Fox Insight

The future of Parkinson’s research is in powerful hands. Yours.

Fox Insight is an online clinical study where people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones share information that could transform the search for better treatments. You can help shape the future of Parkinson’s research — but it’s going to take all of us, working together. You in?


Be prepared for a hospital visit

No one wants to go to the hospital, but sometimes it is necessary.

Here are some ways to be prepared

Aware in care kit
To protect, prepare and empower people with Parkinson’s before, during and after a hospital visit, we developed the free Aware in Care kit with tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital visit.

Aware in Care kits can be requested from your local Parkinson’s Foundation Chapter or Center of Excellence. If you do not live in an area with a Chapter or center, you can order a kit online.

Vial of life

Everybody should have a Vial of Life form filled out. The Vial of Life is a smart way to have your medical information on hand just in case of an emergency. Seniors need this because of their constant medical changes and medications… It’s the right thing to do.

Put one in your wallet, in your glove compartment, and especially on your refrigerator door

Print a kit

Print a decal to put on your door and refrigerator

Dance Through Parkinson’s Testimonials

​​The​re are ​many reasons that I enjoy participating in the Dancing ​Through Parkinson’s program. ​Here is my list:

​The brain can be changed by doing new activities. Dancing requires concentration and coordination, which help​s my brain​ stay sharp​. My neurologist is very pleased with my stable condition and says to keep up the exercise, including D​TP. T​his is just as important as ​​my medications, in ​her opinion.

I enjoy meeting the other ​people with Parkinson’s. D​TP provides a support group atmosphere, even though that was not the original intention of the program.

Rachelle ​brings a sense of joy to the class by playing interesting music and making the class fun and exciting . Th​e class always ​leaves me feeling uplifted.

Jud Eson – Dance Participant

Dance for Parkinson’s was something I didn’t have much interest in, especially since I couldn’t dance before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) 11 years ago.  Through the cajoling of friends, I hesitantly went perhaps a month after the classes had started.  I was amazed by the positive energy that the instructor exuded and the physical/emotional benefit was measurable.  The class benefits  those who have extreme limitations and to those who have been recently diagnosed.  Since Rachelle’s most recent training in NYC with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the class has seen a higher focus on fine motor skills, gait training, coordination, and balance exercises, which translates into real life benefits of dressing one’s self without help, walking, typing, thinking, and the general well being of individuals who have been inflicted by PD. Beyond the physical benefits, I spoken to a number of people in the class whereby Dance for PD is their only social outlet for the week.
While the class is being partially subsidized by the local PD support group, the weekly cost of $5 may seem at first glance as “affordable”, one must remember that generally speaking, PD patients are older and typically on a fixed income.  In my case, the impact of PD has forced me to stop working, and I too am now on a fixed income. It would be my hope that the making the Dance for PD class free would allow class size to grow with many of these PD dancers being able to experience the benefits of the Ciccotti Center.   Making the PD Dance class free would make it available to more PD patients.
While medical breakthroughs have been limited, exercise in any format has shown to slow down the progression of PD by as much as 30%.

Patrick Klee – Dance Participant

I would like to thank the Ciccotti Center for hosting this class! It is one of the activities I truly look forward to attending on a regular basis.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) almost 20 years ago. For me, the best thing is exercise… all different forms of exercise and movement. The variety for me is important.
Besides taking the Dance/Movement class I also take a (non-contact) boxing class and a spin class (stationary bike). The dance class to me is like a PD Support Group. We get together, chat, take the class, and then chat more. This is one of the few places I feel comfortable to make mistakes and not over think about my symptoms. We are a group of like individuals taking the class with
limited opportunities to have the camaraderie of others in public. This class gives that to us. The smiles, laughter, and joy that emit from the room can be amazing. I appreciate this opportunity to let you know how grateful I am of the Cicotti Center’s support.

Bruce Plotsky – Dance Participant

Channeling Dance to Keep Moving with Parkinson’s

“Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, for which there is still no cure. I had but two options, I could live in fear, or I could scare myself healthy. I scared myself healthy, and so can you.”

Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise is more than healthy — it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. Exercise and physical activity can improve many PD symptoms. These benefits are supported by research.

Read more

According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Journal, dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.

People who are physically active can slow down their brain’s aging process. Neuroscientists behind this study say that dancing is the most effective physical activity.

In their study, they prove that 2 different types of physical activity, dancing and endurance training  both increase the brain’s area that declines over time as we age. But, only dancing has proved to be effective when it comes to changes in behavior due to the noticeable improvements in balance.
The researchers selected 52 elderly volunteers aged 63-80 years for the purpose of the study. Then, they divided them randomly into two groups, one group was assigned to join dance classes, and the other group joined the sports control group.
The dance group took dance lessons with a constant change of choreography which moves they were asked to memorize. The program for the sports group, on the other hand, consisted of strength training, endurance training, and flexibility training.
The hippocampus area of the brain which is the most susceptible to decline because of the aging processes has increased in both groups. This area of the brain is also responsible for memory, balance, as well as learning.
But, only volunteers in the dance group had an increased volume of other subparts in the left hippocampus. Moreover, only dancing had increased the volume of one part in the right hippocampus called the subiculum.
This study proved that dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is indeed superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.

More than 35 peer reviewed scientific research studies conducted at a number of major university research centers around the world including Roehampton University, University of Florida, Queensland University of Technology, York University and the University of Freiburg point to the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists around the world include Dance for PD classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.

Do you have a testimonial to add?

June 14, 2018 – Senior Services of Albany Caregiver Teleseminar.

