World Parkinson Congress: Exercise, laughter and more powerful stories

Another busy but enlightening day here in Glasgow.

In today’s early morning session, Professor Bastiaan Bloom spoke about why he feels patients are crucial in managing response fluctuations with Parkinson’s and looked to how technology will have an increased role in the future. He said: “I think in the future, patients will be wearing sensors – perhaps on a wristwatch – recording whether patients are on or off and predicting if they might have excessive movements or dyskinesias in 10 years time.”

Later on, Liz Wolstenholme, one of our trustees talked movingly about taking charge of Parkinson’s in her session this afternoon. She urged delegates to realise how empowering the act of sharing each other’s stories and experiences can be in dealing with Parkinson’s.

We were also at a workshop on exercise and Parkinson’s led by researcher, Giselle Petzinger. Giselle discussed her innovative research that explores how exercise can change the way the Parkinson’s brain works. Her work strongly suggests that exercise training helps the brain to use dopamine (the chemical lost in Parkinson’s) much more efficiently. Fascinating stuff.

Ex-pro cyclist and person with Parkinson’s, Davis Phinney spoke passionately about the power of exercise to improve quality of life for people with the condition. He said: “'I could sit around and wait for a cure, but waiting is so passive, exercising means I can improve my life right now."

Speaking of exercise, as you can see from the picture, above, our Nintendo Wii stand continues to draw in crowds eager to have a go and let out their competitive streak! And a lot of fun was had by everyone who attended Bob Taylor’s fantastic laughter workshop.

Check out the Parkinson's UK Twitter feed to keep up to date with more action from the WPC.


Anonymous said...

I do think it all depends who or where you are as to what treatment you will get.
I for one have been diagnosed with Parkinsons in May 2010 (If one can call it a diagnosis) and put on Madopar. The diagnosis has been achieved by two very short consultations (about ten minutes in all) with a neurologist. No tests, apart from reflexes tested. No information.
Parkinsons UK promised help and physio but it never came, just a load of leaflets.
Now another appointment to see Neurologist in June 2011
If that is treatment, I might as well give up now

Parkinson's UK said...

Sorry to hear about your experience of diagnosis and the lack of support that you were offered. We're working hard to ensure that no one has to face Parkinson's alone.

Our confidential helpline (freephone number 0808 800 0303) has nurses and other trained staff who can provide impartial expert information and suppport on all aspects of living with Parkinson's. We can also give you details of our local branches and support groups, and our local support workers.

More information about the helpline is on our website at

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