Monthly Archives: June 2017

LSVT BIG – what is it?

Recently principles of LSVT LOUD® were applied to limb movement in people with Parkinson disease (LSVT BIG®) and have been documented to be effective in the short term. Specifically, training increased amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with Parkinson disease has documented improvements in amplitude (trunk rotation/gait) that generalized to improved speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and quality of life. In addition, people were able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task.

LSVT BIG can be delivered by a physical or occupational therapist. Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). This protocol was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson disease. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

Start exercising NOW – as soon as possible. Physicians rarely refer their patients to health and fitness programs at diagnosis because medications are very effective early on at alleviating most of the symptoms, and patients experience little change in function. Yet, according to a recent survey it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. Thus referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy would be best initiated at diagnosis, when it may have the most impact on quality of life.

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Parkinson’s Could Enhance Creativity

People with Parkinson’s disease may have higher levels of creativity than their healthy peers, a new study finds.

Researchers compared the creativity levels of 27 Parkinson’s patients with 27 healthy people of the same education level and age. Participants were asked to interpret abstract pictures, answer questions aimed at provoking imagination (such as, “What can you do with sandals?”) and explain imaginative metaphors such as a “scarf of fog.”

Robin Morgan, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years ago, read four “quietly powerful poems — meditating on age, loss and the simple power of noticing” at a recent TED talk.


Researchers Test Noninvasive Form of Deep Brain Stimulation on Mice

Researchers developed a method for noninvasive deep brain stimulation (DBS) that showed promise as a potential way to stimulate neurons without requiring surgery, a new study says.

The method works by inducing electrical currents with different high frequencies. When these currents meet deep in the brain, they generate enough stimulation to activate neuronal activity.

The study, “Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation via Temporally Interfering Electric Fields,” was published in the journal Cell.
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Building a Healthier You – Neuromotor Wellness – Class at the Glenville YMCA

The class will address muscle issues and, like the  “People with Parkinson’s” and  “Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery” classes, it will also work with balance, speech, manual dexterity, etc. It is open open to anyone with muscular degeneration challenges: Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, stroke recovery, muscle injury. 
Participants should be able to walk and stand unassisted. Participants must have a waiver and medical clearance. The cost will be $45 for Y members, $56 for Community members; free to caretakers.
For more information, you can call the Glenville YMCA, 399 – 8118,  127 Droms Rd, Glenville.

The class will be held on Mondays, from noon to 1:15.

The class will run through the summer of 2017

Please Note: There are still PWP and/or PWR classes going on at other YMCA’s.

  • Southern Saratoga County Y (Clifton Park) holds their class on Thursdays from 10:30 –  11:45.
  • Bethlehem Y is on Thursdays from noon – 1:15.
  • Troy Y’s class is held on Tuesdays from 10:30 – 11:45 – however, I did hear that they might suspend the class for the summer and start up again in the fall.
  • Troy’s class is taught by Sondra who actually works in the East Greenbush Y, so I assume East Greenbush also has a PWP class, but I don’t know when it is given or if it will be suspended for the summer either.
  • Other Y’s  may also give these classes, but I don’t have specific information, so if you are interested, please contact the Y nearest you and inquire! If they don’t have one, and enough people request it, they may have someone trained and start one! 

Is Parkinson’s an Autoimmune Disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person’s own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body’s cells. The study was published April 16, 2014, in Nature Communications.

“This is a new, and likely controversial, idea in Parkinson’s disease; but if true, it could lead to new ways to prevent neuronal death in Parkinson’s that resemble treatments for autoimmune diseases,” said the study’s senior author, David Sulzer, PhD, professor of neurobiology in the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and pharmacology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – Live from Brooklyn: Dance for PD

For those who haven’t tried the local Dance for PD class which is held weekly at the Ciccotti center off Wolf Rd, this will give you a taste of what the class is like.

Here is information about our local class. – CLASSES MEET EVERY TUESDAY FROM 1:30 TO 3:00 (no class on July 4th) at Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center – 30 Aviation Road – Albany, 12205 – (518) 867-8920

Live from Brooklyn:

Dance for PD

Wednesday, June 21

2:15-3:30 PM (US Eastern Time)

Join us as we continue our season of live-streamed Dance for PD® classes from the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY.

