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 ...
Got Parkinson's? Get a Grip!

Got Parkinson’s? Get a Grip!

Losing your grip is more than just an analogy about Parkinson’s Disease. Quite literally, it's a physical manifestation of the disease, and one of the areas that is tested in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Score (UPDRS) motor score that is used to measure the severity of Parkinson's Disease. There was an interesting study several years ago that found that declining grip strength on its own, was a good indicator of PD progression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25653226 Why is this significant? Well, as Parkinson's gets worse, you lose more and more of your ability to grip, and this has negative impact on quality ...
May 19, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

May 19, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

Weekly Update - Highlights include: On-line Parkinson’s Exercise programs; another clinical trial treatment can't beat the placebo; feral pigs vs. placebo; dancing with your dog; Parkinson’s choruses sing for their supper; What I Wish I Knew, But Am Glad I Didn’t Know (When I Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s); and more ...
Parkinson's Disease: Placebo Effect & Dopamine

Parkinson’s Disease: Placebo Effect & Dopamine

Researchers hate the placebo effect, but for many of us with Parkinson’s, placebos help get us through the day. Maybe it’s a vitamin & supplement regimen, or your diet. Maybe there are foods you will or will not eat at particular times of the day. Maybe it’s your art or music. Maybe it’s your exercise routine. Maybe it’s your bicycle. Maybe it’s swimming. Maybe it’s dancing. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s neurofeedback. Maybe it’s yoga or tai chi. Maybe it’s a sport. Maybe it’s table tennis. Maybe it’s poetry. Maybe it’s your gun therapy. Maybe it’s a red light bucket ...
The Unexpected Placebo Effect of PD Volunteerism

The Unexpected Placebo Effect of PD Volunteerism

I'll admit it's an odd question to ask, "Can the action of volunteering and fund raising for PD research improve your Parkinson's symptoms today?" However, I believe that there is an interesting argument for how the action of volunteering and fund raising for PD research not only helps enable research that will benefit Parkinson's patients in the future, but can also improve your Parkinson's symptoms today. Let's call this the unexpected placebo effect of volunteerism ...
Parkinson’s Disease - The Placebo Effect, Genetics and the Placebome

Parkinson’s Disease – The Placebo Effect, Genetics and the Placebome

While traveling back home on a long cross country flight, I got a chance to read a fascinating book, "Suggestible You: The Curious Power of Your Brain to Deceive, Transform and Heal” by Erik Vance. The first few chapters are all about the placebo effect, and how some conditions, such as Parkinson's Disease, are particularly prone to it. In a nutshell, the placebo effect is the big challenge in phases 2 & 3 of a clinical trial for a new drug or treatment. In these so-called double blind studies, there is one group that receives the treatment and another group ...