Senior Services of Albany is conducting an upcoming Caregiver Teleseminar. This is a one-time call on Thursday, June 14, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The topics for this teleseminar are:

  • Health Care Proxies;
  • Living Wills;
  • MOLST;
  • Powers of Attorney; and
  • The disposition of assets after death.


Advance registration is required. To register, please contact Beth Owen at Senior Services of Albany at (518) 694-3511.


This seminar is sponsored by Albany County Department for Aging, NYS Office for Aging, The Administration on Aging, The United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Study Links Some Antidepressants, Bipolar Medications To Dementia

The research also found an associated risk with medications used for bladder conditions, as well as Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s important but it’s not conclusive,” commented Dr. Barbara Sommer, a geriatric psychiatrist at Stanford Medical Center and an expert in anticholinergic medication. She cautioned that the study does not prove these drugs cause dementia. Even so, she said if you take medication, over-the-counter drugs, even supplements, you should reassess if you really need them.

Read more

Study Links Some Antidepressants, Bipolar Medications To Dementia « CBS San Francisco


APDA Healthcare Communication Graph


By using the APDA Healthcare Communication Graph you will be able to consistently track important PD symptoms. This tool will allow you to identify any changes in symptoms and make visits with your healthcare professionals focused and productive.

How to Use This Tool

You will be asked to rate how you feel in several specific areas.

The areas of focus are:

Motor Symptoms:

  • Tremor
  • Rigidity
  • Balance/Walking difficulties
  • Motor fluctuations/dyskinesia
Non-Motor Symptoms:

  • Fatigue/Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety/Depression/Memory
  • Swallowing
  • Gastrointestinal Issues/Constipation
  • Sexual concerns

APDA Healthcare Communication Graph

PD SELF – a learning program designed to help people with Parkinson’s better manage their disease

PD SELF – Parkinson’s Self-Efficacy Learning Forum – A national program, now being offered in Albany for the first time, that provides people with Parkinson’s with an in-depth understanding of the disease and the tools to manage it with confidence.  There is no cost to attend.  Registration is required.  Space is limited.

PD SELF is a learning program designed to help people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the last three years manage their disease and their life with Parkinson’s.  We will learn about the disease and how to approach goals, tasks and challenges.

The first session will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00.  There will be a total of eight monthly sessions. Each subsequent session will be from 4:00 – 7:00 on the second Wednesday of the month.  We will meet at the Terrace Community Room at Beverwyck in Slingerlands. – 41 Beverwyck Lane, Slingerlands, NY 12159. (Map) (directions)

Debra Virtanen and Jud Eson traveled to Denver in May to attend a training course to learn how to facilitate the PD SELF program.  Facilitation teams, including a person with a clinical background and a person with PD, came from 11 locations across the country to learn.  Team Albany included Debra, a physical therapist, and Jud, a person with Parkinson’s.  The program has been active for three years. This is the first time it will be offered in this area. This program is distinct and separate from the Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group.

Many people are handed a diagnosis with very little guidance on what to do next. But the diagnosis is life changing. Facing life with a chronic progressive disease means facing changes to health, relationships, family life, employment and finances.

Research tells us that when people are given the resources to cope with these changes, they are empowered to take an active role in managing PD, leading to better health and quality of life.

Participants are provided with a PD SELF Curriculum Field Guide containing the course content for each of the eight modules.

  1. Adapting to Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Acquiring Self-Efficacy
  3. Creating your personal health care network
  4. Understanding PD medications and treatments including complementary and alternative medicine
  5. Benefiting from exercise and neuroplasticity
  6. Understanding cognition and nonmotor symptoms
  7. Strengthening the relationship between people with Parkinson’s and Care Partner
  8. Going forward

Over the eight modules, participants learn how to master their own relationship to Parkinson’s. The skills and behaviors learned include:

  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Self-monitoring
  • Keeping health care records
  • Communicating with your doctor
  • Establishing new routines
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Problem solving
  • Reflection and journaling
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Realistic optimism
  • Resilience and tenacity
  • Self-Advocacy

For more information and to register, please visit the PD SELF website at or send an email to .

If you are interested  in registering, fill out an interest form

Spread the word with these flyers

Printable PD SELF flyer

Printable Flyer #2 PD SELF Albany Flyer

Printable pd self cards


August 9, 2018 – meeting notice

Join the CDPSG Support Group for the monthly meeting.

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

Patients, spouses, siblings, medical professionals/students, friends, and caregivers are welcome to attend to learn more about Parkinson’s disease or obtain information

TopicRachel Kurtz – Holistic Health Coach

Rachel is focused on helping folks dealing with chronic illness, or pain. Rachel has expressed a strong interest in helping folks dealing with movement disorders, especially people with Parkinson’s. She takes a multi-disciplined approach to dealing with her clients.

Rachel’s primary goal is to support and guide her clients, whether healthy or living with chronic pain or illness, to live a more healthy and fulfilling life. Working closely with her clients support system and health care practitioners, Rachel will develop customized programs to help achieve individual health and wellness needs. In addition, she uses
insights from the latest research in positive psychology and health.

From Here to Wellbeing
Rachel Kurtz, Holistic Health Coach
Located in Saratoga Springs
518-260-3973 *

See attached flyer

Rachel Kurtz_Health Coach_3-11-18


June 2, 2018 – Albany Med Educational Program

Albany Med
The Movement Disorders Center

An educational program for those living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers

Saturday, June 2, 2018
Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road

Reservations are required. To register, please call 518-264-4257 or email by May 25, 2018

To accommodate as many patients as possible, we ask that all reservations be limited to no more than 4 people.


