Weighing in on Weight Management in PD

ScaleHave 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:

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Finding Inspiration in the Forest & the Trees: Q&A with Artist Michael Abbott

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.

Autumn Bliss by Michael Abbott

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.

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Just Around the Corner to the Light of Day Concerts for PD

Bob Benjamin

PDF President Robin Elliott with Bob Benjamin (second from left) and Light of Day Foundation board members at 2014 Billboard Touring Awards.

This past weekend, the Light of Day Foundation kicked off its Winterfest concerts in Asbury Park, NJ, with proceeds benefitting Parkinson’s disease research, including the programs of PDF. Are you near New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia, PA? There’s still time to enjoy great music at the Winterfest (the concerts run until Monday, January 18), while supporting Parkinson’s research.

The concerts are in the 20th year, thanks to PDF’s longtime friend Bob Benjamin, who founded Light of Day back in 1996. Back then, shortly after Bob’s own diagnosis of young-onset PD, he threw a 40th birthday concert with friends and asked everyone to donate to PDF. He came to name the shows “Light of Day,” after Bruce Springsteen’s song of the same name, the lyrics of which reflect finding happiness through difficult circumstances.

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Aspirin for Parkinson’s: What Does It Mean?

MedicineCan an aspirin a day treat Parkinson’s disease (PD)? Not exactly, but the idea made headlines a few weeks ago, after scientists discovered that a key ingredient of aspirin might have potential to block the loss of brain cells in neurological diseases like PD and Alzheimer’s.

As with every science headline, PDF asks, “what does it mean for people with PD?” In this case, we asked Michael Schwarzschild, M.D., Ph.D., of MassGeneral Institute of Neurodegenerative Disease, a well-known PD scientist who has also studied aspirin and ibuprofen in relation to PD. Here are his insights.

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From Kirk: Will You 2x Your Donation to PDF?

hall_kirkI’m a person living with Parkinson’s disease. Because of investment from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, I am also a trained Research Advocate and a member of the team ending PD. But we need your help.

After my diagnosis in 2008, I wasn’t sure how to make a difference. But by training with PDF’s Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) program, I realized that patient advocates have a critical role to play. Now I’m working on the front lines with PDF-funded researchers to solve, treat and end PD.

But we need your donation to help our team, including Research Advocates like me, meet our goals. That’s why, this month, your support goes further. All donations made by Thursday, December 31, will be matched by the PDF Board of Directors and friends for up to $500,000! read more Read More

Back to Basics: Why Basic Research (and the Fava Bean) are Key to the Cure

research_vernaleo_beth_100x100Do you hope for new treatments for PD? At the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, we do. In fact, it’s the reason we exist. But how do we find them? And would you believe me if I told you the fava bean played an important role in the current gold-standard treatment for PD?

When we think of finding better PD treatments, we often think of clinical trials — the final stage of research before PD drugs come to market. But there’s a crucial step at the very beginning of the pipeline that makes new drugs possible — basic science.

Basic science looks at the building blocks of the brain, the cells and the chemical reactions that make it possible to walk, smile or even read a book. It also looks at what goes wrong when someone has PD. Often conducted in labs, it involves studying cells or animals to get a close-up view of how the brain works. Every drug approved by the FDA began with basic science.

Basic science is so important that PDF invests $4 million a year on it. In ‘Back to Basics,” we will show how basic science is helping PDF come closer to solving, treating and ending PD.

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