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Archive: May 2018

2018 Colorado Community Conference Presentations

Date: 05.15.2018

Our bi-annual Colorado Community Conference on Saturday, May 12 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora - Denver Conference Center was one for the books!

Participants were educated on the current findings in research, where those findings are leading treatments in medications for Parkinsons. Additionally we had an eye-opening presentation on nutrition and the findings behind what makes the perfect diet for Parkinson patients. From there we had an in-depth presentation on Deep Brain Stimulation and then rounded the day out with by hearing why participation in trials is so important.

We can't thank our committee, our day-of volunteers and our community for helping make this one of our most successful events to date! Thank you! 

Click on the presentation titles to download a copy of the presentations from the day.

Overview of Deep Brain Stimulation, Dr. Luisa Solis-Cohen, Colorado Neurodiagnostics

Nutrition and Parkinson's, Dr. Laurie Mischley, Seattle Integrative Medicine

Research Overview and the Importance of Participation, Dr.  Brian Berman,University of Colorado Hospital

Solis Cohen DBS Overview

Berman Research Overview

Mischley - Nutrition CCC

Berman CCC

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2018 Webinars

Date: 03.06.2018

The Parkinson Association of the Rockies is thrilled to start doing webinars this year! We will continue to put past recordings on the blog for you to view later.

Make sure you're checking our Educational Events page for updates on webinars.

 

Needs, Nice, Nuts Webinar

Explore ways to find your strength as a care partner. Examine the simple technique of "Need, Nice, Nuts" to simplify everyday life which will help to make each day just a little easier for you, the care partner, as well as the person you are caring for. Recognize, congratulate and build on your inner strengths and the strengths of those around you.

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Understanding Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Date: 12.15.2017

Understanding Parkinson's Disease Psychosis
Medically reviewed by Karen Elta Anderson, MD, Neuropsychiatrist, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC and originally posted at HealthyWomen.org

 

Imagine learning to care for a loved one with Parkinson's disease, which is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that affects nearly one million people in the United States.i

 

He may move slowly or is rigid, lose his balance easily or shake uncontrollably while resting, which are common symptoms of Parkinson's disease.ii

 

But then other symptoms begin to occur. He starts asking why the kids are in the car, but your kids have grown up and moved away. Or he thinks someone is watching him. And, of course, no one is there.  


Hallucinations and delusions like these are symptoms of Parkinson's disease psychosis, which occurs in about 50 percent of people with Parkinson's disease at some point during their illness. iii,iv


Sometimes described as "tricks" played by the brain, hallucinations can cause a person to see, hear, feel, smell or even taste something that isn't real.iii,iv, v  A person with hallucinations may say they see people or animals that aren't there.v As their hallucinations become more frequent, they may not be able to tell what's real and what's imagined and may react to things that aren't real.iv, vi


Delusions occur less frequently than hallucinations and are generally more difficult to treat. vii, ix Delusions are fixed, false beliefs not supported by evidence and often have paranoid themes. A common delusion that occurs in people with Parkinson's is that their partner is having an affair, even if they have been married for decades and their spouse is with them nearly all of the time. viii


When a loved one is experiencing hallucinations and delusions, it can add more frustration to the already challenging physical limitations of Parkinson's. ix  Research has found that hallucinations and delusions can lead to increased distress, greater responsibility for caregivers, and even nursing home placement. x, xi, xii, xiii, xiv


Yet, as difficult and distressing as these hallucinations and delusions may be, only about 10 percent to 20 percent of patients who have hallucinations or delusions associated with Parkinson's disease proactively report the symptoms to their health care providers.xv, xvi


That may be because they don't understand that these symptoms are associated with Parkinson's disease or are embarrassed to report that they are experiencing visions and false beliefs.vi, xvii Sometimes these "invisible" symptoms can cause more problems than the motor issues xviii —especially if people with Parkinson's don't seek help.


