NWPF

Wellness CenterJanuary 2010

Dear Wellness Member,

Welcome to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation Wellness Center, a virtual community focused on hope, healing, and wellness for all touched by Parkinson’s. As we welcome in the 2010 New Year, we reflect on last years, goals, achievements, and experiences. We learn from these experiences, remembering the good times and the not so good. With lessons learned from the past, many of us will set a New Years’ resolution vowing to change, focus or improve some part of ourselves.

The New Year’s resolution dates back to 153 BC when Janus, a mythical king of Rome, was placed on a coin. Janus has two faces, one looking back and one forward. The coin was a symbol for Romans to look for forgiveness and understanding from their past and good fortune in the future. This led to the tradition of exchanging the gift of a branch of good fortune for the New Year (January was named after Janus).

Our priorities and life values are different for each of us – and so are our New Year’s resolutions. A pledge to improve health and fitness through exercise is one of the most commonly pledged resolutions.  In our January Wellness series, Use it or Lose it, we explore the impact of exercise on brain health and improved function. However, improved brain function does not stop with exercise. Creativity, spirituality, mindfulness and emotional health are equally important. Explore the positive changes in brain health that are possible and decide what you would like to see unfold in your 2010.

January 2010 Series: “Use it or lose it”.  The old saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is no longer accurate. We can learn, our brains can change and performance improves even into the golden years. Our New Year’s Series “Use it or lose it”explores how our own lifestyle and behaviors can improve our brain activity by an adaptive change called neuroplasticity, and protect the vulnerable nerve cells that are susceptible to damage in Parkinson’s disease, a process called neuroprotection. We hope that this series encourages and motivates you as you make your New Year’s resolution to live your best in 2010.  

In the New Years series you will learn from Dr. Jay Alberts, PhD a leading researcher at the Cleveland Clinic who is studying the effects of exercise on brain cells health and Dr.  Martha Glisky, PhD a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center in Kirkland WA whose focus on mind, emotions and physical health reminds us of the importance of balance in life.  The "Use it or lose it" series includes:

Neuroplasticity-practice makes perfect

Neuroplasticity- more than just movement

Neuroprotection- exercise to protect dopamine nerve cells

Move to remember- exercise to help cognitive abilities 

Look to February for more on the power of exercise in Parkinson’s health and wellbeing in our series, “Fighting Parkinson’s - one step at a time”.  

I wish you the best of health and wellness in your New Year,

Monique L. Giroux, MDMonique L. Giroux, MD
Medical Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

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