News ArchivesRead News
Marching to a Different Beat
Tuesday September 25, 2012
Michael J Fox Blog - Guest blogger Bev Ribaudo was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's at age 47, but her symptoms began in her late 30′s. Having always been an optimist, Bev decided to fight this disease using humor, sharing her observations at Parkinson's Humor.
In the summer before I started Junior High school, I decide to play clarinet. Why? Because of Barbie. Barbie was my best friend and lived next door. She was a year older and had everything this twelve year old did not. She was pretty, with thick wavy hair and straight teeth. And while I was still wearing clothing sized for first graders, she wore teen size clothes and needed a bra . Barbie played clarinet, so I wanted to play one, too.
The school held a band camp. The first thing they taught us was how to march, not how to play anything, just how to march. We had to take two steps for each yard line on a football field. I marked lines on my driveway with chalk and practiced until I could step off exactly eighteen inches, even with my eyes closed. I never was a good clarinet player, but I was an excellent marcher. For years, I could accurately step off how many yards something was, until Parkinson's Disease affected the way I walked and stole my built in yardstick.
In my ongoing effort to learn how to undo what Parkinson's has done to me, I attended a Music Therapy program at the Parkinson's Conference in Irvine, CA, a couple weeks ago. The speaker stated that music could be used to improve your gait and help your brain re-learn how to walk normally. I was already doing Treadmill exercises recommended by another speaker at the same Conference, so I decided to add some music. I picked out some favorite tunes, including some I used to play in my school band days (Louie Louie and Tequila) and concentrated on walking to the beat. I noticed a big difference right away. My gait evened out and my arms began to swing like normal, plus it was fun thinking about those teenage years.
I actually enjoy Marching on my treadmill and the improvement in walking seems to be lasting all day. Maybe I'll get my built in ruler back. (Honey, where's the chalk?)
Hmm, I wonder what ever happened to that old clarinet?
Recent NewsOct 18 - Brain disconnections may contribute to Parkinson's hallucinations
Oct 18 - Fighting Parkinson's disease through dance
Oct 17 - Scientists Identify Structure of PINK1, Key Parkinson’s-protective Protein
Oct 17 - Diabetes drug cuts Parkinson's risk by 28 percent, study finds
Oct 10 - Advances in Brain Pacemaker Reduces Tremors, Helps Parkinson's Sufferers Live a More Normal Life
Oct 10 - Medical History Could Help Predict Parkinson's Disease Risk Long Before Diagnosis
Oct 3 - Changes in Olfactory Bulb Explain Loss of Smell in Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds
Oct 3 - Sleep Disturbances May Worsen Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, Study Suggests
Sep 12 - Australian Researchers Develop New Diagnostic Tool to Spot Early Signs of Parkinson’s
Sep 11 - GeneFo Webinar to Focus on Using Humor to Manage Parkinson’s Disease
Sep 6 - Parkinson’s and the ‘D’ word
Sep 6 - Compounds in Asthma Drugs Might Be Used as Parkinson’s Treatment
Sep 5 - AstraZeneca Joins Takeda, Berg to Advance Development of Parkinson’s Disease Therapies
Sep 1 - Stem Cell Transplant Trial in Parkinson’s Patients Planned After Test in Japan Succeeds in Monkeys
Sep 1 - Titan to Start Phase 1/2 Study of Subdermal Implant to Deliver Requip to Parkinson’s Patients
Aug 30 - FDA Refuses Acorda’s Inbrija New Drug Application Due to Manufacturing Questions
Aug 23 - Support Groups: Are They for You?
Aug 22 - Internet Visits with Parkinson’s Specialist Can Be as Effective as In-person Visits, Trial Finds
Aug 21 - Cavion’s New CMO to Lead Cav3 Platform Development for Neurological Diseases
Aug 15 - Singing Helps Early-stage Parkinson’s Patients Retain Speech, Respiratory Control, Studies Show