Program outline:

9:00 – Registration, Continental Breakfast

9:30 – Frequently asked questions – Jennifer Durphy, MD – Assistant professor of neurology

10:00 – Q & A Session/Break

10:20 – Living well with Parkinson’s – Steve Hovey – Davis Phinney Foundation

10:50 – Q & A Session/Break

11:10 Troubleshooting side effects – Octavian Adam, MD  – Associate professor of neurology

11:40 Final  Q & A Session



Gocovri Improves Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Patients


Gocovri (amantadine) extended release oral capsules provided long-term improvements of motor complications in Parkinson’s disease patients, according to results from a Phase 3 clinical trial.

Gocovri, developed by Adamas Pharmaceuticals, is the only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of dyskinesia — involuntary, jerky movements — in Parkinson’s patients who receive levodopa-based therapy, with or without accompanying dopaminergic medications.

In clinical studies, people with PD taking GOCOVRI experienced significantly less dyskinesia, as well as reduced “OFF” time resulting in better movement control.

GOCOVRI™ (amantadine) extended release capsules is the first and only FDA-approved prescription medication indicated to treat dyskinesia (sudden, uncontrolled movements) in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who are treated with levodopa therapy, with or without other medicines that increase the effects of dopamine in the brain. It is not known if GOCOVRI is safe and effective in children.

Read more


Driving and Parkinson’s

Driving allows personal freedom, control and independence. Many people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) continue to drive safely long after their diagnosis.

While Parkinson’s progression and medication side effects may affect a person’s driving ability, the diagnosis alone does not tell the whole story. Much depends on a person’s specific symptoms, as well as the presence of other age-related changes.

Though Parkinson’s may present driving challenges, there are many ways to maintain independence. If you are facing driving challenges, consider the following tips to help you take control of your transportation needs.

Local resources:

Sunnyview’s Driver Training Center offers the most comprehensive program of driver assessment, training, retraining, consulting about adaptive driving devices, and on-the-road evaluation for the disabled and elderly. In fact, Sunnyview is the only area hospital with such a program available to the public.

Our trained driver rehabilitation specialists discuss all findings and recommendations with clients and family members, as well as assisting with license renewal information as needed.

The goal is safety, and getting back on the road.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 518-382-4569.

Sunnyview patient resource about driving evaluation

image title

More information from national PD organizations



Assistive technology

Vermont Assistive technology helps people with disabilities fully access their world. This technology can
be used as-is, or it can be modified or customized for an individual’s specific needs around the
home, on the job, and in the community. The Vermont Assistive Technology Program is
committed to helping people with disabilities of all ages get access to information about the
assistive technology they need and want. By doing so, we empower Vermonters with
enhanced independence, productivity and confidence for greater inclusion across our state.

Read more VATP_AT4ALL_One_Pager

Managing Financially: Advice For People With Chronic Illness

No one ever plans to have a catastrophic illness.

Most people go through life assuming that conditions such as organ failure, HIV/AIDS, cancer or hypertension will happen to someone else – not to them or their loved ones. But if a chronic disease does strike, individuals are confronted with a wide range of issues, one of which is finances.

If you are seriously ill and concerned that you have insufficient funds to maintain your quality of life, consider the information presented here before you do anything drastic such as selling your home or your life insurance policy. Also, retain the counsel of a professional comprehensive advisor. This individual should be someone who is not working on commission and with whom you have no conflict of interest. The advisor should examine your situation to suggest the wisest course of action.

Understand Your Financial Situation

The most important thing you can do is to get a clear picture of your financial situation – from assets to liabilities to borrowing sources. Once you thoroughly understand your financial situation, review these tips.

Read more

Discounts for people with disabilities


Always Ask
The first thing to know is that most businesses that offer discounts to people with disabilities or their escorts don’t publicize them, so it’s important to always ask.

Also note that most nonprofit organizations and government agencies that provide disabled services or benefits will require proof of disability through a letter from your doctor or some other form of verification before they will accommodate you.


Mime over matter

Rob Mermin, founder of Circus Smirkus, trained with legendary mime Marcel Marceau before embarking on a 40-year career in the theater and circus world. He will talk about how he adapts basic pantomime and circus techniques to help people with Parkinson’s cope with movement limitations. Mime techniques include visualization, body language, nonverbal communication, articulation of gesture, and creative use of imagery and space. Mime is a valuable method to enhance perception of one’s immediate movement problem, visualize a better result, and overcome the limitation through focused action. Come and put your Mime Over Matter!

Premiere Performance by the PD Players directed by Rob Mermin: The Parkinson’s Performance Troupe in “Mime Over Matter!” At the Unadilla Theater in E. Calais, Vermont – June 17, 2017



Medicare HelpLine

Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIO) help Medicare beneficiaries exercise their right to high-quality healthcare. They manage all beneficiary complaints and quality of care reviews to ensure consistency in the review process while taking into consideration local factors important to beneficiaries and their families. They also handle cases in which beneficiaries want to appeal a health care provider’s decision to discharge them from the hospital or discontinue other types of services. Beneficiary experiences, both good and bad, give the QIO Program the perspective to identify opportunities for improvement, develop solutions that address the real needs of patients, and inspire action by health professionals.

BFCC-QIOs, like Livanta, review appeals and complaints about health care for Medicare patients. Quality Innovation Network (QIN) QIOs work with providers to improve care.

