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Living Conference Held in Boise

Wednesday September 24, 2014

Living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) was the focus of the recent Parkinson’s Disease Conference held in Boise on Saturday, September 20 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center.  Over 200 Parkinson’s patients and caregivers from Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho attended.  The conference was co-presented by the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation and Parkinson's Resources of Oregon.

The keynote speaker, Monique Giroux, MD is the cofounder of the Movement and Neuroperformance Center of Colorado.  Dr. Giroux served as director of movement disorders at the Cleveland Clinic, and the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Center in Seattle where she developed care programs for people living with movement and cognitive disorders.  She has specialized training in Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for dystonia, pain, and spasticity as well as Deep Brain Stimulation of tremor, dystonia, and Parkinson’s disease.  She is a nationally known speaker on topics related to wellness and healthier brain function and personal healing for people with disabilities. 

Also featured at the Boise Conference was Laurie K. Mischley, ND, MPH, PhD(c).  She shared details of vital nutritional emphasis for Parkinson’s patients such as the effects of protein on carbidopa-levo assimilation and timing of medicine ingestion and meals. The focus of her work is on describing conditionally essential nutrients in Parkinson’s disease, and attempting to describe the nutritional status and requirements unique to individuals with neurodegenerative diseases.  She has published on coenzyme Q10 deficiency in PD, completed her master’s thesis on lithium deficiency in PD, and is currently completing her doctoral dissertation of glutathione in PD.  In 2013 she and her team completed a “Phase I Safety & Tolerability Study of Intranasal Glutathione in PD”, which led to the ongoing study, “Central Nervous System Uptake of GSH [glutathione] in PD.”  Dr. Mischley is a Clinical Research Assistant Professor at Bastyr University where she is principle investigator of other PD studies including “CAM Care in PD’ and “Cannabis in PD Tremor.”

Other speakers included Barbara Morgan, MD, Neurologist with the Movement Disorder Clinic at Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise where she specializes in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease.  Her  topic covered the importance of carbidopa-levo absorption in the intestine and new research being presented for acceptance by the FDA.  Prior to attending medical school at the Wisconsin School of Medicine, Dr. Morgan received a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology.  She completed her Neurology residency at Loyola Medical Center and is also a trained Feldenkrais practitioner, a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and direct attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning.  In Boise, she also teaches Movement classes to patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Dance Specialist Elizabeth Keller from Ballet Idaho and Trey McIntyre Project is trained in the Dance for PD method and involved the conference attendees in the methods of rhythmic movement and exercise.

You can find presentation slides from each speaker's presentation by clicking here.

You can find information on support groups that currently meet in Idaho by clicking here.  Questions?  Call Maria Cole, MSW at 877.980.7500.

If you’re in the Magic Valley, please join me at the Magic Valley Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Jerome Library at 1:30.  This free meeting is open to PD patients and their caregivers who want to learn techniques for improving life with the disease.  Any questions may be directed to me at nfturley@att.net or 208-358-5807.

Nancy Turley
Support Group Facilitator - Magic Valley, Idaho

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