Date: Dec 16, 2013
By Aaron Haug, M.D., Blue Sky Neurology
This is second article in a two-part series discussing nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson disease (PD). Although it is often tremor that first brings PD to someone’s attention, the nonmotor symptoms of PD can cause a significant portion of the discomfort and disability for people with Parkinson’s (PWP). Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, but it is important for PWP and their loved ones to be aware of these symptoms so that treatments can be considered.
This posting is a snippet of the Recently Diagnosed with PD blog, written by Betsy Vierck.
Almost three years ago I was also diagnosed with Parkinson's. Ginny and I became refuges for each other. We have been extremely tight, speaking in a language that non-PDers can never understand.
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".
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
PD Life can help you simplify and improve the accuracy of reporting to the doctor your compliance with the cumbersome regimen of Parkinson's medications.
While "on-the-go," PD Life simultaneously reminds you to take your Parkinson's and other medications and record how you are feeling in the moment. No longer do you have to recollect how you felt two months ago. Without a second thought, you are developing a personalized database of medications taken, side affects experienced, and disease symptoms present. You can easily share this data with your physician. More accurate information may significantly affect and improve your course of treatment for Parkinson's disease.
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