While BFCC-QIOs are the primary point of contact for Medicare beneficiaries and their families, quality of care complaints can also be made by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

Livanta BFCC-QIO HelpLine 866-815-5440

Please have the followinf information available when calling:

Medicare card and number
Date of birth
Address and phone number
Date of service
Provider contact information

Capital Region Caregiver Coalition

The Capital Region Caregiver Coalition is an informal group of professionals dedicated to educating caregivers about the resources available to them in New York’s Capital Region. Each member of our Coalition strives to live our mission throughout each of our respective jobs.

Our Mission: To promote community awareness, sensitivity to, and action around delivery of care to seniors.

April 21, 2018 – YOPD meeting



TIME:   2:00 PM – 4:00 PM


                          LOUDONVILLE, NEW YORK

Join the YOPD Support Group Saturday, April 21, 2018, for the monthly meeting.

Program:   Donna Stressel, Program Director, of the Driver Rehabilitation Program, Sunnyview Hospital and Rehabilitation, will give a presentation on the program offered at Sunnyview.  There is networking and no admission charge.   Patients (any age) and caregivers are welcome to attend to learn more about Parkinson’s disease.

For further information regarding the YOPD, contact:  518-541-2021, after

3:00 p.m.

Next Meeting:  Monday, May 28, 2018, Route 7 Diner, 1090 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Mission:  The YOPD support group shall welcome everyone with Parkinson’s disease including their care network.  YOPD will support, share, and encourage PD persons to enjoy quality of life and ensure they are not alone in their journey.  Information/issues obtained by YOPD from attendees will be treated confidentially and privacy respected.    

PD Library

PD Library.

If you have Parkinson’s disease or care for someone who does, you need information. And you might just find answers in the PD Library. The free online resource — maintained by the Parkinson’s Foundation — is a gold mine for anyone with an interest in the disease

In Parkinson’s Disease, early diagnosis does matter

In Parkinson’s Disease, early diagnosis does matter—for some obvious reasons, and also for reasons that are rarely discussed.  (recent edit 2/20/2018)

Carolyn Allen Zeiger, Ph.D.

Retired Licensed Psychologist and spouse of someone with Parkinson’s Disease

The question I always hear people with Parkinson’s (PWPs)—and their spouses—ask about someone else with PD is not, “How long have you had PD?” but “When were you diagnosed?”  Given that there is no definitive medical test to confirm the diagnosis, the delay between symptom onset and diagnosis is generally a few years. The thinking used to be that an early diagnosis didn’t matter.  After all, at this time it can’t be cured, it’s going to progress, and perhaps it is best to delay the use of dopamine replacement medications since they only provide symptom relief. In addition, even some physicians still harbor the mistaken belief that these medications tend to lose their effectiveness over time. Generally unstated, is also the thought that early in the progression of the disease it doesn’t have a big negative impact on the patient, or his life in general.  He’s doing well enough to get by. But is he or she? And what about the spouse or partner?

Fortunately, more doctors are focusing on early diagnosis.  But not for a reason that I find compelling: the impact of PD on our most intimate relationships—spouse, partner, lover. So many times I have heard, and experienced myself, the painful impact of undiagnosed PD on our closest relationships. Sometimes the impact is so great as to mean the ending of even long-term marriages when unidentified symptoms become burdensome or sources of ongoing conflict.  


April 18, 2018 – Guided hike at Peebles Island State Park

Hike Peebles Island State Park

Please join us for a 2 to 3 mile guided hike of Peebles Island State Park in Cohoes at 9 AM on April 18, 2018. We will meet at the Peebles Island parking lot. There may be a fee to park.
The terrain in mildly hilly, with great views of the Cohoes Falls and I have heard there is a nesting pair of eagles that should be visible from the trail. Friends and family are welcome.

Please contact Jim Slavin at to sign up.

Website: for directions and trail map.

Thanks, Jim Slavin

Finding the right Parkinson’s support group

Many Parkinson’s fighters find support groups tremendously helpful in coping with the everyday realities of having the disease. While a support group doesn’t exactly replace the standard medical care, it can make an individual feel less isolated as he/she makes connections with others facing similar challenges.

Since such groups come in different formats (from large, formal meetings to smaller “living-room” get-togethers), it is okay to be confused and not know which one will benefit you the most. Worry not! Here, we have a step-by-step guide to finding a Parkinson’s support group that’s right and equally comfortable for you.

Read more

Book: Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide – by Michael Kinsley

Vanity Fair columnist Michael Kinsley escorts his fellow Boomers through the door marked “Exit.”

The notorious baby boomers—the largest age cohort in history—are approaching the end and starting to plan their final moves in the game of life. Now they are asking: What was that all about? Was it about acquiring things or changing the world? Was it about keeping all your marbles? Or is the only thing that counts after you’re gone the reputation you leave behind?

In this series of essays, Michael Kinsley uses his own battle with Parkinson’s disease to unearth answers to questions we are all at some time forced to confront. “Sometimes,” he writes, “I feel like a scout from my generation, sent out ahead to experience in my fifties what even the healthiest Boomers are going to experience in their sixties, seventies, or eighties.”

This surprisingly cheerful book is at once a fresh assessment of a generation and a frequently funny account of one man’s journey toward the finish line. “The least misfortune can do to make up for itself is to be interesting,” he writes. “Parkinson’s disease has fulfilled that obligation.”


Are you interested in joining a Parkinson’s caregivers support group?

In response to requests at the Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group, caregivers’ support groups are being formed.  In order to provide convenient meeting times, we are asking for your preferences.

STEP I:  Questionnaire.  If you live in the greater Capital District, please complete the questionnaire by April 13th, either online here OR use the form below and mail to Nancy Eson, 2 Azalea Ct., Albany, NY  12205.

