April 21, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

Major Tom to Ground Control … this week’s report comes from  somewhere over the North Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 36,000 feet, where we are currently testing air turbulence therapy for Parkinson’s Disease … so apologies in advance for any and all typos.

In an otherwise slow holiday week, University of Cambridge researchers are suggesting that an existing high blood pressure medication, felodipine, might be repurposed to treat Parkinson’s Disease. This study reminds me of another high blood pressure medication, isradipine, also a calcium channel blocker, which saw positive results in an animal model study 12 years ago. Since then, research has progressed considerably. Researchers have recently completed a 3 year phase 3 study of isradipine, and these latest results are expected to be published within the next 2-3 weeks. This study might bring good news to those with early stage PD: https://parkinson.fit/forums/topic/isradipine-phase-3-study-results-expected-soon/

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is an amazing quality of life improvement for people with tremor dominant Parkinson’s. This video clip from Irish television, where someone who has had DBS surgery switches the stimulator off and then back on, is a great example of how significant this treatment can be:
https://www.joe.ie/fitness-health/watch-irish-parkinsons-patient-demonstrates-dramatic-effects-deep-brain-stimulation-665649
More on DBS from the Davis Phinney Foundation:
https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/life-before-after-deep-brain-stimulation-dbs-with-brendan-cain/

Jimmy Choi was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s Disease 16 years ago at the age of 27. Now 43, he has embraced intense exercise and for the past couple years has shown off his ninja skills competing on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior”: https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190416/parkinsons-diagnosis-now-drives-american-ninja-warrior–

Parkinson’s Awareness Month trivia: Parkinson’s Disease is named after Dr. James Parkinson, the first doctor of western medicine to study the condition, having written an essay in 1817: https://parkinsonslife.eu/james-parkinson-the-man-behind-the-shaking-palsy/

Local news coverage of Parkinson’s Disease programs:

Bangor, Maine – Husson University students run a boxing program for people with Parkinson’s: https://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Husson-students-throw-punch-in-fight-against-Parkinsons-disease-508585501.html

West Lafayette, Indiana (Rock Steady Boxing) – https://www.wlfi.com/content/news/Packing-a-punch-against-Parkinsons-Disease-508721981.html

Ottumwa, Iowa (Rock Steady Boxing) – https://www.kyoutv.com/home/2019/04/17/ymca-teaches-boxing-class-to-fight-parkinsons-disease/

Tucson, Arizona (Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery/PWR) – https://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/one-of-a-kind-gym-in-tucson-is-helping-people-with-parkinsons-improve-daily-life

Seattle, Washington (Dance for Parkinson’s) – https://q13fox.com/2019/04/17/healthy-living-dance-class-helps-people-living-with-parkinsons-disease/

In the above report they talk to Nan Little, author of a fantastic PD journey book, “If I Can Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Why Can’t I Brush My Teeth?: Courage, Tenacity & Love Meet Parkinson’s Disease”: https://www.amazon.com/Climb-Kilimanjaro-Cant-Brush-Teeth-ebook/dp/B01DAVSAWK/

Rutgers University offers a dance program for Parkinson’s: http://btn.com/2019/04/19/a-rutgers-program-gets-parkinsons-patients-to-boogie-down-btn-livebig/

The Los Angeles Times published a feature article on The Parkinson Voice Project and their Loud Crowd therapy: https://www.latimes.com/local/orangecounty/tn-wknd-et-parkinsons-speech-loud-crowd-los-alamitos-20190418-story.html

Upcoming Events:

The World Parkinson Congress is held every 3 years, bringing together researchers, health professionals and people with Parkinson’s Disease. This year it will be held in Kyoto Japan from June 4-7. If you’re going to the conference, and would like to meet up, drop me an email, brett@parkinson.fit. Conference info: https://wpc2019.org/

Bastyr University is hosting its second annual PD Summer School program, August 18-23, near Seattle Washington. It is pricey, but I’m curious what insights they have to offer: https://bastyrpdschool.org

Previous Week – April 13, 2019