Monthly Archives: March 2017

Knocking out Parkinson’s one punch at a time

Video of local boxing class

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As many as 1 million people live with Parkinson’s disease in America. Now, a new exercise program is energizing patients diagnosed with the movement disorder and renewing hope among patients.

Positive Thinking may improve health and extend life

“Look on the sunny side of life.”
“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
“See the glass as half-full, not half-empty.”
Researchers are finding that thoughts like these, the hallmarks of people sometimes called “cockeyed optimists,” can do far more than raise one’s spirits. They may actually improve health and extend life.

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Parkinson’s Patients Could Dance Their Way to Better Health

A recent article in the Harvard Gazette suggests dance as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Imaging studies have identified several brain regions involved in the complex, rhythmical, and coordinated movements that constitute dance. The motor cortex is — as with other kinds of voluntary movement — involved in planning, controlling, and executing dance moves.

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Online video gallery

Partners in Parkinson’s has opened a video gallery online to help educate people about the disease and to support services to Parkinson’s patients worldwide. The group is also planning to host information events in two U.S. cities this year.

The gallery’s aim is to bring essential information to patients that can help improve their care at every stage of Parkinson’s. The events carry a more personal touch.

“I feel more comfortable . . . more knowledgeable, more connected and more hopeful,” said a  participant at a New York event in 2016. “Thank you for a powerful day.”

This year, the live events that bring information, educational tools and resources to patients will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Orlando, Florida, according to a press release.

Online video gallery

The online gallery at the Partners in Parkinson’s website can be accessed at any time.

Its videos include stories by Parkinson’s patients and caregivers, and talks with healthcare professionals and researchers working on the disease.


Art Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease

Find Pleasure: Art making should be enjoyable. There is no such thing as a “wrong” mark. Every expression is valid.

Experience Control: Art making is an activity in which the artist can experience choice (through color, medium, line, etc.) and control over one’s environment.

Value Individuality: Free creation can encourage spontaneity which can, in turn, improve confidence.

Express Oneself: An experience of slowed speech or flat affect can limit one’s ability to communicate. Art is another language for communication which can be done at the artist’s own pace.

Relax: Art making has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce perseverative thoughts, and lift depression. 

Improve Flow in Mind/Body Connection: In a relaxed state when focus is on the artistic expression rather than on the physical movement itself, motion can become more fluid. 

Promote Concentration, Memory, Executive Functions, Improve Hand-eye Coordination: Art making increases bilateral activity in the brain. When drawing, one uses both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This is a wonderful way to take greater advantage of mental resources.

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March 9, 2017 Beverwyck meeting agenda

Our next meeting is Thursday March 9, 2017

The Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 7 PM the second Thursday of every month at the Beverwyck Senior Center located at Krumkill Road, Slingerlands, New York.

Directions to our meeting


Dr. Vishad Sukul will present on DBS and his frameless approach.

Dr. Sukul has joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Albany Medical Center, and has been appointed assistant professor of neurosurgery at Albany Medical College. Dr. Sukul is fellowship trained in functional neurosurgery for the treatment of complex neurological conditions such as chronic pain and movement disorders. He has an interest in deep brain stimulation for the treatment of essential tremor, dystonia, and Parkinson’s disease, and performs spinal cord stimulation and other neuromodulation techniques for chronic pain.

Read more about Dr. Sukul

Notes and future events

Support Group Officer changes:

Bruce Plotsky/Barbara Traynor/Tom Stephany are stepping back from their roles of Co-President and Vice President.

Jud Eson and Ian Wing have volunteered to fill these positions. It is with great gratitude from the outgoing officers towards Jud and Ian for taking on this responsibility.

– Hope Soars walk/run April 23 9:00 AM at the Corning Preserve

– We have a website

– Speaker for next month (April 13, 2017) –

Lynda Shrager – safely access and navigate homes – age in place – adaptive equipment.

Lynda is an expert OT and can talk about helpful equipment, home safety, home modifications and more.

Read more about Lynda Shrager

Take the survey – what topics are of interest to you.



The Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 7 PM the second Thursday of every month at the Beverwyck Senior Center located at Krumkill Road, Slingerlands, New York.