STEP 2: Organizational meeting.  On Monday, April 16, 2018, 7:00 p.m. at the Beverwyck Terrace Community Room, 41 Beverwyck Ln, Slingerlands, NY 12159, you are invited to an organizational meeting.  At this time, new groups will be formed based on preferred meeting times.  Information on how support groups might wish to function will be presented.

You do not need to be present at this meeting to participate in a support group.  If you complete the questionnaire, and do not attend the meeting, we will share your contact information with a member of your group, so that they can contact you.

Questions?  Please email:


Exercise Classes

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.


P4P-Pedaling for Parkinson’s –Saratoga YMCA no charge – Monday & Friday – phone (518) 583-9622 (Dates & Times verified 3/23/18)

P4P-Duanesburg/Delanson YMCA – Monday’s and Thursday’s (518) 895-9500 member’s free, non-members $6.00. (Dates & Times verified 3/23/18)

P4P-Southern Saratoga (Clifton Park YMCA) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday- members free, non-members $5.00 – phone (518) 371-2139

PWR – Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Class Thursdays 10:30 – 11:45 Cost $45 for 7 weeks – Clifton Park YMCA – 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065 – Phone (518) 371-2139 Contact the Y for more information (Dates and Times verified 3/24-18)

P4P-Glenville YMCA – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday– Members free, non-members $5.00—phone (518) 399-8118 (Dates & Times verified 3/23/18)

Neuromotor Wellness – Glenville YMCA – Monday’s 12 noon – 1:15 PM. (Dates & Times verified 3/23/18)

P4P-Troy YMCA – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Members free, non-members $5.00– (518) 272-5900 (Dates and Times verified 3/23/18)

P4P-Guilderland YMCA – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Member’s Free, non-members $5.00, Neuromotor Wellness Tuesdays and Thursdays $65 members, $80 non-members-Contact Chris Wilson – (518) 456-3634 ext 1140 for more information (Dates and Times verified 3/23/18)

P4P– Bethlehem YMCA – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Parkinson’s Wellness Class Thursdays 12 N -1:45 Cost $45 for 7 weeks –– Phone (518) 439-4394 Contact the Y for more information (Dates and Times verified 3/23/18)

***Schott’s Boxing, 21 Vatrano Road, Albany, NY 12205 (518) 641-9064- Friday’s 10:00 AM -The cost is $10.00 for the initial visit which covers the cost of the hand wraps. Hope Soars is partnering with Schott’s and will pay most of the membership fee which will be determined based on class size. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Burek (518) 428-0056.

Rock Steady Boxing CNY, 209 Oswego Street #12, Liverpool, NY. Classes are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Contact Jeannette Riley (315) 622-2332 for assessment appointment and more information. Check Website for class information.

Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) at the Centers at St. Camilus, 813 Fay Road, Syracuse, NY 13219, Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 – 1:15. Call for information, (315) 488-2112

Rock Steady Boxing for Onondaga County is daily, call (315) 622-2332 for more information

Dance Through Parkinson’s Colonie – Classes are every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:00 PM at Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Road, Albany, NY 12205, (518) 867-8920 – $5.00 per class***

Dance Through Parkinson’s Saratoga – Classes are every Thursday from 1:30 – 2:30 PM at the National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, (518) 584-2225 extension 3001- There is no cost for this class.

Thursday Yoga Class- Honest Weight Coop, 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY, Free for Parkinson’s Patients and their family/caregivers, for information call Instructor Tamara Cookingham (518) 495-3239

Dance for PD from home –
Yoga classes online every Wednesday live or view archived.

Rachel Kurtz – Holistic Health Coach

Rachel is a Holistic Health Coach and is really focused on helping folks dealing with chronic illness, or pain. Rachel has expressed a strong interest in helping folks dealing with movement disorders, especially people with Parkinson’s. She takes a multi-disciplined approach to dealing with her clients.

Rachel’s primary goal is to support and guide her clients, whether healthy or living with chronic pain or illness, to live a more healthy and fulfilling life. Working closely with her clients support system and health care practitioners, Rachel will develop customized programs to help achieve individual health and wellness needs. In addition, she uses
insights from the latest research in positive psychology and health.

From Here to Wellbeing
Rachel Kurtz, Holistic Health Coach
Located in Saratoga Springs
518-260-3973 *

See attached flyer

Rachel Kurtz_Health Coach_3-11-18


March 22, 2018 – Community Caregivers hosts open house

Thursday, March 8, 2018 – 15:46

GUILDERLAND — Community Caregivers announces its first Spring Open House, “Meet Community Caregivers,” on Thursday, March 22, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The open house will take place at the Community Caregivers’ office at 2021 Western Ave, Suite 104, in Guilderland.

A not-for-profit organization, the Community Caregivers harnesses the expertise and energy of volunteers to  provide non-medical services, including transportation and caregiver support, at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox and the city of Albany.

“We welcome those interested in learning about our ‘neighbor helping neighbor’ services for themselves or a loved one,” said Acting Director Larry Miller in a release from the Caregivers. “We have resources and volunteer services to support family caregivers.

“We also welcome prospective volunteers to stop in to pick up volunteer information and sign up for a springtime orientation. And, we invite community members who are thinking about what it takes to live at home as they grow older.”

The open house will offer information about local efforts for “aging in place” and the nationwide and fast-growing Village Movement.

Light refreshments will be served and helpful and information about local resources will be distributed. Experienced staff members will be on hand to answer questions.

Call 518-456-2898 for more information or for directions to the open house.

