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PD Community Blog

Filtered by: 2014

Caregiver Burnout - Write it Down!

Monday September 15, 2014

Caregiver burnout is caused by emotional and physical stress that is associated with the toll caregiving can place on finances, social engagement and physical health. In this blog, we will explore simple things you can do to reduce the effect of caregiver strain on you.

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How Could I Be So Wrong?

Tuesday August 26, 2014

It’s hard to avoid a bit of hysteria on being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. To be scientifically rational and ruthlessly objective is hard even under the best circumstances. Nobody would confuse a PD diagnosis with the best of circumstances. One could even argue a little hysteria is an under-reaction to news of being stalked by a disorder that relentlessly hollows out those it afflicts until death.

The grimmest part? You are helpless to stop it. How can this be? In our present days of miracle and wonder, we carry little magic tablets that can conjure images of loved ones and allow interaction from a continent away. We travel thousands of miles in a few hours, watching the clouds from above. We even return from death regularly in emergency rooms across the World, relieved, grateful, but not especially surprised. The fact that, in the midst of this everyday sorcery, we somehow forgot to cure Parkinson’s Disease seems almost negligent.

Talk about pent up demand! After all these years, we are eager to embrace whatever holds the promise of curing, or at least slowing the inexorable progression of this disease. So recent news that a phase three trial of CoQ10 came up empty was disappointing.

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Take a Hint from PD

Tuesday June 24, 2014

It’s March, 2000. I’m lost in the Spandex of the Tour of Anchorage pre-race crowd. I gawk at all the super-fit athletes around me and try to reassure myself I’m prepared to cross-country ski 50 kilometers through the middle of town. As our pod of racers starts, I notice that they seem to be pulling ahead of me. It’s as if an invisible force is gently but inexorably drawing them forward. Or is it holding me back? Later as I chug up to an aide station, a woman watches with concern, and asks if I’m alright. No problem. I’m fine. Why would she even wonder?

I struggled on to finish hours later, blissfully unaware that in a little more than a year I will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

One of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease is slowness. Not just the slowness of the patient, but also the snail-like progression of the disease in most people. Of course, that is a good thing. With a disorder’s description includes progressive, disabling, and incurable, you don’t want to see words like rapid, swift,or sudden.

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Taking the Park out of Parkinson's

Friday June 06, 2014

Last Saturday, over twenty people met at the Columbia City Library in Seattle for our new PD University's inaugural event, "What to Expect When You’re Diagnosed with Parkinson’s." Dr. Pinky Agarwal, of Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, WA., spoke to the group about what to expect five, ten and twenty years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

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Medicine and Cognition

Sunday May 18, 2014

Medicines can be cause of memory and cogntive problems

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Northera and Dizziness

Monday April 28, 2014

The FDA has approved a new medicine that can help dizziness associated with Parkinson’s disease. Referred to as Droxidopa in clinical trials, this new drug called Northera is for neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH).

Blood pressure is controlled by circulation changes tightly regulated by the nervous system. These neurologic reflexes allow pressure to stay constant, avoiding drops caused by gravity with body changes. This insures a steady blood flow to the organs and brain. When blood pressure drops with changes in body position, blood flow to the brain is reduced since a certain pressure is needed for blood to flow against gravity from heart to brain.

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Re-Prioritizing Hopes

Monday April 21, 2014

With over ten years gone since my diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease, I’m trying to tamp down my greatest hope. That selfish and obvious hope? Of course, it’s for a PD cure.

What’s the problem with hoping for a cure? In the abstract, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact it’s impossible not to hope for such a thing if you have this collection of afflictions we call Parkinson’s Disease.

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Dairy & Gut Health in PD

Monday April 07, 2014

Dairy is anything derived from the milk of a mammal. Cheese, cream, butter, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, caramel sauce, hollandaise sauce, chowder. The highest consumers are in the US and Europe. Most dairy comes from cows, but it doesn’t have to- milk can come from goats, buffalo, camels…It is usually pasteurized, fortified, and homogenized, but sometimes it is fresh and raw.

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Antioxidant Diet

Friday April 04, 2014

Oxygen. We need it to live and breathe. Oxygen is used by cells to create energy and drive many metabolic and chemical reactions. So what is oxidative stress and why is it harmful? Oxidation occurs all around us. It is what creates rust, turns apples brown or oils rancid when exposed to air. Oxidation is a metabolic process that also occurs in our bodies. When left unchecked and out of balance these chemical reactions can cause cell damage, a process called oxidative stress.

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Nature's Moments

Friday April 04, 2014

We’ve long known that connecting with nature has a powerful influence over us. Studies evaluating the effect of nature on healing show that this effect is real and not just imagined. Using nature videos, artwork and exposure to the outdoors, researchers show that recovery from surgery is faster, the length of hospital stays are reduced and the healing process is enhanced. Natural spaces stimulated creativity, engagement, and problem solving yet at the same time add a sense of peacefulness and calm. Nature gives us a respect for our interconnectedness, adds meaning and purpose to life. Hospitals, hospice programs and healing arts practitioners now intentionally add nature to their décor and environment to enhance personal healing.

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