Professor Simon Lewis has put together this great video titled “Living with Parkinson’s – A Survival Guide. He shares some practical tips of what might cause Parkinson’s and things that you can do to improve your quality of life.
Simon also delves into the pathology of Parkinson’s while tackling topics such as Genetics, the environment, smoking, caffeine and even prion disease. He also discusses the various symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremor, rigidity, gait, speech, sleep, constipation, depression and anxiety.
On living with Parkinson’s he encourages everyone to exercise particularly your core strength and balance. This could be as simple of getting up for your chair and sitting down and repeating this movement. For speech issues, he suggests that you look to a speech pathologist to assist you with exercises.
In regard to alternative therapies, he advises you to ask yourself three questions. Is it affordable, is it helping and is it too good to be true? Trying acupuncture, yoga, Pilates is a good place to start as they are all relatively inexpensive and can be helpful with your Parkinson’s.
Professor Lewis also tackles the some of the issues that are not often talked about. Did you know that constipation is a common symptom in 90% of all Parkinson’s patients? This can be due to poor mobility but and also due to nerve cells dying in the brain and gut. He suggests increasing your dietary fibre and fluid intake, keeping regular habits and staying mobile. Equally, people living with Parkinson’s can also experience bladder dysfunction with increased frequency and urgency. He suggests discussing these issues with your doctor to rule out any other causes and undertaking some pelvic floor exercises to increase strength.
You may also experience a feeling of faintness. Professor Lewis explains how some of the Parkinson’s medication can lower blood pressure so there may be some modifications you need to make to your medication routine. He also suggests hydrating more by increasing the fluid you are having and perhaps incorporating an isotonic drink.
Another common symptom of Parkinson’s is called REM Sleep where people act out their dreams in their sleep. To improve your sleep Professor Lewis suggests keeping a routine, avoiding exercise or hot baths prior to bed and stimulation such as TV and mobile phones.
Let’s make 2018 the year for Parkinson’s. Get involved this World Parkinson’s Day in Pause4Parkinson’s. Simply Just gather your friends, family or work colleagues and hold an event anytime during the month of April doing something you love! Perhaps a wine tasting, art exhibition, music gig or movie night to a morning/afternoon/high tea, sausage sizzle, long lunch, sporting event – whatever you are into, it’s up to you. Register Today
About Professor Simon Lewis
Associate Professor Simon Lewis is the Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic at the Brain & Mind Research Institute and heads the NSW Movement Disorders Brain Donor Program. He is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow who works as a Consultant Neurologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sydney.
Professor Simon Lewis is leading the Shake It Up funded Linked Clinical Trials program alongside Professor Dominic Rowe and Glenda Halliday. The study will see four potential treatments trialled in patients with mid stage Parkinson’s Disease. This approach would be an international first and importantly will set Australia on a path of conducting further studies, which we hope will bring new treatments to slow Parkinson’s into clinical practice.