Quotes from Steven Hawking

On Taking Risks

“I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”


The Meaning of Life

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”


NY Times Obituary


March 19, 2018 – Saratoga Support Group meeting



Date: Monday, March 19th, 2018

Time: 2:00 PM


Location: Woodlawn Commons Bldg,

Saratoga Room 2nd Floor

At Wesley Health Care Center

156 Lawrence Street

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


This month our Speaker will be Lisa W. Camp Wellness Director at Family YMCA of Glens Falls Area. Lisa will conduct a chair YOGA class and speak to the benefits for all of us of this type exercise.

All persons with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and caregivers are welcome to attend.

For additional info, please call Bruce McClellan at 331-9611 or Kevin McCullough 518-222-4247.

Useful Assistive Devices for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) can make daily living challenging. As the disease progresses, the motor symptoms such as tremor or shaking, stiffness, slow movements, and unsteady balance can make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks, but there are many assistive devices available to make daily activities easier. Assistive devices can also help improve a person’s safety around the home and reduce the risk of falls.

Read more

Creativity and Art Therapy

Adapted from

There is speculation that dopamine enhancing medications can result in a surge of creativity in people living with Parkinson’s.

Some of the reasons art-making can benefit you:

  • Finding Pleasure. Art making is enjoyable. There is no such thing as a “wrong” mark. Every expression is valid.
  • Experiencing Control. Art making is an activity in which the artist — you— can experience choice (through color, medium, line, subject matter, etc.) and control over your environment.
  • Valuing Individuality. Free creation can encourage spontaneity which can, in turn, improve confidence in your own ideas and in yourself, overall.
  • Expressing Yourself. Art is another language for communication that can be done at an artist’s own pace. The pressure to communicate quickly, accurately or without hesitation does not exist.
  • Relaxation. Art making has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce repetitive and uncontrollable (anxious) thoughts and lift depression.
  • Finding Flow in Mind-Body Connection. In a relaxed state with focus on the expression rather than on the physical movement itself, motion can become more fluid.
  • Strengthening Concentration, Memory & Executive Functions. Art making increases the bilateral activity in the brain. When drawing or painting, you are using both the right and the left hemispheres of the brain. This is wonderful way to take greater advantage of mental resources.


In addition to the intangible and ethereal ways that life can be enhanced through creativity and expression, art making can be used therapeutically to address specific symptoms of Parkinson’s.

  • Tremor. Approximately 70% of people living with Parkinson’s are affected by tremor, and this can be exacerbated by stress. Relaxation is key. In an art studio or other safe space where acceptance is nurtured and focus is on the process rather than on the product, art making can lower blood pressure, slow down breathing and calm the central nervous system. Acceptance of a tremor can actually soothe the tremor.
  • Freezing. When the body is on autopilot, often during repetitive movement, and is interrupted, neuromuscular freezing can result. When you are deeply immersed in art making, the focus shifts to creating with deliberate, novel motions, and you are less likely to freeze.
  • Impaired speech. The physical and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s can result in impaired speech. Self-expression and communication with others is essential to well-being. Art making opens a door for non-verbal communication. The act if creating benefits you, the artist, and the act of sharing what you’ve created strengthens your relationships with others.
  • Isolation and Depression. The social and emotional connections you form by sharing a safe, creative space are invaluable for combating isolation and depression. An art therapy support group can be beneficial for those living with Parkinson’s as well as for care partners and caregivers. I have witnessed first hand the emotional support, information, and inspiration that members of these groups provide to one another in a way that only someone that has experienced living with Parkinson’s could do.

7 Ways the Arts Can Help People with Parkinson’s Disease

  1. Singing has been found to help people with Parkinson’s disease improve voice strength and volume.
  2. Besides being relaxing, playing an instrument, painting and other arts endeavors can help people with Parkinson’s maintain motor skills.
  3. Use your craft to help raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease. Whether you’re painting a self portrait, writing a personal essay or even penning a play, creative works can help others understand your experience better.
  4. Many people with Parkinson’s have found that dance helps improve their balance, and that moving to a rhythm helps them avoid freezing episodes. Any exercise has also been found to improve Parkinson’s symptoms such as gait and flexibility.
  5. Art isn’t limited to painting and drawing. Any engrossing activity that you enjoy can help you relax and potentially manage symptoms.
  6. Enjoying a hobby can also be a way to connect with others who also have Parkinson’s, or who simply share your interests.
  7. If there’s a hobby you enjoyed that your Parkinson’s symptoms have impacted, our community recommends trying them again and making the most of your new “style.”




An Overview of Dyskinesia

Dyskinesia is an abnormal, uncontrolled, involuntary movement. It can affect one body part, such as an arm, leg or the head, or it can spread over the entire body. Dyskinesia can look like fidgeting, writhing, wriggling, head bobbing or body swaying. It doesn’t happen in everyone with Parkinson’s, and in those who do have it, it occurs to different degrees of severity. In some people, dyskinesia may be painful or bothersome to the point that it interferes with exercise, social life or other daily activities. Many people, though, say they prefer having dyskinesia to being rigid or less mobile due to Parkinson’s.

Dyskinesia tends to occur most often during times when other Parkinson’s symptoms, such as tremor, slowness and stiffness, are well controlled. (This is what doctors and researchers call “on” with dyskinesia.) Stress or excitement can exacerbate dyskinesia.


More from M.J Fox



New wearable tremor suppression gloves may hold huge benefits for Parkinson’s disease patients

A new prototype for wearable tremor suppression gloves has a team of Western University researchers believing real change is on the way for the more than 6 million people in the world afflicted by Parkinson’s disease.

