Here’s my latest prescription for Parkinson’s: Do the dishes, fold laundry, work in your garden and walk around your neighborhood.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease are often told to engage in (vigorous) exercise, but when my colleagues and I studied 48 individuals with Parkinson’s we found that everyday activities were much more effective than occasional strenuous exercise. We discovered that it is not so much the exercise but the routine activities from daily living that protect motor skills.
Exercise is fine, but there are many barriers to exercising. These include transportation, expense and time commitment. Furthermore, people typically exercise for only a short time and a few times per week. Continue reading →
Patient Dennis Thompson says he feels more limber–mentally and physically–due to University of Michigan’s Parkinson’s Movement & Dance class. And now the class is free.
Parkinson’s and dance don’t usually go together—until now. Read how one patient feels about Turner Senior Resource Center’s Movement & Dance Classes for people with Parkinson’s disease.
With Parkinson’s disease (PD), there’s a feeling of loss, a feeling that I just don’t control my body as well as I used to. Sometimes it feels like a downward slope that doesn’t stop. As you can imagine, I was quite worried about this, and then one day when I was in the Turner Senior Resource Center, I picked up a flyer about their Parkinson’s Movement & Dance Class and decided to give it a try. I’m soon going to sign up for my third session. Continue reading →
As we continue to remember comedian and actor Robin Williams, and in light of the recently shared news of his being diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease, we sat down with William Dauer, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the University of Michigan Movement Disorders Group to understand more about Parkinson’s and its potential connection with depression.
William Dauer, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the University of Michigan Movement Disorders Group
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which there is a progressive death of brain cells, also known as neurodegeneration. The loss of these neurons, which takes place most prominently in areas of the brain that control movement, leads to the characteristic symptoms of the disease: slowness of movement, soft voice, tremors, and difficulties with posture and gait, leading to devastating falls. It is increasingly appreciated, however, that the neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease affects the brain widely, leading to many other “non-motor”symptoms – the most feared of which is dementia, but that also includes symptoms such as depression, pain, abnormal sweating, and sleep disturbances.
Is there a cure for Parkinson’s?
No, neurons that use the chemical transmitter dopamine are particularly important for the symptoms of Continue reading →
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