Hallucinations and delusions usually appear later in the disease's progression and often catch caregivers by surprise if they and the doctor are focused on motor symptoms, which are easier to identify.ix

 

Causes of Parkinson disease psychosis
The cause of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's is not clearly understood. The drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease, which raise dopamine levels to improve motor control, can cause physical and chemical changes in the brain that may lead to hallucinations and delusions. In addition, the natural progression of Parkinson's disease may cause brain changes that trigger symptoms.iv  


Treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis
A health care provider can help to identify hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's, monitor signs that symptoms may be progressing, and offer ways to help manage any related challenges.


The first step is for the physician to confirm that the hallucinations and delusions are caused by Parkinson's disease by eliminating other possible causes. Once the diagnosis is made, the health care provider will decide how to treat the symptoms.vii Treatment may involve adjusting or switching Parkinson's disease medications. Antipsychotic medications also may be used, including an FDA-approved treatment option specifically for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's disease that may be appropriate for some people.xix


 i. C. Warren Olanow. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders.
 ii. Primary motor symptoms. Parkinson's Disease Foundation. http://www.pdf.org/symptoms_primary. Accessed June 20, 2017.
iii  Forsaa EB, Larsen JP, Wentzel-Larsen T, et al. A 12-Year Population-Based Study of Psychosis in Parkinson Disease. Arch Neurol. 2010
iv Ravina, Bernard, et al. "Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosis in Parkinson's Disease: Report of an NINDS, NIMH Work Group." Movement Disorders 22.8 (2007): 1061-068. Web.
v Goldman, Jennifer, Christina Vaughan, and Christopher Goetz. "An Update Expert Opinion on Management and Research Strategies in Parkinson's Disease Psychosis." Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 12.13 (2011): 2009-024. Web.
vi Goetz, Christopher, Wenqing Fan, Sue Leurgans, Bryan Bernard, and Glenn Stebbins. "The Malignant Course of Benign Hallucinations in Parkinson Disease." Archives of Neurology 63.5 (2006): 713. Web.
vii Fenelon, Gilles. “The Changing Face of Parkinson's Disease-Associated Psychosis: A Cross-Sectional Study Based on the New NINDS-NIMH Criteria.” Movement Disorders, vol. 25, no. 6, 2010, pp. 763–766., doi:10.1002/mds.22839.
viii Goldman, Jennifer. “Treatment of psychosis and dementia in Parkinson's disease.” Current Treatment Options in Neurology (2014): 1-18. Web.
ix National Parkinson Foundation. “Psychosis. A mind guide to Parkinson’s disease.” http://www.parkinson.org/sites/default/files/NPF-Psychosis.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2017.  
x Goetz, Christopher, and Glenn Stebbins. "Risk Factors for Nursing Home Placement in Advanced Parkinson's Disease." Neurology 43.11 (1993): 2227-2229. Web.
xi Goetz, Christopher G., and Glenn T. Stebbins. "Mortality and Hallucinations in Nursing Home Patients with Advanced Parkinson's Disease." Neurology 45.4 (1995): 669-71. Web.
xii Aarsland, D., K. Bronnick, U. Ehrt, P. P De Deyn, S. Tekin, M. Emre, and J. L. Cummings. "Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Patients with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia: Frequency, Profile and Associated Care Giver Stress." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 78.1 (2007): 36-42. Web.
xiii Hermanowicz, Neil. “Parkinson's disease psychosis: symptoms, management, and economic burden.” Am J Manag Care (2015): 199-206. Web.
xiv Holroyd, S., Currie, L., & Wooten, G. (2001). Prospective study of hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 70(6), 734–738. http://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.70.6.734
xv Fenelon G. “Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease: prevalence, phenomenology and risk factors.” Brain (2000): 733-745. Web.

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Thanks and Thriving Video Competition WINNERS!

Date: 11.29.2017

Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful, but also reminds us to take a moment to reflect on the highs and lows of the year. That's why this year we decided to host a video competition, Thanks & Thriving, in hopes that during the Thanksgiving holiday our community would look back at their year and tell us how they give thanks and thrive with Parkinson's. Some of you told us hobbies you took up after diagnosis, some of you showed us how you use dance to heal and feel joy, others shared how educating themselves about the disease helped them cope; but the one thing that was clear from all of the videos was that our community took their diagnosis and decided that they weren't going to sit back and let the diagnosis bring them down. They took their diagnosis and dared it to change their lives!

