Parkinson’s Disease

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness month.  Dzed has Parkinson’s.  He was first diagnosed when he was 58, about 11 years ago.

Today he is participating in a clinical trial: “Exercise and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:  Increasing Brain Plasticity in Parkinson’s Disease (An Exploratory and Feasibility Study)

You can find out more about this study at

Here’s what’s been involved so far:  On Friday, 4/7 Rick had a pre-screening to make sure he met the basic requirements, cognitively and physically; answering questions, blood pressure, etc. The following Monday was gathering baseline information.  Tuesday through Friday was exercise, 40 minutes on an exercise machine- a cross between an eliptical and stationary bike, and 30 minutes of rTMS.  He has 6 more “treatments” like this, then a post test and follow up in one month.

It’s been fun although somewhat stressful driving into NYC from Long Island on the LIE. Very quickly we got into a routine which includes me prodding him along to keep moving, get dressed and get out of the house because you never know what the traffic is going to be like, HOV lane or not, and, for once, I don’t want to be late. There’s no toll booths at the Midtown tunnel now, so that helps.

The doctors are great. Rick’s team is Dr. “M” from Argentina, and Dr. “H” from Jordan, and Dr. Agarwal from India. Dr. H lets Rick choose the music to listen to while exercising.  So far it has been Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Van Morrison.

Rick doesn’t know if he is in the placebo group or the group receiving treatment.  But we have seen some benefits such as less “freezing” while walking (his brain says walk but his feet are cemented to the ground).  Not all the time, but any improvement is great. One week before this trial began, he fell due to this “freezing” while coming into the house and cracked the back of his head open.  A trip to the emergency room and six staples-He’d never had stitches in his life till then. A very low point. Regardless, exercise is an important aspect to maintaining health and function in PD.

The Annual Unity Walk for Parkinson’s is Saturday April 22, 2017 in Central Park, NYC.  Information is here

We’ll be there!