote a book on the topic that was published back in 2009, and has continued to focus on this topic over the decade since. She is currently leading the CAM Care in PD study (Complementary & Alternative Medicine Care in ...
June 10, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

June 10, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

World Parkinson Congress 2019 Highlights: Remembering Tom Isaacs; Advice to caregivers: "Be a bit more of a selfish pig"; triple amputee with PD exclaims "If I can do it, you can do it. Get out and go!"; PD diet & nutrition study analyzes real world diet of people with PD to determine what helps and what doesn't; “Living Well, Running Hard: Lessons Learned from Living with Parkinson’s Disease”; plus a weekly roundup of Parkinson's related news ...
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