Parkinson’s Nutrition: Concerns & Recommendations

The Holiday Season is over!   With the New Year, it’s time to get back to healthy eating!

Proper nutrition for people with Parkinson’s disease is a recurring theme here at The Theracycle Blog.  Thus we’re glad to post a very informative write up on concerns and recommendations for Parkinson’s nutrition, courtesy of the California Parkinson’s Group (www.calparkinsons.org), whose mission is to “foster support and collaboration among friends and families with young onset Parkinson’s Disease through dialogue, education and involvement in the medical research community.”

Be sure to visit the CPG for a collection of useful PD materials and to participate in their forums: www.calparkinsons.org

Don't forget to eat your prunes!

Your mother always told you to “EAT YOUR PRUNES!” Read on to learn why and other helpful insights in “Significance of Nutrition in Parkinson’s” from our friends at the CPG.

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Holiday Recommendations from an MD with PD

One of our favorite resources for events, programs and general information for the Parkinson’s community is the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Here’s a timely post from their National Young Onset Center written by Marshall “Dopadoc” Davidson— a New Jersey-based M.D. who was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease back in 2005, when he was 44.

Beyond this article, Marshall runs a blog called “Dopadoc’s Parkinson’s Journal”  http://www.dopadoc.com and is worth a follow on Twitter: @dopadoc.

Here’s Marshall Davidson’s “New Years and Holiday Recommendations for Parkinson’s Sufferers”

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Delay the Disease – Exercise to Fight Parkinson’s Symptoms

Delay the Disease is a fitness plan and community-based exercise program designed to empower people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to optimize their physical function.  Originating in Columbus, Ohio in 2007, Delay The Disease is quickly becoming a national phenomenon in the Parkinson’s prevention field, and is starting to become internationally acknowledged.

Delay the Disease founders (David Zid BA, ACE, APG and Jackie Russell, RN, BSN, CNOR) have expertise in working with individuals diagnosed with PD and offer training to other health care professionals nationally.  This program is based on current evidenced-based research, and Zid’s extensive experience with one/on/one training of people with PD.  Their goal is to demonstrate how exercise can change symptoms, foster optimism and allow individuals to maintain independence.  They believe that fighting this disease with hope is the key.

David and Jackie have spoken to over 20,000 People with Parkinson’s (PWP) and their families— at symposia, continuing education courses, and PWP workshops.

As PD affects the entire family, their programs focus on helping the individual, caring for the caregiver, and educating other healthcare professionals about the importance of Parkinson’s–specific exercise and therapy. They are passionate and enthusiastic that PD does not need to define a person; it can be managed with the appropriate “tools in the tool box of treatment”. And, as Jackie comments regularly “exercise is a very important tool.”

Delay the Disease is available in a book, and 2 DVDs. Learn more about Delay the Disease at www.delaythedisease.com.  Books and DVDs can be ordered from the website, or through Amazon.

Lianna Marie – Super Parkinson’s Family Caregiver

Lianna Marie & Her Mom (Val)

In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, Theracycle would like to single out someone who stands out as an extraordinary caregiver:

Lianna Marie of Bellingham, WA, whose mother Val was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in 1991. Since then, beyond providing extraordinary care for her mother, Lianna has become an extraordinary force of nature, driven to help families through their Parkinson’s journeys.

Among Lianna’s contributions:

  • Author and publisher of a valuable eBook:
    “Everything You Really Need to Know About Parkinson’s Disease”
    For $27 this book and the related bonus content that comes with a purchase, Lianna answers a huge number of common questions about life with PD, as well as tips, advice, stories, and words of encouragement and inspiration
  • Host and Moderator of the Parkinsons Disease Forum
    A vibrant online community, where people with Parkinson’s and those who care about them can connect online get help, advice, friendship and support.
  • Blogger and Editor of the AllAboutParkinsons.com Blog
    Beyond providing a platform for the Parkinsons Disease Forum, Lianna’s AllAboutParkinson.com blog serves up a steady stream of news and information, resource links and articles about PD.  This is definitely one to add to your blog list, and we’ll be adding it soon to the Theracycle bloglist of best Parkinson’s blogs!

Theracycle honors Lianna’s labors of love and her extraordinary example of a model caregiver. In recognition of Lianna’s past and ongoing efforts and in celebration National Family Caregivers Month, here’s her article 7 Helpful Tips To Help You Care For The Person You Know Or Love.”

Keep it up Lianna!

November is “National Family Caregivers Month”

In case you didn’t know it— November is “National Family Caregivers Month”.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than than 65 million people (29% of the U.S. population), provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.

For 15 years, the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), has recognized and celebrated family caregivers. Identifying Family Caregivers! is the theme for National Family Caregivers Month 2011.

Theracycle is an ardent supporter of “National Family Caregivers Month,” and we hope you’ll join us in supporting the mission of the NFCA to educate, support, empower and speak up for the millions of Americans who give so much of themselves to provide for the health and well-being of a beloved family member.

To join or donate to the NFCA visit: http://www.nfcacares.org/join_nfca/

“Parkinson’s isn’t my life. I have Parkinson’s. Why does it have to have to be my life?”

Here’s another post from our friend and Guest Blogger Marc Sherman, who regularly chronicles what he calls his “journey and struggle through the life changes attributed to the onset of Parkinson’s Disease.” in his “But This is the Hand That I Shoot With” blog.

“Parkinson’s isn’t my life. I have Parkinson’s. Why does it have to have to be my life?

By Marc Sherman

The quote comes from the movie, “Love and Other Drugs.”  The movie was both fluff and at times true to life.  The quote “Parkinson’s isn’t my life. I have Parkinson’s. Why does it have to be my life?”  stuck with me, and made me wonder, is it my life?  If so, is it possible for it not to be my life?

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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.

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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