Ana Luisa Trejos, an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at Western, and members of her Wearable Biomechatronics Laboratory Group have developed a novel approach for designing wearable technology that allows those with Parkinson’s to exhibit improved motor control while reducing or even restricting involuntary muscle contractions commonly associated with the long-term and degenerative neurological disorder. More than 25 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have an associated action tremor.

Previous studies from Trejos and her team show suppression devices targeting elbows or wrists often produce exaggerated tremors in the fingers, which causes even more difficulty for those with Parkinson’s.

” If you have seen anybody with Parkinson’s that has tremors, they have them in their entire body but it’s the ones in their fingers that really prevent them from performing the activities of daily living,” explains Trejos, also a key investigator at Western’s Bone and Joint Institute.

Instead of suppressing tremors, which is what most other tremor suppression devices do, these new personalized gloves actually track voluntary movement so if a person is trying to accomplish a particular task, the glove allows the action to happen while minimizing the tremor.

“Our gloves don’t suppress all movements, which is what most other wearable tech systems do,” says Trejos. “They are either suppressing or not suppressing movement so when a person is trying to perform a specific task, the devices actually prevent them from performing the action they are trying to perform. They have to act against it. Our gloves actually allow the voluntary movement to happen and at the same time, prevent the tremor from occurring.”

The new gloves will be custom designed for both hands of each patient to maximize the benefits of the wearable technology. The prototype was created specifically for the left hand of Western doctoral student Yue Zhou, who 3D-printed its key components. Mary Jenkins from Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Michael Naish from Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Western also collaborated on the project.

“While collecting data, we have seen first-hand

that people with Parkinson’s get really frustrated when they can’t do something on their own and I feel our glove will allow them to get back to their daily living,” says Trejos. “It can be very frustrating to not be able to eat or button a shirt on your own. Or even draw. Things we take for granted. By creating a glove that allows people to perform these actions while suppressing the tremors, I think they could go back to being much more independent in their own homes for a far longer period of time.”

MRI-Focused Ultrasound Undergoing Phase 3 Clinical Trial for Parkinson’s Treatment

New technology that uses MRI-guided focused ultrasound to target areas of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease and improve motor symptoms will be further tested in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial.

Led by the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), the randomized trial will assess the safety and effectiveness of the novel procedure. It is the final step before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider approving it as a nonsurgical treatment for  Parkinson’s.

“The goal of the focused ultrasound treatment is to both lessen the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which include tremors, rigidity and slow movement, as well as treat the dyskinesia that is a medication side effect, so that less medication is needed,” Howard M. Eisenberg, MD, the trial’s lead investigator, said in a press release.  Eisenberg is a professor and the chair of neurosurgery at both UMSOM and UMMC.

Participants are currently being recruited for the new trial (NCT03319485), which follows a previous study where MRI-guided focused ultrasound led to a 62% improvement in upper-limb tremors, compared with 22% in the control group, in patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson disease who did not respond to other forms of therapy.

Findings were published in the study, “Safety and Efficacy of Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Patients With Medication-Refractory, Tremor-Dominant Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” in the journal JAMA Neurology.

“The results of the pilot trial, so far, are very encouraging,” said Eisenberg about the first trial conducted in 2015 with 20 patients, the majority of whom were treated at UMMC.

With the new technology, clinicians direct ultrasound waves to a brain structure called the globus pallidus, which helps regulate voluntary movement, to destroy damaged tissue, decreasing the uncontrolled movements that characterize Parkinson’s disease.

Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a temperature map of the brain, giving them a real-time picture of the region they want to hit with the sound waves. They then raise the energy, directly targeting that area of the brain to destroy the tissue.

Patients are awake and alert the entire time in the MRI scanner, enabling them to give clinicians constant feedback. They are fitted with a helmet through which the energy is converted into sound waves, which are then targeted to the globus pallidus. The approach is noninvasive, meaning there is no surgery or radiation treatment involved.

Current therapies to lessen movement and coordination problems in Parkinson’s patients include levodopa (sold under the brand name Dopar, among others), which is the most common. Patients with advanced Parkinson’s may undergo surgery, known as deep brain stimulation, to implant micro-electrodes in the brain that help control tremors, rigidity and dyskinesia (abnormal, uncontrolled, involuntary movement).

“For people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders such as essential tremor, focused ultrasound is an appealing alternative to deep brain stimulationbecause it does not involve more invasive surgery,” said Paul S. Fishman, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at UMSOM and a neurologist at UMMC.

Enrollment in the study is approximately 80 to 100 participants, and the inclusion criteria were designed to include a wider population of Parkinson’s patients. Sponsored by InSightec, the trial is recruiting participants in the U.S. at the University of Maryland Medical System, Maryland; Weill Cornell Medicine, New York; and The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Ohio.

“University of Maryland Medicine is a world leader in pioneering MRI-guided focused ultrasound to become a new standard of care for treating many devastating brain diseases including Parkinson’s, essential tremor and glioblastoma, an often deadly type of brain cancer,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president of medical affairs at the University of Maryland and dean of UMSOM.

March 17, 2018 – YOPD 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

The monthly meeting of the YOPD Support Group is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2018,
2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 510 Albany-Shaker Road,
Loudonville, New York.
Program: Stephanie Hutchins, Certified Personal Trainer, PTA, “Keep Moving With Stephanie,” will do a
presentation on Exercise and Parkinson’s disease. Ms. Hutchins has worked with Parkinson’s disease clients
and providing exercise programs based on individual needs. She will have equipment on hand that will
demonstrate various types of exercises. There is networking and no admission charge. Patients and
caregivers are welcome to attend to learn more about Parkinson’s disease.
For further information regarding the YOPD, contact:

518-371- 0448, after 3:00 p.m.

