Date: Mar 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
Our 4th Annual e3 educate, empower, energize conference on Saturday, September 10 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora - Denver Conference Center was a home run!
Tim Hague Sr., winner of The Amazing Race Canada captivated us with his story of his triumphant win! He made us laugh and he sure did make us cry! Tim was the perfect way to kick off a day of empowerement as he left us knowing that we can "live our best lives".
Following Tim, we had a jam-packed day where we challenged participants to:
-educate themselves about nonmotor symptroms and learn techniquest ot overcome those symptoms
-energize themselves and express themselves through the use of movement and creativity
-empower themselves through reminders of how important self-talk and self-care are to their well-being
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.
NonMotor Symptoms, Samantha Holden, MD, University of Colorado Hospital
Treatment of NonMotor Symptoms, Mihaela Alexander, MD, Colorado Neurodiagnostics
Mindfulness, Benzi Kluger, MD, University of Colorado Hospital
Communication & Well-being, Cynthia McRae, PhD, University of Denver
Exercise for Parkinson's, Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, Phd, Northwestern University
From Disoder to Dancer (COMING SOON!), Sarah Leversee & Wayne Gilbert, Art as Action
Click HERE to view photos from the entire day!
On October 9th, at the Denver Marriot Tech Center, over 400 individuals attended the Parkinson Association’s 3rd Annual e3 conference to be educated, empowered and energized through a number of topics that ranged from exercise to care partner collaboration. We were overwhelmed by the positive responses we received from attendees, “What an enjoyable day! We met so many lovely people and left with a lot of information!”
From the evaluations, we found that participants walked away with a deeper understanding of Parkinson’s disease and its many symptoms. They also came away with specific tools to live vibrant and healthy lives with Parkinson’s.
They were educated, “I learned that I need to stop saying, I can’t!”
They were empowered, “So empowering to have such outstanding speakers
and wonderful support for the Parkinson’s community!”
We are deeply grateful to our e3 presenters, who donated their time and knowledge to provide our community with helpful tips and tricks for thriving with Parkinson’s. The success of this conference is due in great part to the e3 Committee members; for the many hours they dedicated to creating a powerful conference. Thank you also to the day-of volunteers who ensured the conference ran smoothly.
Click HERE to watch videos from the entire day!
Our 2014 E3 - educate, empower, energize conference was engaging and powerful. Don't believe us? Take a look at some of our videos from the conference.
SAVE THE DATE! 2015 E3 conference will be on Friday, October 9th at the Marriott Denver Tech Center. Stay tuned for more information!
Spring time in the Rockies. What does that mean to you? One can use the analogy of Parkinson's and Spring. The weather is unpredictable in the Spring. There are beautiful days outside. Sometimes, storms which vary in severity. There can be an extreme range of temperatures and conditions. Sound familiar with your own case of Parkinson's. Each one of you may have different extremes on any given day of symptoms. Some days, you may feel like you can't go out because of your symptoms. Other days, nothing can stop you from exploring the outdoors.
People with PD can get better... and stay better longer with exercise!
That is the MOTTO of the Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) Project – a project sponsored by NeuroFit NetWorks (www.nfnw.org). The PWR! Project was started in October 2009 when Dr. Becky Farley, a researcher, LSVT® BIG inventor, physical therapist, neuroscientist, and Parkinson’s exercise specialist opened a model community-based neurofitness center for people with PD in Tucson, AZ…
Is your brain less agile and your memory less reliable? Compared to last year, are you more easily confused and slower to process information? While these types of cognitive changes are common in individuals with Parkinson’s disease, they are also part of the normal aging process. A significant number of the elderly live with some memory deficiencies, collectively known as age-associated memory impairment.
Outdoor activities in the summer can be wonderful. As usual when having a leisurely evening barbeque with family and friends, you are the designated grill master. As you are running in and out of the house to tend to the grill you notice it is not as easy as it was last summer. At times you lose your balance, stumble and even fall. However, you are determined not to lose your place as grill master. You are not going to let Parkinson's disease get in the way.
I woke up Monday morning to a slight buzz throughout my body. “Today is the day!” I thought. I rode the BX bus from Boulder to Market Street Station, then took a quick 16th Street Shuttle ride, and walked a block or so to my destination. The buzz was still present as I walked through the door of the Colorado Ballet and read the note saying “Rhythm & Grace meets in Practice Room C.” I was 30 minutes early for the noon class. “Today is the day!” Wow!
Many people with Parkinson's disease experience fatigue. They often say they feel tired, even exhausted. It can be just as disabling and unpleasant a symptom as the motor slowing or the trembling. Fatigue is typically experienced as a state of being tired, weary, exhausted and without energy. Some people say it feels like walking underwater. Everything is an effort and exhausting. You can have fatigue and no depression. Most people with fatigue are not not sad.
Recent research shows that regular exercise can help people with PD stay more flexible, improve posture and make overall movement easier. Some studies even show that an exercise routine can slow or reverse some of the effects of the disease. Regardless of the disease, being fit and active makes everyone have more energy and improves overall health and well being. Everyday exercise, even if it is something simple, will help fight the effects of the disease and make you feel more in control of your condition. It’s recommended that a physical or occupational therapist design a fitness regimen specific to helping your needs, but here are some tips that everyone can use for everyday, at-home exercises:
- Streeeeetch- Stretching can be done several times during the day, even during the simplest of activities like while watching TV, riding in the car or when you wake up. Regular stretching increases range of motion of joints, helps with posture, protects with muscle strains, improves circulation and releases muscle tension.
- Strengthen- Strengthening exercises can help you stand up straighter, make certain everyday tasks easier and makes bones stronger. Visit here for 10 strength and balance exercises.
- Aerobic conditioning exercise- Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, biking or dancing. Regular aerobic exercise performed 3 or more times a week can strengthen your heart and lungs, reduce stress and help prevent other health conditions like diabetes.
Come to our next exercise class and get in your daily aerobic exercise! Visit here for more information.
*Referenced from the National Parkinson Foundation booklet, "Fitness Counts".