A possible breakthrough in PD treatment, Boxing and more

A few posts from the Parkinson’s Action Network.

Did you know that there is a Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s?  The Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease was created to educate Members of Congress about Parkinson’s disease issues and to inform them and their staff about the latest developments in Parkinson’s research and care.  Led by its Co-Chairs, more than 150 members of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease work together to support the needs of our community in the hopes of finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.  They are our champions, and we are grateful for their commitment and dedication.    To find out if your Congressperson is on the list, go to http://parkinsonsaction.org/our-work/congressional-caucus/caucus-list-2/

Contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to show support for the Parkinson’s community by joining the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease – or just take a minute to say thank you! Take action!

Exciting News!!!!!

Researchers in Singapore, working with Harvard University, have found that anti-Malaria drugs may have the ability to improve the lives of those of us with PD.  Read on:  http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/15/potential-parkinsons-cure-unveiled.html

And finally, a video from Rock Steady Boxing in San Francisco.  For those of you who have not tried Boxing yet, what are you waiting for?  And to the women in Los Angeles, why aren’t you joining me at boxing at BoxNBurn in Santa Monica?  It is fun and an incredible workout.  (http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/parkinsons-disease-sufferers-fight-reclaim-lives-boxing-therapy-32405175)

Music and the brain

Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.

Do you remember the scene in The Full Monty when the group was in line at the Welfare Agency and they started moving unconsciously to the music that was playing?  How many times have we all done that?  I often find that when I am in the gym, I start moving to the beat of the music that is playing.  The instructors know the power that the music has over us to keep us going.  It pushes us to move, even when we think we can’t do another thing.

Playing music has an even more powerful effect on the brain.  For those of us with Parkinson’s, music may be an essential exercise for our brains.  I have been taking piano lessons for the past 3 years to keep my fingers moving.  That has definitely helped.  My dexterity has improved, it calms my tremor and makes me feel good.  But one of the problems that I discovered is that it is easy to play each hand separately, but when combining them, I have a much more difficult time.   And I can’t memorize music at all anymore.  In a chat room on Patients Like Me, I found that I was not alone.  My unscientific take on this is that we are using both sides of our brain when playing with both hands and the lack of dopamine makes it difficult for the two sides to work together.  And outside distractions make it even more difficult.

So why do this happen?  Take a look at this Ted-Ed video

Even if you have never picked up an instrument before, now may be the right time to start making music.  Your brain will thank you for it.

So many blogs…….

This week I began a 3 week online class called Blogging 101 sponsored by WordPress.  I had already written the title to this blog before I saw last night’s assignment: “Find 5 new blogs to follow.”

I had been thinking about the proliferation of blogs and how many there are for People with Parkinson’s.  Somehow I keep thinking of new things to write about and discover that others have the same idea, often a day or week later.  Those of us with Parkinson’s have so many of the same concerns and issues that there are many common themes in our blogs.  It seems that everyone is writing.  So how do you determine which ones to follow?  Some of them are very informative and full of technical stuff.  Others are just fluffy vanity pieces, like so many other blogs on other topics.   And there were a few with terrible titles and tag lines that actually had good content.  The assignment the second day was to create a GOOD title and tag line that conveys your message.  Obviously some of these bloggers didn’t take the class.  Somewhere out there in cyberspace are blogs that speak to you and me.

So here are a few of the new blogs I decided to follow for now:

Parkinson’s Women Support

Parkinson’s Disease And Me

Defeatparkinsons

YogaPath

You may want to look at a few of these and decide whether to follow them.  We all of have different experiences with PD, so it can help to see what others are doing to cope and to improve their lives.  However, I would love for some of you to contribute to this blog, sharing your thoughts, issues, successes or anything else related to your experience with PD so that we can all learn from one another.