Every video was moving and inspiring, and that's why we chose to share it with all of you and ask for you to vote on the video that spoke to you the most!

Here are your winners for the 2017 Thanks & Thriving Video Competition! Winners will be emailed

2017 Thanks & Thriving Winners!

Favorite Individual Winner: Margie Dahlin

Favorite Group Winner: Reconnect with Your Body!

 

Congrats to all the winners and thank you to everyone who submitted a video and showed that Parkinson's won't bring them down!

2017 Thanks & Thriving Video Submissions

Bob Trout

Tina Schoehner

Chris Hageseth

Greg Ritscher

Fort Collins Support Group

 

We hope your Thanksgiving was one of love and laughter!

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Thanks and Thriving Video Competition! Voting starts NOW!

Date: 11.15.2017

UPDATE: Videos have been submitted & voting starts now! From now until November 28, tell us who your favorite individual video is and who your favorite group video is. 

Click here to vote! 

Winners will be announced December 1.

 

PAST POST:

We are approaching the time of year when we hear that our community is struggling; especially those who have been recently diagnosed. They are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, stressed and alone. We know that the holidays and the looming winter weather play a role in this onset of melancholy; but this year we want to be proactive and help our community to thrive. To do this we need your support and participation.

We are creating a video contest challenge called Thanks & Thriving. We want you to create a short video about how you’re thriving. While we as an organization can do our best to help provide support and resources; we know that your voice is really what our community needs to hear.

We’re asking that you share your advice, suggestions, hope and inspiration. Consider: What would you have been thankful to hear or made aware of? What tip or trick have you been thankful to have?

Essentially, we’re asking you to share what you do to thrive.

Here’s how the Thanks & Thriving video campaign works:

  1. You’ll create a 30-90 sec video
    1. This can be done on any digital camera, smart phone or tablet
  2. You’ll submit your video by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, November 13th
  3. The Association will post submitted videos online by Wednesday, November 22nd
  4. You’ll vote, over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, for the most inspirational video by:    
    1. A person living with Parkinson’s
    2. A group supporting one another with their Parkinson’s (ie: support groups, exercise classes, etc.)
    3. A person caring for someone living with Parkinson’s (ie: spouse, child, friend, etc.)

           (Voting will be open from Thursday, November 23rd – Tuesday, November 28th)

   5. Winners for each category will be announce by Friday, December 1st

           (There will be a prize given to each winner)

After we’ve concluded the Thanks & Thriving video challenge we’ll continue to share these videos with those in our community who need some inspiration and to know they are not alone.

To give you an idea of what we’re thinking… here’s a sneak peek.

Margie Dahlin Sneak Peek

That’s just one perspective; and your perspective, your voice, is really important to share so we hope you’ll join us so our community can give thanks for your advice on how to thrive!

We’ll send you more info through our e-news and if you have any questions please contact the Parkinson Association (303) 830-1839 and ask to speak with Erica. 

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Thanks and Thriving Video Competition

Date: 09.25.2017

We are approaching the time of year when we hear that our community is struggling; especially those who have been recently diagnosed. They are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, stressed and alone. We know that the holidays and the looming winter weather play a role in this onset of melancholy; but this year we want to be proactive and help our community to thrive. To do this we need your support and participation.

We are creating a video contest challenge called Thanks & Thriving. We want you to create a short video about how you’re thriving. While we as an organization can do our best to help provide support and resources; we know that your voice is really what our community needs to hear.

We’re asking that you share your advice, suggestions, hope and inspiration. Consider: What would you have been thankful to hear or made aware of? What tip or trick have you been thankful to have?

Essentially, we’re asking you to share what you do to thrive.

