This week’s newsletter is a bit rushed, so please excuse any haphazardness. There’s a storm heading toward the southeast coast of the US, and we’re busy watching the storm track and preparing our evacuation strategy, just in case. Nonetheless, we’ve got a few articles we think you’ll find interesting.
Last week’s newsletter about PD Summer School was focused on actions that you can take to help yourself. But, these efforts should be balanced with things that you do for the benefit of others.
Dr. Laurie Mischley’s research indicates that the top two factors that influence a more rapid Parkinson’s disease progression are loneliness and socioeconomic factors. By, socioeconomic factors, we mean that those with less financial resources (poor) will likely see a faster PD progression.
Gavin Mogan has a passion for outreach and assistance to those who are economically less fortunate (but possibly more fortunate in other aspects of life). This video shares one of his “out of the box” (or more appropriately “outside the zone”) ideas: raising money for Parkinson’s Si Buko Uganda by shooting 3,000 3-pointers in under 24 hours.
In a related article, he shares his thoughts on playing basketball, self-discovery, and loving the game instead of counting minutes of exercise or measuring intensity:
Speaking of Basketball
Speaking of basketball, Dr. David Vaillancourt of the University of Florida shares a passion for the sport. He’s also been researching the use of standard MRI technology to measure Parkinson’s progression, finding that the amount of free water in the substantia nigra was a significant biomarker that could be measured with standard MRI technology. We previously covered this here:
A new research study building on this prior research, indicates that his team now believes that they can reliably diagnose Parkinson’s disease by MRI:
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. We can’t recommend this treatment, because when it was tested in a clinical trial, it couldn’t beat the placebo. And truth be told, there’s a very interesting reason why it couldn’t beat the placebo…it was the placebo!
This was the puzzling and frustrating result of phase 2b of Dr. Laurie Mischley’s clinical trial of…
AN ABBREVIATED ROUND-UP OF PARKINSON’S NEWS
- To help people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) achieve their fitness goals, the Brian Grant Foundation (BGF) has launched its Parkinson’s Exercise Class Finder, an easy-to-use online tool that allows people with PD to search for exercise classes in their areas. They need people to submit information on their classes, because there are apparently no classes within 250 miles of me, and maybe 20 classes across the entire world. So, at this stage, they need people who hold exercise classes for PD to submit their information. I hope they can make this useful to the PD community over time: https://briangrant.org/bgf-launches-online-exercise-class-finder/
- The Parkinson’s Foundation posted a couple of articles about PD and marijuana. Part 1 can be found here:
- The American Parkinson’s Disease Association has a good overview of the classification of different types of pain in PD:
- The Parkinson’s Foundation is investing in research on Vitamin K2 in PD: https://www.parkinson.org/blog/science-news/Vitamin-K2
- BBC News has a case study about a man suffering from normal pressure hydrocephalus, a treatable condition that can easily be mistaken for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s:
- A Johns Hopkins University study says that Deep Brain Stimulation improves Parkinson’s symptoms by measurably increasing dopamine. This is a very interesting observation, because it is not clear how or why this would be the case, as the standard assumption is the progressive death of dopamine producing neurons.
PD + ED – An Awkward Conversation About PD & Male Sexual Health
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…