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Parkinson’s – Discussion Group and Education Series

September 28, 2022

Open Discussion

This week’s group discussion covered a variety of topics. Many of the attendees actively participated, sharing their experiences and bits of advice with the group. The essence of the discussion follows.

Falling

PWP are frequently unsteady and prone to falling, which can result in severe injuries. Patrick discussed several ways to improve your balance and therefore minimize or eliminate falls. The following are a few of his favorite exercises:

  1. The Scramble
  2. Strengthen ankles
  3. Develop Quick feet

 

Choking and Swallowing

People with Parkinson’s Disease (PWP) may notice changes in or difficulty chewing, eating, or swallowing. These changes can happen at any time but tend to increase as PD progresses. Just as PD affects movement in other parts of the body, it also affects the muscles in the face, mouth and throat that are used in speaking and swallowing.

Often speech and swallowing changes occur together in people with PD. The term for swallowing difficulty is dysphagia. Dysphagia often starts mildly with coughing at mealtimes but can progress over time to become a critically important PD symptom. Importantly, dysphagia can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and aspiration (when food or liquid “goes down the wrong pipe”). Aspiration, which can be silent, (no cough or choke) can lead to aspiration pneumonia. It is important to ensure that people with Parkinson’s can eat safely.

Shared Tidbit Watch out for steak.

Shared Tidbit After taking your pills, look to the right, a report says it helps digest the medicine.

Shared Tidbit Stick out your tongue, hold it with your teeth and swallow. This is difficult exercise, but is very helpful for voice and swallowing.

Shared Tidbit The Breather “strengthen respiratory muscles, reduce shortness of breath and promote safer swallow.” The website has a demo and quite a lot of information.

Shared Tidbit  EMST 150 “The EMST 150 is a calibrated expiratory muscle strength trainer muscles to improve breathing, cough, swallowing, and speech.

Parkinson’s Disease Medications

Carbidopa/Levodopa is still the gold standard treatment more than 50 years after it was developed. Frequently abbreviated as C/L, it is the generic name for the drug. The following are brand names of different formulations of C/L. All of these medications have carbidopa/levodopa in them.

C/L             Carbidopa/Levodopa the generic name

Sinemet       Brand name for immediate release tablets

Sinemet CR  Brand name for continuous release tablets

Sinemet ER  Brand name for extended-release tablets

Rytary         Brand name for an extended release – more extended than Sinemet ER

Duopa         Brand name for C/L delivered through a small pump

Inbrija         Brand name for C/L delivered by inhaling – quick, temporary relief

There are numerous medications that address different PD symptoms. Just as the symptoms vary from one PWP to another, so do the reactions to the medications. Of particular note was the concern shared about Mirapax (Pramipexole) and some of the more serious side-effects. Hallucinations and other psychological behavior, such as punding (doing the same thing over and over with no purpose or goal) may occur.

Marijuana

A discussion about the use of marijuana ensued. It is still a controversial topic. There are no consistent federal laws. Many people feel it helps them, while others didn’t see any benefit. To date, no research studies concluded there was a benefit.

Parkinson’s – Discussion Group and Education Series

September 28, 2022

Article Links

 

Parkinson’s Symptoms

“Coping with Parkinson’s Disease”    

Mayfield Brain & Spine

         https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-copepd.htm

Dopamine

“Understanding Dopamine and Parkinson’s Disease”

         My Parkinson’s Team

https://www.myparkinsonsteam.com/resources/understanding-dopamine-and-parkinsons-disease?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=parkinsons_roc

“What is Dopamine”

       WebMD

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine

“Dopamine”

         Cleveland Clinic

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22581-dopamine

 

Swallowing and Choking

 

“How To Manage Difficulty Swallowing in Parkinson’s”

My Parkinson’s Team

https://www.myparkinsonsteam.com/resources/difficulty-swallowing-and-parkinsons

 

“Swallowing problems are treatable: How gastroenterologists help”

Riverside Foundation

Complete Article

 

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