January-February 2016 Newsletter

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Upcoming Speakers & Programs

January 9th, 2016 – Dr. Zhao of University Neurology Associates will be speaking, she is the new staff neurologist. She did her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic specifically on DBS, and will talk about that and other topics related to PD.

February 13th, 2016 – Cindy Fuller, PT, will be speaking on BalanceWear which is a new stabilizing garment to help people improve their balance and mobility.

March 12th, 2016 – Robert L. Howk, Senior Senator for Fresno/Madera Counties and attorney, will talk about changing laws that affect Parkinson’s patients.

We always welcome members to bring refreshments to our monthly meetings. There are no sign ups or obligations, just bring what you want!

After our monthly meetings, we like to gather again and share a meal! The location for lunch will be announced at the meetings.

Where at?

We now at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center’s Fresno HQ at 5340 N. Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93710.

2014 DHHSC Map

Parkinson’s in the News

Stabilizing Spoon Available for Free: Lifeware Stabilizing Spoon is a new device that helps people with tremors. For every device that was purchased the first week of December, Lifeware is gifting a device to a person with Parkinson’s who is in financial need. You can apply for Lifeware’s “Uplift” program at http://www.mwpf.org/uplift/ Source: The Michael J. Fox Foundation Blog 

Anticholinergic Drugs No Longer Deemed Harmful to PD Patients: Until recently, it was believed that the anticholinergic class of drugs were harmful to people with PD. A recent study proved that these bladder dysfunction drugs most likely do not impair cognitive function in people with PD. Source: Psychiatry Advisor

Previous Theory About Parkinson’s Development in the Brain Disproven: A German study recently refuted one popular theory about how the alpha-synuclein protein plays a role in the development of Parkinson’s in the brain. It was thought before that the protein was spread via prion-like mechanisms. Instead it was found to spread much faster than allowed via prions. Source: Parkinson’s News Today

Famous Author Raising Awareness of New Treatment for PD: John Grisham, author of popular law and crime books, is raising awareness for Focused Ultrasound – a new treatment that is in testing stages for PD, Alzheimer’s, and brain tumors. The treatment uses ultrasound energy on specific brain tissue while the patient is in an MRI. It requires no surgery and is less invasive than DBS, but is irreversible. Grisham used the new technology in the plot in his newest book, and has spoken about it in a TEDx talk. Source: The Michael J. Fox Foundation Blog

Be Prepared in 2016 with the Free Aware in Care Kit

For Parkinson’s patients, any medical setback is a major setback — especially if they have to be hospitalized.  In the hospital, 3 out of 4 Parkinson’s patients do not get their medications on time — and 61% of them had major complications because of it. Fortunately, the National Parkinson’s Foundation has a free kit to help PD families plan and prepare for both unplanned (emergency) and planned hospital stays.

The kit includes things like: Hospitalization Action Plan, medication information, PD fact sheet, medical alert wallet card and bracelet, and more!

For more information (and for printable copies to have on hand until you receive your kit) visit AwareinCare.org or call1-800-473-4636. Don’t delay in ordering your free kit! Because of the high demand, it can take six to eight ways for your kit to arrive.

Upcoming Parkinson’s Disease Webinars

Several Parkinson’s groups host regular webinars to discuss the disease, latest research, and answer questions from patients and their loved ones. Webinars are like internet-based TV shows where the viewers can participate by calling in. These webinars are free to attend and most can be found online after the recording if you can’t attend the live broadcasts.

  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s webinars are every “Third Thursday.” The next webinar will be held on Jan. 19th at 9am. The topic is “Dyskinesia: What to Do about Moving Too Much.” See the MJFF website for information on how to attend.
  • The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has a full schedule of webinars for the next several months that you can attend online or over the phone. Their next webinar is March 1st at 11am, on “Dealing with Dementia in PD”. See the PDF website for information on how to attend.
  • The National Parkinson’s Foundation does not have another webinar scheduled at the moment, but their archives can be accessed on the NPF website.

How to Donate

Non-Tax-Deductible Donations can be made directly to GFPSG at our meetings or by check mailed to: Treasurer – GFPSG, c/o 106 W Paul Ave, Clovis, CA 93612.

Tax-Deductible Donations/gifts to support GFPSG can be made through the Fresno Regional Foundation (FRF)

Checks:  Make your check payable to the Fresno Regional Foundation, and on the memo line indicate “Fresno Parkinson’s Support”.  The mailing address is: Fresno Regional Foundation, 5260 North Palm Avenue, Suite 122, Fresno, CA 93704. For additional information, you can call them directly at 559-226-5600.

Online donations:  Online tax-deductible gifts/donations through FRF can be made using the PayPal interface with any major credit card on the Greater Fresno Parkinson’s Support Group (GFPSG) website at www.gfpsg.org, simply click on the “Donate” button and follow instructions.

Please respect the confidentiality of personal medical information revealed to one another in our meetings. Always check with your own doctor before changing your medications or treatments based on what you read in this Newsletter or hear at our meetings from others, even medical experts, as Parkinson’s disease is such a complex disease and our respective bodies react differently to the disease and to the medications and treatments prescribed to treat it.

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