Thursday, May 24, 2007

The big Parkinson's blog

I am friends with a few people who have Parkinson's disease, and I am creating this site so that they will have a place where they can come to find information on Parkinson's disease.

Of course his best place for information is the doctor - preferably a movement disorders specialist. But, it seems to make sense if a person goes to the doctor prepared. If the doctor has to use those valuable few minutes to explain the very basic stuff, they will never get to a strategy. In 2007 we live in the age of the blog.

My Parkinson's Info's blog has more information that any other Parkinson's disease blog out there. It is updated almost daily, with good information. I like the fact that My Parkinson's Info has entries from other people with Parkinson's disease. I wish that they had a place where we could comment of their stories, and add our points of view. However, overall it is good stuff that holds pretty tight to good medicine.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Parkinson's disease patients should see movement disorders specialist

From everything that I have read, one of the best ways to improve your odds of living well with Parkinson's disease is choosing the right doctor. Most people with Parkinson's disease make appointments with a neurologist to manage Parkinson's disease. If a person is having their general practitioner (internist, family practice doctor, or internal medicine physician) manage their Parkinson's disease, they may be missing some opportunities to improve their life. Primary care physicians are incredibly skilled and intelligent. They just do not typically focus their practice enough on Parkinson's disease to really dominate treating it.

Do neurologists focus enough to effectively treat Parkinson's disease?
Neurologists treat multiple sclerosis, strokes, back pain, nerve injuries and a number of other conditions, in addition to movement disorders like Parkinson's. It is an immense amount of information to dominate and keep up on. So, general neurologists are probably pretty good at treating Parkinson's disease. However, there is probably one better option.

A movement disorders specialist is a neurologist (or in a few cases a psychiatrist or other physician). But, in addition to being a neurologist, they also have completed other years of training in movement disorders. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder, so it makes sense for a movement disorders specialist to be the doctor that treats Parkinson's disease patients.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Psychology of Parkinson's disease

After doing a bunch of research on Parkinson's disease, you realize that there is a ton of information out there about thinks like medications, tremors, brain surgery, challenges of walking with Parkinson's disease, and so on. But, when you "listen in" on some of the online interaction, the toughest challenges are emotional in nature.

So, if you are living with Parkinson's disease, you are not alone if you wonder about your feelings and emotions. If you have a harder time thinking through things that used to be easy, don't be surprised. A lot of people do.

To read more about the psychology of Parkinson's disease just follow the link:

Neuropsychiatric Aspects of Parkinson’s Disease: Recent Advances as found on

The Mind Also Has It's "Offs" and "Ons" - The Emotional Side of Parkinson's Disease

I hope that today is one of many fairly good days!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Writing for a friend about Parkinson's disease

I have many friends with Parkinson's disease, and I've been doing a lot of writing an research about the disease for over a year now. Besides my own stuff, there are a log of good sources about Parkinson's disease. I decided to do a little more indexing of the information here on Parkinson's Disease Update. This is meant to be very much at the introductory level.

Sometimes I have to explain what blog is. I was never a big Star Trek fan, but I tell people that it is kind of like when Captain Kurk would dictate an entry into his captain's log: "Star date 2090. Captian log. The Enterprise entered sector 12 . . . "

It's just a person doing the same thing on the Internet. In my case my mission is to teach people about Parkinson's disease so that they are fluent enough to have a good visit with their doctor, and make decisions with the doctor.
So, if you run into this blog, please feel free to come along on the ride with us.

By the way, I reserve the right to misspell and use poor grammar. Its a blog!

One of the most useful websites that introduced the basics of Parkinson's to us was from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Or NINDS.

The web address is From this we learned that a person has Parkinson's disease because the cells in his brain that normally make dopamine are mostly dead. So, there's a lot less dopamine in there to help him move.

The way they treat it is by putting dopamine back in the brain using a medication called Levodopa. Most people take levodopa in a pill called Sinemet. I know that is not an amazing breakthrough to most people with Parkinson's. The doctor explains all of this in the first few mintues. But, many friends tell me that they do not not hear much after the words, "You have Parkinson's disease." So, it is all worth repeating.

By the way, a little social protocol and etiquite. In casual writing like a blog, call people with Parkinson's disease, "people with Parkinson's." You can abreviate it PWPs. I'll do that alot.