Parkinson's disease (PD) is a motor system disorder resulting from the breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. The loss of dopamine causes the symptoms of PD, which include tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement, impaired balance, and changes in speech.
While the disorder gets progressively worse over time, the intensity of symptoms and rate of progression varies from person to person.
While PD can impact life expectancy, there are medications and therapies that can control symptoms for many years. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for PD. Scientists are studying how the disease progresses and working to develop new drug therapies to delay, prevent, or reverse the disorder.
While the precise cause of PD is unknown, genetic and environmental factors appear to play a role. However, more research is needed to uncover the causes and treatments for the disorder.
For more information on PD and on the research underway to fight the disorder, please visit the website
The red tulip, with a fringe of white, became the official symbol of Parkinson’s disease at the 9th World Parkinson’s Disease Day Conference in Luxembourg on April 11, 2005 (although the flower had been associated with Parkinson’s awareness since the early 1980s).
The tulip is described in detail as the “exterior being a glowing cardinal red, small feathered white edge, the outer base whitish; the inside, a currant-red to turkey-red, broad feathered white edge, anthers pale yellow.”
This particular tulip was developed by J.W.S. Van der Wereld, a Dutch horticulturist who had Parkinson’s disease. He named the flower after James Parkinson, the doctor who first described the disease as the “shaking palsy.”
UPDATES FROM MJFF
Mindfulness May Help Reduce Some Parkinson’s Symptoms, Survey Finds
More than 6,200 Fox Insight participants completed the survey, including 5,000 people with Parkinson’s. It asked about the impact of stress on Parkinson’s symptoms and strategies used to manage or reduce stress. Researchers used several scales to measure stress, anxiety, mindfulness and self-compassion.
People with Parkinson’s reported that stress worsened both motor and non-motor symptoms, especially tremor and anxiety. Over 83 percent of respondents used exercise to reduce stress, while other strategies included praying, listening to music and reading.
Elizabeth Larsen from Drive Away Parkinsons participates in this survey.
News in Context
Tool to Visualize Key Parkinson’s Protein in the Brain Enters Human Testing
Researchers are one step closer to a game-changing tool that could help better measure Parkinson’s onset and progression and assess the impact of new treatments.
Alpha-synuclein clumps in the brains of nearly all people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and scientists believe this aggregation leads to cell death and PD symptoms. Currently, these clumps are only visible through post-mortem tissue analysis. A PET tracer is injected into the bloodstream and attaches to a target so it can be seen on a brain scan. Seeing alpha-synuclein in the living brain — where it is and how much is there, and how that changes over time — would transform would transform research and patient care.
Apple Watch Effective in Monitoring Symptoms of Parkinson Disease
An Apple Watch designed to remotely monitor fluctuations of resting tremor and dyskinesia in persons with Parkinson disease was shown to match in-clinic evaluations of these symptoms and capture symptom changes in response to treatment for 94% of participants.
An Apple Watch designed to remotely monitor fluctuations of motor symptoms in persons with Parkinson disease (PD) was shown to match in-clinic evaluations of these symptoms and capture symptom changes in response to treatment for a majority of participants, according to study findings published last week in Science Translational Medicine.
Conducted by researchers at Apple, the study examined the efficacy of a new system called the Motor Fluctuations Monitor for Parkinson Disease (MM4PD) that uses the Apple Watch’s accelerometer and gyroscope data to continuously track changes in resting tremor and dyskinesia.
To view more Parkinson's Research Information and updates go to the MJFF Research Blog
Research shows that regular exercise can help individuals with Parkinson’s manage the symptoms of their disease.
The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, run by the National Parkinson Foundation, shows that people with Parkinson's who exercise a minimum of 2.5 hours a week experience a slowed decline in quality of life. The impact of exercise was most pronounced for individuals who started exercising earlier in the course of the disease.
A variety of exercises, including boxing, cycling, swimming, dancing and walking on the treadmill, can help. Physical therapists can help develop customized exercise plans to maximize effectiveness. As always, individuals starting an exercise program should check with their doctor before they begin.
This video from CBS News shows a great example of how boxing has helped slow the progression of Parkinson’s for patients in New York.
Other Resources For Your Information
Rock Steady Boxing - rocksteadyboxing.org
The mission of Rock Steady Boxing is to empower people with Parkinson’s disease to fight back.
Quiet Punch- quietpunch.com
The original home punching bag. Fits most doorways from 28" - 36" and provides easy to follow home workouts.
Listed are links for websites with other information that maybe helpful.
This information is being provided For Your Information. It is not a substitute for Professional Advise.
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