Emphasis put on exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease in the Nelson area

This Parkinson Society British Columbia wants to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and its devastating effects on individuals

This Parkinson Society British Columbia wants to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and its devastating effects on individuals and their families, as well as encourage the 11,000 British Columbians living with the disease to join the Parkinson’s Exercise Revolution.

“Parkinson’s disease is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain,” said Dr. Martin MacKeown, neurologist and researcher at the Pacific Parkinson’s Research, UBC. “Fortunately, besides taking medication, there are other ways one can naturally increase dopamine levels in the brain. Exercise is the best natural way to boost dopamine release, with several additional benefits to overall health. Individuals who run for fitness or recreation often report a sense of exhilaration, or ‘runner’s high’, that is produced by dopamine and other brain chemicals. However, research has shown that even mild physical activity, such as vigorously bending and straightening one’s elbow, can lead to increased brain dopamine.”

Parkinson’s can strike anyone. There is no known cause and no cure.

In the city of Nelson there is a very small support group made up with those with Parkinson’s and caregivers, usually a partner, husband or wife. They are hoping to increase their numbers as statistics indicate there are a number of people that could benefit by participating in the Nelson Parkinson’s Support Group.

“The Parkinson’s Exercise Revolution is the theme for the society’s many initiatives this year,” said Diane Robinson, CEO. “One of these initiatives is a series of workshops on Parkinson’s specific exercises that will be delivered this fall by Dr. Farley who is known as the PD exercise guru in the US. She will demonstrate exercises to be incorporated into the daily routine of people with Parkinson’s disease.Dr. Farley will also conduct a two-day training session for physiotherapists that will instruct them in the proper protocols and techniques for treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s. There is currently no known cure.


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