Here’s how the Thanks & Thriving video campaign works:

  1. You’ll create a 30-90 sec video
    1. This can be done on any digital camera, smart phone or tablet
  2. You’ll submit your video by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, November 13th
  3. The Association will post submitted videos online by Wednesday, November 22nd
  4. You’ll vote, over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, for the most inspirational video by:    
    1. A person living with Parkinson’s
    2. A group supporting one another with their Parkinson’s (ie: support groups, exercise classes, etc.)
    3. A person caring for someone living with Parkinson’s (ie: spouse, child, friend, etc.)

           (Voting will be open from Thursday, November 23rd – Tuesday, November 28th)

   5. Winners for each category will be announce by Friday, December 1st

           (There will be a prize given to each winner)

After we’ve concluded the Thanks & Thriving video challenge we’ll continue to share these videos with those in our community who need some inspiration and to know they are not alone.

To give you an idea of what we’re thinking… here’s a sneak peek.

Margie Dahlin Sneak Peek

That’s just one perspective; and your perspective, your voice, is really important to share so we hope you’ll join us so our community can give thanks for your advice on how to thrive!

We’ll send you more info through our e-news and if you have any questions please contact the Parkinson Association (303) 830-1839 and ask to speak with Erica. 

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2017 e3 Presenter Presentations

Date: 09.25.2017

Our 5th Annual e3 educate, empower, energize conference on Saturday, September 16 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora - Denver Conference Center was full of laughter, creativity and community!

  • educate themselves about cognitive issues, as well as new research on marijuana for Parkinson’s
  • energize and express themselves through dance with Dance for PD founder, David Leventhal
  • empower themselves through the use of self-efficacy and humor to overcome fear

We captivated the crowd with Linda Olson, MD, a triple amputee who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Linda had people laughing, crying and left everyone with the upbeat reminder that, “It is useless to talk about what we can’t do, but what we can do!”.

Following Linda, we had a jam-packed day where we challenged participants to: 

  • educate themselves about cognitive issues, as well as new research on marijuana for Parkinson’s
  • energize and express themselves through dance with Dance for PD founder, David Leventhal
  • empower themselves through the use of self-efficacy and humor to overcome fear

We can't thank our committee, our day-of volunteers and our community for helping make this one of our most successful events to date! Thank you! 

Click on the presentation titles to download a copy of the presentations from the day. 

Think Like a Dance, David Leventhal, Dance for PD

Stand Up to Gravity & Say, "NO" to Falls, Meredith Roberts, Roberts Empowered Movements Center 

May the Self-Efficacy Force Be With You, Diane Cook, Hal Pottle, Betsy Mathies

Research on Cannabis & Parkinson's, Benzi Kluger, MD, University of Colorado Hospital 

Cognition in Parkinson's Diseases, Aaron Haug, MD, BlueSky Neurology

 

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Ask the Expert: Deep Brain Stimulation

Date: 05.31.2017

The Parkinson Association of the Rockies has created a new segment on our bi-weekly enews called, "Ask the Parkinson's Expert". Every enews we ask the community to submit a question they may have for a Parkinson's doctor, a selected question will then be answered and featured on the next enews.

All questions are confidential. Not all questions can be answered, so please notify your physician for immediate attention.

Q: "Once Parkinson's symptoms begin to return after a successful DBS procedure, can anything be done to get back to the initial lack of symptoms?"

A: “Yes. It is expected that symptoms will eventually return as the disease progresses. Sometimes the DBS generator voltage or pulse width can be increased to provide more benefit. More usually the DBS system can be expected to decrease the medication usage by 50% initially. Once that has been accomplished, the DBS system is likely near the limit of what can be achieved. This does allow for the opportunity to increase medication once again over the coming years to continue symptom control."

                            - David VanSickle, MD, Denver DBS Center

 

 

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Ask the Expert: Marijuana and Parkinson's Disease

Date: 05.02.2017

The Parkinson Association of the Rockies has created a new segment on our bi-weekly enews called, "Ask the Parkinson's Expert". Every enews we ask the community to submit a question they may have for a Parkinson's doctor, a selected question will then be answered and featured on the next enews.

