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News Update for the Week of 4.20.20
Monday April 20, 2020
Nature Communications via MedicalXpress
Current therapies exist to treat inflammation from autoreactive T cells, and these TNF therapies are associated with lower incidence of Parkinson's; going forward, the researchers of this study are especially interested in using a tool called a T cell-based assay to monitor patients already at risk for Parkinson's to see if they could benefit from TNF therapies. These patients include people with REM sleep disorders and certain genetic mutations.
WBUR NPR Here and Now
"Research shows that regular, vigorous exercise can help Parkinson’s patients improve their quality of life while slowing the progression.
Randy Devitt, a life-long athlete, is well suited to this treatment. At least a couple of times a week, he exercises with Nate Coomer, 37, at the Parkinson’s Fitness Project, a gym that serves all Parkinson’s patients. Coomer, a physical therapist who founded the Project, operates three gyms in Seattle, in addition to connecting hundreds of people through online workouts."
NW Parkinson's Board Member and Dance for Parkinson's Idaho Instructor Liz Keller has been offering her usual classes online!
"Keller says the combination of music and movement helps bypass the part of the brain deteriorated by Parkinson's.
'I have students that have been dancing with us for almost seven years, every Monday for almost seven years,' said Keller. 'When coronavirus hit and I knew it was going to affect our daily or weekly classes I just knew how important it was to have some sort of normalcy.'"
Mondays & Wednesdays 1:30 pm MT (12:30 pm PST)
- To join on Facebook, search for "Dance for Parkinson's Idaho", like the page, and you will be able to view it live
- For those without Facebook, contact Liz at email@example.com or follow her on YouTube
For Babusi Nyoni, founder of design firm Tripleblack Agency, the opportunity to use technology to help with this early diagnosis was apparent. In 2018, he and his agency developed an app for the South African market, using AI and computer vision, to help users rate a particular dance move. What started as a project to create a fun app and test South Africans’ willingness to interact with new technologies morphed into a much greater cause.
“We started exploring ways to use the formula we made in a more impactful way. And we, after doing some research, discovered that Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis relies partially on symptomatic observation over time of your posture and your gait and your movement, which we had already learned how to parameterize with the dance app,” said Nyoni.
A soccer player and community leader, Irishman Christy Leahy shares the interweaving stories of his career, his Parkinson's diagnosis, and his day-to-day life:
"Recently I was taking part in a Texas Holdem poker classic in Tralee. At one stage my left hand began to shake and one of the players noticed this, saying 'I know you have a good hand, I just saw you shake with excitement'. He immediately folded his hand of cards. When I told him it was not excitement, it was Parkinson's, he turned pale with the shock and was very apologetic. It was all good fun.'"
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