Submitted By: Linda L. Rolfe Date: February 26, 2018
Telephone: 518-459- 9052

March 17, 2018 – Mid-Hudson/Albany Parkinson’s Symposium

Mid-Hudson/Albany Parkinson’s Symposium

March 17 ,2018

Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
120 Broadway Tivoli, NY 12583

10:00 – 10:15 Registration, Welcome

10:15 – 11:00 “Everything You Need to Know about PD Meds”
Fabio Danisi, MD * Neurologist, Movement Disorder Specialist, Mid Hudson Regional Hospital

  • Standard treatments, timing, dosage
  • Drug-induced hallucinations etc.
  • New medications (Nuplazid, etc.)
  • Drug interactions with over the counter preparations
  • Holistic ltems
  • PDF Materials -Medication log

11:00- 11:15 – Break

11:15 -12:00 – Non-Drug PD Treatments”
Vishad Sukul, MD – Neurosurgeon
Albany Medical Group

  • Surgical Parkinson’s Options
  • Deep Brian Stimulation -Multiple options
  • Focused Ultrasound
  • Future of Parkinson Surgery
  • Duopa

2:00 – 2:45 – Light Lunch

2:45 – 1:15 – “Move lt or Lose lt!”
Anne Olin; Board Certified Dance/Movement therapist,
NYS Creative Arts Therapist

1:15 – 2:00 – Panel Discussion – Open Forum
Fabio Danisi, MD – MidHudson Regional Hospital
Vishul Dukul, MD -Albany Medical Center
Jennifer Durphy, MD – Albany Medical Center
Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD- Surgeon, Albany Medical Group

Please RSVP to Michael Hahn


From the New York State Thruway, Kingston and Points West

From N.Y.S. Thruway (Interstate 87) take Exit 19 (Kingston). Take Route 209 north over Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge. Route 209 ends at the center of the bridge and becomes Route 199. Continue over the bridge to the second traffic light which is junction with Route 9G. Turn left (North) on Route 9G/Route 199 towards Hudson / Germantown and continue North on Route 9G for 6 miles to County Route 78. Turn left (West) on County Route 78/Broadway. Continue on Broadway passing through the Village of Tivoli. Kaatsbaan Road is one mile from the intersection of Route 9G & 78. Kaatsbaan’s entrance is on the left after St. Sylvia’s Catholic Church, diagonally across from Woods Road.

From the Taconic State Parkway

Exit Taconic State Parkway at Route 199 Pine Plains/Red Hook. Turn West toward Red Hook on Route 199. Continue on Route 199 through the village of Red Hook to the junction with Route 9G. Turn right (North) on Route 9G, continue 4 miles to County Route 78. Turn left (West) on County Route 78/Broadway. Continue on Broadway passing through the Village of Tivoli. Kaatsbaan Road is one mile from the intersection of Route 9G & 78. Kaatsbaan’s entrance is on the left after St. Sylvia’s Catholic Church, diagonally across from Woods Road.

From Rhinebeck and Points South

Take Route 9 North to Route 9G. Turn left (Northwest) on Route 9G. Continue for 7.4 miles to County Route 78 Turn left (West) on County Route 78/Broadway. Continue on Broadway passing through the Village of Tivoli. Kaatsbaan Road is one mile from the intersection of Route 9G & 78. Kaatsbaan’s entrance is on the left after St. Sylvia’s Catholic Church, diagonally across from Woods Road.

From Hudson and Points North

Take Route 9G South to County Route 78. Turn right (West) on County Route 78/Broadway. Continue on Broadway passing through the Village of Tivoli. Kaatsbaan Road is one mile from the intersection of Route 9G & 78. Kaatsbaan’s entrance is on the left after St. Sylvia’s Catholic Church, diagonally across from Woods Road.

Arriving at Kaatsbaan

Studio Theatre Building: Turn left onto Kaatsbaan Road (120 Broadway). Follow into the property and turn right after the first barn. Take the next right into the parking lot. Walk left past the arena (metal roof) and right around the “Music Barn”. The Studio Theatre building will be directly front.

Dancer’s Inn: Take the entrance road into the property and go past the first barn (right side of road). Continue straight ahead at the fork down to the Dancers Inn, located on the left just before the road loops back to the right. Turn left into the entrance and parking area.

How to Sleep Better With Parkinson’s advice from

Sleep is essential for everyone’s overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, problems with sleep and alertness are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is likely that at some point, you will experience poor sleep and/or impaired daytime alertness related to your PD — maybe you already have.

The Parkinson’s Foundation has tools and information you can start using right now to get some quality sleep:


Our newest book, Sleep: A Mind Guide to Parkinson’s, is your practical guide for achieving good sleep health. This book addresses all aspects of sleep: healthy sleep, sleep changes due to aging and sleep problems due to Parkinson’s. Don’t miss the tips and personal stories from others in the Parkinson’s community.

Read Now


What type of bed is ideal for someone with PD? Find out the answer to this question and more in our video Rest and Sleep. Learn how both you and your bed partner can get better sleep and how to create a restful environment. Caregivers, watch Part 2 for guidance on how to help your loved one safely get in and out of bed.

Watch Now


In our Expert Briefings webinar, Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School discusses the most common sleep issues related to PD. Dr. Videnovic addresses sleep fragmentation, restless legs syndrome, REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Learn Now


Have more sleep or PD-related questions?
Call our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) to speak to one of our Parkinson’s information specialists or email