All questions are confidential. Not all questions can be answered, so please notify your physician for immediate attention.

Q: "Does marijuana have any benefits for those with Parkinson's?" 

A: “While there is a lot of hype about marijuana and Parkinson's disease, the scientific evidence is much less conclusive. There have been a few survey-based studies and uncontrolled trials that suggest marijuana may be helpful for some Parkinson's symptoms including pain, anxiety, sleep, appetite, and nausea. These studies also suggest that marijuana may help smooth out certain motor symptoms, including dyskinesias. However, to date, all randomized controlled trials of marijuana for motor symptoms in Parkinson's have been negative but it is possible that they were not using the right dose or formulation of marijuana. In my experience, marijuana is more likely to be helpful for non-motor symptoms (e.g. Pain, sleep, appetite) than motor symptoms. Also of note, marijuana may cause side effects including problems with balance or memory so caution should be used with this, starting with a low dose and going up slowly, as with any medication. Cannabis is a complex plant that contains over 65 psychoactive chemicals, many of which actually decrease dopamine thus more research is needed. Dr. Maureen Leehey at the University of Colorado is currently conducting a study of cannabidiol (CBD) for Parkinson's tremor. Interested persons can email Nicole Leith."

                            - Benzi Kluger, MD, University of Colorado Hospital 

 

 

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Ask the Parkinson's Expert: Carbi-Dopa/Levo-Dopa & Fatigue

Date: 03.20.2017


The Parkinson Association of the Rockies has created a new segment on our bi-weekly enews called, "Ask the Parkinson's Expert". Every enews we ask the community to submit a question they may have for a Parkinson's doctor, a selected question will then be answered and featured on the next enews.

 

All questions are confidential. Not all questions can be answered, so please notify your physician for immediate attention.

 

Q: "My husband has a really hard time with the levodopa-carbidopa needed to manage motor symptoms from Parkinson's. When he takes the drugs, he is so tired he needs to nap and is generally in a drunken state for hours. He is normal when not taking the drugs (except for motor symptoms). Our docs tell us this is not common but does happen. We have tried different dosage amounts and timing, but nothing has worked and this has been going on for a couple of years. It is ruining our quality of life and stressing our marriage. Do you have suggestions that could help us??"

 

A: "This is an uncommon situation but one which definitely comes up and can be fairly problematic. If you are in a position where you do not yet need levodopa or can manage your symptoms with exercise/physical therapy/occupational therapy this may be your best bet and I do have some patients who primarily manage their PD without medications because of side effects for quite some time. Unfortunately, this is not always a good long-term solution.


In some people this is a transient side effect and if they stick with levodopa (often for a few weeks to months) or go up on it slowly it may become less problematic. Unfortunately, other people seem to have this as a long-term side effect. It sounds like you may have tried taking other doses (e.g. Smaller, frequent doses) and/or formulations (e.g. Sinemet CR, rytary) which can help for some people.  There are other formulations in development (e.g. patches, nasal spray, accordion pill) and in clinical trials. If you are interested you might want to check foxtrialfinder, CNI, or the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center to see if there may be research you could participate in. If you have not yet tried MAO-inhibitors (e.g. rasagiline, selegeline) or dopamine agonists (e.g. neurpro, ropinirole, pramipexole) these may be worth trying but are usually less effective than levodopa and dopamine agonists can also cause drowsiness.


Other tricks which can help is to try to make an effort to exercise or be active around the time you take the levodopa as it seems the side effect of drowsiness is more pronounced if one is resting or still as opposed to active. Alternatively, some people find taking a planned short power nap can help them avoid disruptions from the drowsiness and allow them to enjoy the rest of their good on time. Lastly, one could try taking another supplement (e.g. Caffeine) or medication (e.g. Amantadine, a stimulant) to try to treat the side effects of the levodopa.”

            - Dr. Brian Berman & Dr. Benzi Kluger, University of Colorado Hospital

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