Blog

Can Someone With PD Multi-task?

A gentleman with early life PD asked me if difficulty multi-tasking went with the turf. When I told him that it very frequently did, he of course asked me why. When it comes to questions about cognition and PD, answers are not always straightforward.

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Keeping the Brain Active Without Sudoku

I recently spoke before a PD support group and had someone ask me about keeping cognitively sharp in the face of the disease. I knew this was a question on the minds of many young people with the disease as they presumably had many years of life ahead of them for brain changes to occur. This woman's personal solution was to challenge her brain by doing Sudoku every day.

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Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
~ Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell & Sol Marcus

Originally sung by the the legendary Nina Simone and later covered as a blues anthem by the likes of Eric Burden and Joe Cocker, these lyrics also express a lament many with PD might well recognize. There is growing recognition that this disorder of movement is also a disorder of communication.

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Are you a Parkinson's Patient?

Think before you answer this question. It is not as simple as it appears.

By definition, a patient is a person receiving medical treatment. To be a patient therefore means to be actively engaged by the medical system in some way. But when, if ever, does a person with a chronic illness like PD stop being engaged by the medical system? That is, when does someone stop being a Parkinson's patient?

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Dopamine Agonist Therapy? Don't Overlook Computer Compulsion

Much has been written about the possibility of compulsive behavior in some young people taking dopamine agonists. Gambling and hypersexuality have gotten a lot of press because they are glitzy and attention-grabbing. A person in the grip of compulsive gambling can rapidly bring financial ruin to the family. Hypersexual behavior can lead to unrelenting demands of a partner, affairs, unprotected encounters and compulsive indulgence in pornography.

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Love, Other Drugs and Young Onset Parkinson's

Edward Zwick's latest comedy, "Love and Other Drugs", premieres this week amid great fanfare. I have not seen the film as of this writing so I don't know how it treats Parkinson's disease as it is experienced by a young adult. Depending upon the film's accuracy, plausibility, and general approach to the subject of PD, I will be blogging my thoughts in the weeks to come, though.

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Cooling Down the Simmering Anxiety Pot

In my last blog, I discussed how common anxiety is with PD. However, pointing out that both the person with the disease and the people who love them can become anxious acknowledges but does not guide anyone about what to do about the situation. In keeping with my promise to discuss solutions, I will lay out a broad plan of attack for dealing with anxiety.

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Anxious About PD

I recently had the honor and pleasure of speaking at the 2010 Southeastern Parkinson Disease Conference & Young Onset Parkinson's Conference in Atlanta jointly sponsored by the Northwest Georgia Parkinson Disease Association, APDA and NPF. My topic was anxiety, a condition that complicates Parkinson disease for upwards of 3 out of 4 individuals with the diagnosis. Based on the follow-up questions and casual discussions between sessions, it was clear that a discussion on this topic is well-placed and not just for the individual with the neurological diagnosis.

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An Exercise in Accommodation

In my last blog, I discussed the need to accommodate the demands of Parkinson's by employing the metaphor of learning to sail a body of water one cannot control. It is natural to ask why accommodation is necessary. After all, the first few years after diagnosis are often marked by a milder presentation of the disease that allows symptoms to be ignored. Most people would find little reason to accommodate a condition it is easier to just not think about.

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NOTE: Dr. Paul Short is neither an agent nor employee of ADPA or any of its affiliate organizations. The views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Dr. Short and do not represent the opinions or endorsement of APDA. The information contained on this site is for your general information only and is not intended as, or a substitution for, medical advice. You should also be aware that the information on this site may not reflect the most current medical developments, nor is it provided in the course of a physician - patient relationship. You should always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare provider or expert with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a health or medical condition. You should never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this site.

About the Author

Paul Short, PhD

Dr. Paul Short, The Parkinson's Coach, provides Internet-based coaching to individuals and famlies challenged by Parkinson's disease and helps them develop personalized plans for coping with the disease.