The scientific journal Neurology has editorially endorsed computerized training as a way to slow or prevent cognitive decline in Parkinson’s. The endorsement is somewhat tentative but definitely a boost for Brain Hq-like computer training: “…… cognitive training is modestly effective for improving cognitive function in people with PD.” The editorial concludes: “Given that PD is more than just a movement disorder, cognitive training may be an important option for improving cognitive function in patients with PD.” USF’s School of Aging Studies has a computerized cognitive study underway of PD and is seeking volunteers. The principal investigator is Dr. Jerri Edwards. For more information call USF’s Cognitive Aging Lab at 813-974-6703.
Tampa JCC Wellness Program Launches Jan. 23
The Shuffling Editor has gotten more information on the Tampa Jewish Community Center/USF Health wellness program for Parkinson’s. Exercise classes begin Jan. 26, run for 12 weeks and cost $120.
Tuesdays from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM is Nia, a new term to me. Wikipedia describes Nia thusly: “Nia dance cardio fitness classes are taught by instructors licensed in the Nia Technique. Each class includes mindful movement guidance and somatic education; class cycles include warm-up, sustained non-impact aerobic conditioning, strength training, cool down and stretching. Nia Fitness classes are taught to music, including pop, electronica, jazz, Latin, New Age, Indian and hip hop. They employ 52 basic movements and techniques that draw on a combination of Jazz, Modern and Duncan Dance styles, Tai Chi, TaeKwonDo and Aikido; and the body mind healing arts of Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique and Yoga.”
Thursdays, same hours is chair-based strengthening.
Fridays from 1:30 PM to 2:3 0 PM is Tai Chi.
The Caregiver Support Group begins Jan. 29. It is free and runs for12 weeks on Fridays from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. A community event is scheduled Jan. 23, 7-9 PM. The topic is Keep Moving Tampa! For background and contact information see my earlier post: https://shufflingeditor.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/tampa-gets-grant-for-parkinson-wellness-program/
Rock Steady Boxing and Me
I am into the second week ( 3x times a week) of this slightly misnamed program. Of a 90 minute training session, no more than 30 minutes is devoted to punching hanging and big bags. The remaining 60 minutes is spent in floor, strengthening exercises, weight training and Balance exercises such as skipping, sidestepping, butt kicks, monster steps and backwards walking.
Two early observations of the program: I had not realized how degraded my hand-eye coordination had become. That sure explains why my golf swing left me. Second observation. I end sessions more energized than tired. Whether coincidence or not, I have not had a “bad” PD day since starting the program. Bad days are when you feel like you have the flu. I am accustomed to having them one day in five.
Huffington Post had a recent piece on the program: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-j-doll-phd/rock-steady-boxing-for-people-with-parkinsons-symptoms—-a-national-perspective_b_8646972.html
The Largo program has no plans for a move into Hillsborough. But I have talked to a person who is seeking to put a franchise location in Channelside.
AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED
My friend Kirk Hall has updated his information guide for those new to PD. It is pure gold and is a byproduct of the national research project on palliative care in PD. http://www.shakypawsgrampa.com/index.php/new-blog/entry/parkinson-s-education-resources-1-years-since-diagnosis
SPEAKING OF PALLIATIVE CARE
None of us likes to think our journey will end with dementia. In upwards of 50% of PD cases it does. The financial impact of dementia can be devastating. Money magazine has a helpful review of available options at Money.com/dementia.