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Care Advisor Articles

  Have you ever walked into a room with a clear plan of what you needed to get and once you arrived, stopped and said to yourself “Now, what did I come in here for?” I know this happens to me a lot. Most of the time, this is normal and, as we all know, age is certainly a factor in becoming more forgetful. However, for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, the inability to recall or process information is a serious and progressive problem that can be quite frustrating for patients and caregivers alike.  

When we exercise, or engage in planned and specific repetitive physical activity, we experience a surge in dopamine, serotonin and endorphins in our brain. These chemical messengers flood us with feelings of well-being as well as sharpen our ability to think clearly and process information. Exercise is a purposeful pursuit for those with Parkinson’s as well as the general population. Unfortunately many people report that they find exercise to be boring, tiring, too difficult, or inconvenient. If this is you, I am not letting you sit idly by. Instead, I invite you to dance.  

 You Have Parkinson's--Now What?Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative, progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. As with all cases of PD, each individual’s rate of progression and symptom severity will be different and unique to the person. A PD diagnosis brings on a host of varying emotions, stressors and fears. This disease not only affects the individual, but an entire family.

  The three national thought leaders presenting at the Annual Parkinson’s Symposium in Sarasota on January 31st, 2015 were all in passionate agreement: exercise is imperative in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. We have cultivated and grown many Parkinson’s-specific exercise programs in Sarasota County, from spin classes to yoga, at levels appropriate for all stages of the disease. In addition, exercise is the only known treatment modality with 100% positive side effects! So why isn’t everyone doing it?  

Facing the challenge of living well despite the effects Parkinson’s disease can have on one’s physical functioning may feel like a daunting task. PD fighters may ask themselves: How can I manage exercise when my legs are feeling stiff? How can I foster a proper nutritious diet when I must consider my medication schedule? How can I get the necessary 7-8 hours of sleep each night when vivid dreams or frequent trips to the bathroom keep me from doing so? How can I tend to my other health priorities such as Diabetes or Chron’s disease when my Parkinson’s seems to continually take center stage?