August 17, 2019 - Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

August 17, 2019 – Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

This Week’s Highlights: Battling neurotransmitters; Interrupted Sleep - why recent changes in Restless Legs treatment may be relevant for some with PD; acetylcholine’s role in PD symptoms; Why Hope Is Important; PD Summer School; positive deviancy; magic therapy; Judas Priest; research briefs & more ...
PAIN: Explaining Why Changes To RLS Treatment Could Be Significant For Parkinson’s Pain

PAIN: Explaining Why Changes To RLS Treatment Could Be Significant For Parkinson’s Pain

If you have Parkinson’s disease and pain or discomfort that interrupts your sleep, then I think I have some fresh insight, and for some, something to discuss with your doctor. (I can’t believe I’m writing an article to explain another article that I wrote, but I’m still processing a lot of this myself.) Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a horribly misleading term for a condition that is estimated to affect 5% of the U.S. population. The branding, at least for my mind, connotes a playful condition, when it is actually a painful condition at worst and a sleep-depriving condition at ...
Beyond Dopamine - Does PD Effect Other Neurotransmitters?

Beyond Dopamine – Does PD Effect Other Neurotransmitters?

Trends in PD research are showing that in addition to Parkinson’s impact on the neurotransmitter dopamine and the dopamingeric system, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the brain’s cholingeric system are also impacted. This post reviews recent research (and some very old research that may need to be revisited), and discusses how two vitamins/supplements (Vitamin B12 and Citicoline/CDP Choline) may impact Parkinson’s disease. This should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your doctors and pharmacist about any vitamins or supplements that you are taking or considering. Related: Exhibit A: Yale Study challenges assumptions about PD and acetylcholine Several weeks ago, a ...
Why Hope Is Important to Living Well With Parkinson’s

Why Hope Is Important to Living Well With Parkinson’s

A friend forwarded me a video of an excellent inspirational and entertaining commencement address by legendary college football coach Lou Holtz. On the surface, it has nothing to do with living with Parkinson’s. He does not have PD, and he was addressing newly minted college graduates ready to take on the world. But when he said the following, I felt like he was speaking to me directly, right here and now: You have to have something to hope for, something to dream. And even though you’ve done great things so far, what’s going to happen now? I think the coach’s ...
Interrupted Sleep: Exploring Links Between Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome

Interrupted Sleep: Exploring Links Between Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease have interesting dopamine connections. Some Parkinson’s pain may actually be restless legs or arms. Could changes in RLS treatment over the past few years be relevant to getting a good night’s sleep with PD? To those unfamiliar with the condition, the terminology "Restless Legs" makes it difficult to accept as the serious condition that it is. Whenever I hear the term Restless Legs Syndrome, my brain thinks "ants in my pants". I picture myself back in elementary school, being forced to sit at a desk, when I’d rather be running around outside.  That is far from ...
August 11, 2019 - Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

August 11, 2019 – Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

This Week's Highlights: Beer festival therapy; "How Parkinson’s gave me a better long-range jumper, a better baseball throwing arm, and a better outlook on life!"; impulse control disorders; PD and Vitamins B12 & D; into the rabbit hole of vitamins and supplements ...
Buried Treasure (What Parkinson’s Gave Me)

Buried Treasure (What Parkinson’s Gave Me)

How Parkinson’s gave me a better long-range jumper, a better baseball throwing arm, and a better outlook on life! I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over a decade ago. I was 38. Parkinson’s is chronic, degenerative, and without a cure. Yet, over the last several years I’ve steadily improved my basketball and baseball games, deeply learning my capabilities in the process. Oh, and I also found both peace and purpose through Parkinson’s somewhere along the way! Parkinson’s is a neurological condition with full-body consequences. Most people’s Parkinson's troubles are movement-related. Some are most troubled by what’s referred to as non-motor ...
Low Vitamin D Associated With Increased Falls and Insomnia in PD

Low Vitamin D Associated With Increased Falls and Insomnia in PD

Vitamin D is another nutrient where deficiency and lower levels of the nutrient may be associated with worsening Parkinson’s disease symptoms. It may be a good idea to ask your doctor to include Vitamin D checks to your regular blood tests. A study published in the journal  Acta Neurologica Scandinavia reports that patients with PD had significantly lower Vitamin D levels relative to healthy controls. The study included 182 patients with PD and 185 healthy controls.  Most concerning was that PD patients with lower vitamin D levels had a significantly higher frequency of falls and insomnia. More information: Hui‐Jun Zhang et al, Relationship ...
August 3, 2019 - Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

August 3, 2019 – Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

This Week’s Highlights: Sustainable Exercise for Parkinson's; inhalable levodopa; Virtual Reality for PD Therapy; When grilled cheese attacks; inspiring people with PD; alpha-synuclein & spontaneous origami; PD Exercise news; Dyskinesia predictors; prescription drugs that might decrease or increase PD risk; dopamine and acetylcholine; basal tears vs. skin tests for biomarkers; blue light therapy glasses; PD constipation; and more ...
USC Develops Virtual Reality Application for Parkinson's Physiotherapy

USC Develops Virtual Reality Application for Parkinson’s Physiotherapy

Virtual Reality (VR) technology offers interesting possibilities for Parkinson's disease therapy. University of Southern California engineers are teaming with researchers and VR game designers to help Parkinson’s patients walk steadily with confidence, creating a VR application called Overcome. Traditional physiotherapy is centered around strength training, stretching, and movement practice, usually in a clinic setting. However, studies have shown that activity performed in the context of the environment, like say, stepping over an obstacle, aids long-term retention in motor skills far more than simply being told to lift one’s foot. This game, in an immersive virtual reality setting, offers the player ...