Well, I made it on time this morning and headed straight for a session called Synchronizing Breath & Movement for Body Alignment and Posture Integrity, a long name for what it calls in parentheses (Chair Yoga). I did not expect much after seeing “Chair Yoga” and was pleasantly surprised. We learned a lot of breathing techniques, including one called “Box Breathing” which the yoga instructor, Aminta Romero St. Onge, said is great for helping with sleep problems. I will try it and let you know if it works. And we did some yoga too. It was a well spent hour.
The morning plenary was was titled Genes and Mechanisms of Sporadic PD. I missed the beginning, so I have no idea what Sporadic PD is. Beate Ritz, of UCLA spoke about the effects of pesticides on Central Valley farmworkers (in California) and the increased risk for PD among this population. Alice Lazzarini told about her transformation from PD researcher to PD patient, an ironic situation that is more common than one would think. I know of several others. Finally, Jason Karlawish talked about what you can do with the information that you get from genetic testing for PD, and for other diseases. He raised many difficult questions about what to do with the knowledge that we will suffer from PD, dementia, Alzheimer’s or other degenerative diseases. What are our options? What are our responsibilites to ourselves and our families.
After the session ended, I proceeded to check out the many posters displayed in the exhibit hall. I needed something more uplifting after that last talk. There are hundreds of posters on display about research projects from around the world, foundations for PD, exercise programs, nutrition. It was amazing. Some of the people were there to talk about their posters and explain what they are doing. I have never seen anything like this before. They actually have tours of the posters that you can sign up for. Each tour has a different theme. I did not sign up for a tour, but wandered through, talking to people about their work. Here is the poster from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation about the Women and PD Initiative that I participated in last September. It describes the program and its goals, and the outcome one year later. I am proud to say that I am represented in 2 sections of the pie chart, both in Media and Repeating events.
In the afternoon, I bailed out on Sleep Difficulties and headed to Becky Farley’s PWR! Nexus program. Becky is fabulous! The room was packed with people eager to move after sitting all day. And move we did. Sitting, standing, getting on the floor. Everyone had a great time. Here is a 5 second short video of one of the moves.
I went to one last session on Speech and Swallowing and then back to the posters to see several friends do their presentations. More on both tomorrow.