From left to right: PDF Research Advocate Ronnie Wanetick and Alit Stark-Inbar, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley
Did you know that anxiety and depression are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD)? Both of these fall under the umbrella of mood disorders. But despite being common in PD, they often go undiagnosed (or incorrectly diagnosed) and under-treated.
By combining forces, a scientist-patient advocate team involving Alit Stark-Inbar, Ph.D., at UC Berkeley and Ronnie Wanetick, a PDF Research Advocate, is finding solutions.
The two received a PDF PAIR Leadership Award to study EMOTE, an iPad app that can help to monitor depression and anxiety throughout the day, and even offers games to help ease symptoms. While the app is still being tested (it’s not yet available to the public) the initial results are promising. We sat down with Dr. Stark-Inbar to hear about the research, and how the insights of people with PD helped to make it happen.
Are people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s finding the right support? Many people, when first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, are given little guidance on facing life with a chronic progressive disease. And that diagnosis is life changing — it entails changes to health, relationships, family life, employment and finances.
Diane Cook, a member of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, is passionate about changing this. She wants to support the newly diagnosed so they can begin their PD journey on the right foot.
Over the past few years, she has developed a program called PD SELF. It provides tools and information to the newly diagnosed, and asks them to learn “self-efficacy” — to tap into their personal power to manage their PD and improve their health and well-being.
From left to right: Amy Sole, Doug Stern and Stephanie Goldman-Pittel at their 2014 Tequila & Tapas. Photo Credit: BC the Mag
What’s the recipe for success when it comes to fundraising for PD? For PDF Board Member Stephanie Goldman-Pittel and friends Amy Sole and Doug Stern, it’s simple: turn happy hour into helping hour.
In 2014, the trio created a local PDF Helping Hours, inviting friends and family for cocktails at Harvest Bistro in Closter, NJ, to raise funds for PDF. Over the years, their thematic events — tequila and tapas in their first year, and a vodka tasting in year two — have raised more than $47,000 for PDF research programs. The group will gather on Thursday, March 3, for this year’s Martinis and Bellinis, their third annual event.
What’s the secret to their success? In this interview, Stephanie shares tips and tells us why the Parkinson’s cause is so important to their group.
Are there steps a person with Parkinson’s can take to live better with the disease? Yes, according to Ju Young Shin, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., A.N.P-C., an alumni of The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program (EJS-VNF) at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF).
She has spent her career answering that question to help her patients to live better. After undergoing the EJS-VNF program at PDF in 2013, she turned her attention to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Now she’s conducting research into helping people with PD take charge, and live better through simple everyday means, like managing medications. Here’s our interview with her.
Have you noticed any changes in your weight due to Parkinson’s disease? You are not alone.
It is critical for all of us to maintain a healthy weight. For people with Parkinson’s disease, this might be more difficult to do because of PD symptoms or medications.
As January is National Healthy Weight Awareness Month, our team wanted to bring awareness to the issue of weight management in Parkinson’s disease.
Here are a few little-known facts:
When Michael Abbott of Panama City Beach, FL, looks at the woods surrounding the river near his home, he doesn’t just see trees. He sees his next creation.
After his diagnosis of young onset Parkinson’s in 2004, the retired firefighter and former US Marine started making sculptures of trees using old copper wires. He has since found it to be a therapeutic outlet. Recently, one of his sculptures entitled, “Autumn Bliss” (pictured at left) was selected to appear in PDF’s 2016 Creativity and Parkinson’s Calendar for the month of February.
Find out how creativity has impacted Michael’s life and what it means to him to share his artwork with the PD community.