No registration required—just click below at the scheduled time.

Class taught by John Heginbotham | Music by William Wade

Can’t make it? Click here to enjoy archived classes.

National HelpLine

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you adjusting to life several years into PD? Do you need help finding a physician or managing your medications? Ask the experts at PDF your questions.

Call (800) 457-6676 or email

Our toll-free HelpLine/email service – staffed by a team of information specialists – can:
  • Answer your questions about Parkinson’s disease, symptoms, treatments, complementary and alternative therapies and the latest scientific studies reported by the media.
  • Help you to find support groups in your area and Parkinson’s specialists (movement disorder specialists) in your community, where available.
  • Identify financial, legal and other resources to help you live well with Parkinson’s.
  • Provide access to an interpreter for non-English speaking callers.

Each specialist provides a sympathetic voice and ear, with an understanding of the challenges you may be going through. If we can’t answer a question, we’ll find someone who can.  While this does not replace the relationship you have with your physician, we can help you prepare for your visits or provide advice when you cannot reach your team of healthcare professionals.


Begin finding answers today by:

  • Calling our toll-free helpline – (800) 457-6676 –  to speak directly with an information specialist.


Exercise resources

It is recommended that you exercise within 55 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes to get the best results from aerobic exercise. The MHR (roughly calculated as 220 minus your age) is the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

Target Heart Rate Calculator | ACTIVE

Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale

One way to see how much progress you’re making in your physical activity is to measure the amount of effort it takes to do an activity. Over time, the amount of effort it takes should decrease. Once you’ve reached this point, you can gradually move on to more challenging activities.

The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale will help you estimate how hard you’re working (your activity intensity). Perceived exertion is how hard you think your body is exercising. Ratings on this scale are related to heart rate (how hard your heart is working to move blood through your body).

How to Use the Scale

  • While you’re doing an activity, think about your overall feelings of physical stress, effort and fatigue. Don’t concern yourself with any single thing, like leg pain or shortness of breath. Try to concentrate on your total, inner feeling of exertion.
  • Find the best description of your level of effort from the examples on the right side of the table.
  • Find the number rating that matches that description. Add a zero to the end of the number rating to get an estimate of your heart rate during activity (also known as training or target heart rate).
  • Typically, RPE ratings for activity in the target heart rate zone will be between 12 and 16. The shaded areas are the moderate activity zones.
  • If your RPE for an activity decreases over time, you’ve improved your fitness level. Congratulations!

Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

Number Rating Verbal Rating Example
6 No effort at all. Sitting and doing nothing.
7 Very, very light Your effort is just noticeable.
9 Very light Walking slowly at your own pace.
10 Light effort.
11 Fairly light Still feels like you have enough energy to continue exercising.
13 Somewhat hard
14 Strong effort needed.
15 Hard
16 Very strong effort needed.
17 Very hard You can still go on but you really have to push yourself. It feels very heavy and you’re very tired.
19 Very, very hard For most people, this is the most strenuous exercise they have ever done. Almost maximal effort.
20 Absolute maximal effort (highest possible). Exhaustion.

Stem Cells and Parkinson’s


What are stem cells?

Stem cells are a renewable source of tissue that can be coaxed to become different cell types of the body. The best-known examples are the embryonic stem (ES) cells found within an early-stage embryo. These cells can generate all the major cell types of the body (they are “pluripotent”). Stem cells have also been isolated from various other tissues, including bone marrow, muscle, heart, gut and even the brain. These “adult” stem cells help with maintenance and repair by becoming specialized cells types of the tissue or organ where they originate. For example, special stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to all the various types of blood cells (similar blood cell-forming stem cells have also been isolated from umbilical cord blood).

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Stem cell technique morphs brain cells to cure Parkinson’s in mice

Are Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease Ready … – NCBI

Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson’s – NPR

June 23, 2017 – Boxing class

A non-contact boxing fitness class designed for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

The class is taught on Fridays at 10.

Read more here