An apology is in order for the dearth of posts lately. We've been tweaking past posts and side column information and now we'd like to share some random thoughts we've had recently.
Lifestyle aids - If you look hard enough you'll find several interesting products including scissors. At one point in our household there were two lefties. One had to have a lefty scissors, the other couldn't use one. But this is different. There is a long reach scissors for helping with toenails. We don't know if it is really long enough but it might help. There is also a table top mounted scissors which might help for those who can only use one hand.
We wrote about other basic assistive devices a few years ago. It's always a good idea to keep checking because people are always finding clever ways to help adapt to PD issues. We would appreciate your input on experience with adult incontinence underwear brands through your comments below or by email.
Toe Cramps? If a calcium/magnesium along with a potassium supplement doesn't work, perhaps Gel Flex Toe Stretchers or YogaPro Yoga Toes might help. They look sort of like the foam pads I tried to use for separating my toes to keep nail polish from smearing. Would those work too? Those will cost about $2.00 for a pair.
The laser mobility walker for Parkinson's disease. Made by U-step who also makes a laser cane, these walkers are not inexpensive although you can still get considerable support form Medicare for their purchase. This is a heavy duty walker with seat and basket, the laser device which helps to break a freeze can be purchased separately.
We've only mentioned medical alert tags once, but the more we read anecdotal experiences, the more we realize just how important these dog tags, pendants, wallet cards, bracelets can be. It is important that the information be on the tag itself. There are several companies which can create this identification for you. Consider how symptomatic you might become or how painful withdrawal might be if medical personnel did not have your medication information upon admission to the hospital...or even before that.
Multi-tasking. In ADHD low levels of dopamine prevent a child from focusing - is that similar to the lowered ability of PwPs to multi-task?
|Saw this little guy down the street|
We were delighted to see him
No imagination required
Walking and arm swing - did you know that it takes more energy to walk with your arms still than to swing them? Arm swing helps to counterbalance the body - keeping your hips from twisting too much. It has been learned that if you walk with the leading leg and the arm swing on the same side of the body (think Pacer in horse racing) it actually requires 25% more energy than a normal walk with leading leg and opposing arm swing. So where is it in the brain? As evidenced by DBS surgery and possibly PD levodopa treatment, upper arm locomotor synergies are influenced by the basal ganglia.
Steve has been taking a different form of Creatine for the last few weeks and has regained a small amount of arm swing on that PD side. Although we switch brands of supplements from time to time, we're going to be sticking with CreaSol, a flavored powder which is mixed with warm water. It is the micronized form of creatine monohydrate which is also available at about 1/2 the price, although a bit tricker to dissolve.
We know that the rhythm of the dance apparently helps people with PD move in ways their condition suggests they can no longer move. How do You walk to music? We know that music is an anxiotic -an anti-anxiety aid. We know that music can actually have analgesic properties. It can decrease heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure. Music has been used for therapy since early times. Rhythm is just one aspect which seems to be very helpful in PD. If you don't want to get out of that chair, listen to the music.
So what about melatonin, the nighttime hormone produced by the pineal gland? Is it just another push-me-pull-you of PD? Exposure to sunlight suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin release then inhibits the release of dopamine in specific areas of the central nervous system (hypothalamus, hippocampus, medulla-pons, and retina). It is possible that this in turn plays a role in the causation of PD since inhibition of dopamine will have consequences on bodily movements. Although the antioxidant effect of melatonin may offer neuroprotection for mitochondrial activity, the inhibition of dopamine release is not a goal of PwPs.
|Steve and Rita on a walk in the park|
Seborrhoeic dermatitis - autonomic symptom - immunodeficiency - aloe vera or coconut oil - crude diluted honey - avocado extracts and supplements such as lactobacillus, B vitamins: B7 (biotin), B6, B2, B3. Alternative treatment= apply milk of magnesia to face or scalp when showering (rinse off at end of shower)
Autonomic Neuropathy a form of peripheral neuropathy, is found in symptoms which occur when there is damage to the nerves which regulate blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder emptying, digestion and impotence. So that helps to explain the Pd symptoms: constipation, urinary incontinence, urinary hesitancy, incomplete emptying of bladder and yes, RLS. It also helps to explain postural instability or dizziness upon standing or sitting up, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating, difficulty swallowing.
In Parkinson's disease concerns are very real. Falling, weight loss leading to malnutrition, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, choking. although rarely mentioned there is also a risk of kidney failure caused by urine back up accompanying incomplete emptying of bladder.
|Steve loves marigolds|
Exercise aids - we've talked about the portable assisted pedaler in a previous post. We'll add the findings of other PD users as the reports come in. If you can find a therapy center or club which has forced exercise on its program, join it!
Voice Exercises - in the comfort of your own home, you can take Mary Spremulli's Voice Aerobics class on DVD. She also as Songbirds in an audio CD and offers The Breather to aid in breathing in and exhaling. Mary is a medical speech-language pathologist who has many years of experience in her field. Visit her website to learn more, you won't regret it.
On 9-18-11 we were sent a link for a pocket sized breathing exerciser:
Respiratory Muscle Strength Trainer, a simple hand-held device looking very much like a large whistle. Regular use should help improve the strength of the muscles used to inhale and exhale. Most everyone remembers having a whistle as a child. This devise might appeal to the aging but young at heart and demonstrate important therapeutic results.