Who should be on your Parkinson’s care team?

A recent post on the blog of the National Parkinson’s Foundation asks a provocative question:

Will involving a neurologist in the care of a Parkinson’s disease patient makes a difference in outcome? 

In her post on the NPF blog entitled “The Case for All Parkinson’s Disease Patients to be Co-managed by a Primary Care-Neurologist Team,” Tennessee-based Cathy Whitlock calls attention to an interesting research paper that was published this summer in Neurology— the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The August 30, 2011 Neurology paper, “Neurologist care in Parkinson disease: A utilization, outcomes, and survival study,” was authored by Allison Wright Willis, MD (Assistant Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis) and her colleagues M. Shootman, B.A. Evanoff, J.S. Perlmutter, & B.A. Racette.

The paper and Cathy’s blog post are worth reading as they address the perennial question asked by PD patients: “What can I do to be sure I am getting the best possible treatment for my Parkinson’s disease,” with a response grounded in medical research to “make sure you are co-managed by both a neurologist and a primary care physician.”

While we think it’s important to also have a first-rate physical therapist with a knowledge of PD exercise therapies on a care team, this is a thought provoking question. Read Cathy’s article for more…

What do you think?

ZaggoCare helps patients + caregivers “keep it together”

Whether you’re a caregiver, family member, or patient — the process of keeping organized in the midst of any kind of medical ordeal is challenging to say the least. Whether someone’s just been diagnosed with an illness, is in the midst of treatment, or has an ongoing ‘adventure’ living with a chronic condition– it’s difficult, but essential to “keep it together” to effective in our own care, keep track over time, and feel in control.

While our blog rarely recommends products for purchase, here’s a helpful “tool” I can recommend personally…

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Cycling Aids Parkinson’s Diagnosis and Treatment

While The Theracycle Blog has principally focused on how stationery cycling can provide therapeutic benefits to people who live with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, recently published research from a Japanese university suggests that the ability to ride a bicycle can help doctors determine whether the patient has Parkinson’s disease or atypical parkinsonism.

It’s somewhat ironic (I think) that research shows that cycling (of some kind), helps both in the diagnosis and the treatment of Parkinson’s symptoms.

Cycling Diagnoses Parkinson's Disease as Well as Treats Read a news story on Cycling Helps Parkinson’s Diagnosis from PressTV

Interestingly, the Wakayama Medical University “diagnosis of PD” study was also posted this week as a discussion topic in one of the excellent online public Forums hosted by the National Parkinson’s Foundation.

The person who posted that story, Kathrynne Holden, MS — is  a Registered Dietition specializing in Parkinson’s disease and nutrition.

Kathyrnne’s new book “Eat Well, Stay Well with Parkinson’s Disease” is available for download as a PDF from her website:  http://www.nutritionucanlivewith.com/

Her book and the Daily Tips on Parkinson’s nutrition on her site. are worth checking out. We look forward to introducing Kathyrnne to how riding a Theracycle has improved the lives of thousands of patients.

“Welcome” from Peter Blumenthal – CEO, The Exercycle Company

Peter Blumenthal, CEO, The Exercycle Company:

I’m happy to welcome you to The Theracycle Blog.

While part of the charter of this blog is to increase awareness of our motorized exercise bicycle (the Theracycle), we’ve also launched the blog to inform, assist, inspire and interact with people with movement disorders,

Twelve years ago, I was severely injured when I was hit by a car while on a bicycle training ride.

My neck was fractured and there was a possibility that I would be paralyzed. Miraculously, after many months, I was restored to good health. During those long months of rehabilitation, I discovered how difficult it was to use traditional exercise equipment. Initially, I just did not have the strength or endurance to get the exercise that I wanted or needed.

After my recovery, I heard about a motor-assisted exercise bicycle that allowed people who shared my frustration with traditional exercise equipment to be able to exercise. The name of that exercise device was the Theracycle and it was made by the Exercycle Company in a town not too far away from me.

I researched both the company and the industry. I was intrigued to find out that they made a great product but very few people knew of its existence. I then took the bold step to buy the company. My goal was to inform people just like me, who needed exercise but did not have the strength to use regular exercise equipment, that there were solutions to their exercise needs.

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News: Theracycle driving Small Business Innovation

We’re excited to announce that our company has been awarded a coveted “Small Business Innovation Research” grant from the NIH to help advance our efforts to understand how using a Theracycle can help people who live with Parkinson’s Disease.

See our October 17, 2011 Press Release… Continue reading

The Promise of “Forced Exercise”

Jay L. Alberts, Ph.D. Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair Department of Biomedical Engineering The Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio USA)

While “Forced Exercise” sounds like something you’d have to endure as a member of a prison chain gang… it’s actually a very promising therapy introduced and validated by Jay Alberts, PhD — esteemed researcher at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Alberts’ research and clinical trials have shown that cycling “done right” can significantly improve the conditions of people with Parkinson’s disease.

For more detail including video of a feature TV segment from NBC News on “Pedalling away Parkinson’s Symptoms” see our feature coverage of Cycling and Parkinson’s Disease.

The Joys of Weight Lifting… Despite M.S.

You may have already “met” Mariana (our friend and 6-year veteran Theracycle rider) who shared her own Theracycle Story in a prior post….

Since it’s been something that she really enjoys and gets great benefits from – Mariana’s written the article below “The Joys of Weight Lifting— Despite M.S.”
If you’re someone with mobility challenges who’s considering adding weight training to your exercise routine, you’ll find Mariana’s article a helpful primer in what to look for.

Since she’s “been there, done that” – her article provides some “tricks of the trade” and personal insights on exercises and equipment that have worked for her.
I think you’ll agree with me that Mariana’s words are both instructive and inspiring!

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Mariana: My Theracycle Story

One of the key components of the new Theracycle Blog is the inclusion and contribution of personal stories and advice from individuals who live with mobility issues and whom we know and respect.  We’re calling these posts “Theracycle Stories”

Our first contribution for Theracycle Stories is from our friend Mariana from northern New England, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis several years ago. While MS might slow others down, Mariana’s a spirited and tireless advocate for regular and vigorous exercise as something that’s helped her “feel more alive.”
Mariana’s writing up another article for The Theracycle Blog on her other favorite exercise passion: Weight Lifting. Stay tuned.

Here’s Mariana’s story…

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Best Parkinson’s Blogs

People have a lot to say and share about Parkinson’s Disease.

From “patients” (hate that word”) to caregivers, physical therapists, researchers, medical professionals, associations and membership groups — there are THOUSANDS of blogs online which are focused on various aspects of Parkinson’s.

With so many blogs to choose from, you may be asking: “Which are the Best Parkinson’s Blogs on the Web?”  

Over the months to come, The Theracycle Blog will research, identify and let you know which blogs we’ve seen that stand out in the crowd for the quality of the information they deliver, the passion of their tone, and other distinguishing features that set them apart.

Are you a Parkinson’s Blogger?

If you are— We’re actively seeking guest blog posts and we’d we’d love to hear from you.

Who’s on your Bloglist? What blogs do you follow? Visit regularly?

While not a comprehensive list, a list of “40 Blogs to Follow for Parkinson’s Awareness Month” that was posted in April 2011 on Nursingschools.net includes a solid compendium of some of the best PD blogs today.

Here courtesy of NursingSchools.net is their the list of “40 Blogs to Follow for Parkinson’s Awareness Month” 

Hope you find it interesting and helpful.

Let us know — We’re listening!