Disappearing Dopamine: San Antonio Reachers Discover How Alcohol Impacts Decision Making

Disappearing Dopamine: San Antonio Reachers Discover How Alcohol Impacts Decision Making

Once again, science has proven that dopamine is wasted on all the wrong people. A new study published by researchers at the Delta Tau Chi fraternity chapter  of UT Health San Antonio found that alcohol impacts more than a human’s motor skills. It also discovered how it impacts a person’s decision making under the influence. I’m checking my sofa cushions for a dropped Parkinson’s pill, and these college punks are partying like it’s 2019! And getting the university to pick up the tab. At least that is the way that I like to picture this research ... when I found ...
If Parkinson's is no laughing matter, then why is laughter the best medicine?

If Parkinson’s is no laughing matter, then why is laughter the best medicine?

It is safe to say that my attempt at New Year's humor went down like a proverbial lead balloon ... a "flight of fancy" reminiscent of the Hindenburg ... that thankfully was merely a test flight with no flight crew and no passengers. The unsubscribe requests were fast, and a few were furious. What I found to be most odd were the responses of people who wanted to lecture me that “Parkinson’s disease is no laughing matter.” ...
January 1, 2021 - Parkinson FIT Special New Year's Update

January 1, 2021 – Parkinson FIT Special New Year’s Update

This is a test of an emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to place your head between your legs, and kiss your keister goodbye ...
[2021: A PD Odyssey]  #1 - Lost In The Inner Circle of Thought

[2021: A PD Odyssey] #1 – Lost In The Inner Circle of Thought

I was trapped near the inner circle of thought. I knew that being apathetic was a pathetic way to be, but I didn't care. If there was any hope for escape, I had to think fast ... literally. If I didn’t get my thoughts racing faster and faster, I would never be able to achieve escape velocity. A panic attack might be my only way out ...
[2021: A PD Odyssey] Preface - TL;DR

[2021: A PD Odyssey] Preface – TL;DR

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. People say that I have a way with words, but most will argue that my way is demeaning to the words, not to mention an exercise in futility for both the reader and the writer. I am a word bender, perhaps the last of my kind. I bend and manipulate words not for any greater good, but often solely for my own pleasure. I am a legend in what is left of my own mind ...
September 28, 2019 - Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

September 28, 2019 – Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

This Week’s Highlights: PD vs. Sleep (Sleeping with the enemy); smart watch fall detection; Every Day is Opening Day; Could an existing prostrate drug really slow down PD progression?; Can exergaming really motivate couch potatoes or is it an excuse for overpriced exercise equipment that gets used for only a few months before it becomes a dust collecting eyesore in the corner of the room?; and more PD news ...
Sleeping With The Enemy (Parkinson's Disease and Sleep)

Sleeping With The Enemy (Parkinson’s Disease and Sleep)

Sleep disorders are one of the most common problems experienced by people with Parkinson's Disease. A major study concluded that more than 60% of people with PD experience sleep-related difficulties, with this percentage rising based on the length of time living with the disease. Insufficient sleep can severely impact quality of life, and exacerbate other PD symptoms. Like many other aspects of PD, while many people have sleep problems, they do not all have the same type of sleep disturbances. If you want to improve your sleep, it is important to understand the type(s) of sleep disturbance that you experience ...
Living with PD

Living with PD

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September 1, 2019 - Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

September 1, 2019 – Parkinson FIT Weekend Update

This Week’s Highlights: The PD clinical trial that proves the power of placebo; My God, that’s a lot of basketball; Diagnosing PD by MRI; on-line PD exercise finder/directory; an awkward conversation about PD and male sexual health; and more ...
Why Placebos & A Positive Attitude Are More Important Than You Think

Why Placebos & A Positive Attitude Are More Important Than You Think

Please don’t try this first part at home... What if I told you that you could snort saline solution up your nose and it would significantly improve your Parkinson’s disease symptoms? When you inhale the solution, it will work better if you line down, and tilt your head back. Take your time, and release the solution a little bit at a time...at least over 5 minutes, and maybe as many as 10 minutes. And what if I told you that this has already been attempted in a clinical trial, and the improvements measured were clinically significant? There’s only one problem ...
PD + ED - An Awkward Conversation About PD & Male Sexual Health

PD + ED – An Awkward Conversation About PD & Male Sexual Health

Male sexual health is an awkward topic to discuss, but I feel compelled to share this, because for some people this information may be extremely helpful. One of the most unusual facts that I learned at PD Summer School last week is that men with Parkinson's are sometimes concerned about nocturnal and morning erections. It was explained that these are a normal occurrence, and that there is more cause for concern if you are not experiencing them. What? Well, let's start with why someone might be concerned about this issue in the first place. According to various studies, somewhere between ...
Parkinson’s Disease Summer School 2019 (Lifestyle & Nutrition Secrets of the Positive Deviants)

Parkinson’s Disease Summer School 2019 (Lifestyle & Nutrition Secrets of the Positive Deviants)

Last week, I spent the week at PD Summer School, a full week of Parkinson’s wellness education. Dr. Laurie Mischley has spent the last 2 decades studying lifestyle and nutrition factors associated with either slower (better) or faster (worse) progression of Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to identify and implement positive deviance strategies that can be used to slow Parkinson’s disease progression ...
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 ...
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 ...
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