Parkinson's Disease support group

The Parkinson's Disease support group met June 13, at the Faulkner County Library. Two new persons were in attendance.

Printed copies of the report for the May meeting were distributed. It was announced that the publication Neurology Now is now titled Brain & Life. The name change became effective with the April/May 2018 issue.

Those present were encouraged to check the Roundabout in the Log Cabin to keep informed about upcoming meetings and events.

Handouts were distributed and discussed, beginning with Fast Fixes for What Ails You.

The handout lists 21 fast fixes to help a person fill better and enjoy life. Examples are:

Take a power nap. Just a 5, 10 or 20 minute nap can help increase energy.
Give or get a hug. Scientists have found that hugging releases Oxytocin — the "feel good" hormone.
Make a donation. Giving to a good cause makes one feel happier.
Watch a sitcom. Laughing releases cells responsible for improved immune function, which have a domino effect on lots of other cells.
Drink water. Even a slight dip in hydration levels can cause fatigue.
Enjoy a piece of chocolate. A bit of dark chocolate a day may help prevent diabetes, according to the British Journal of Nutrition.
Slip off your shoes. Walking barefoot lessens pressure on one's knee joints.
Wash dishes by hand. Putting your hands in warm water not only helps to relax your muscles, but also eases stiffness.
Write it down. When something is bothering you, jot it down before going to bed and list how you are going to fix it. Studies have shown that you will sleep better.

Another handout listed signs of Parkinson's including tremors, stiffness, rigidity, small handwriting, dragging feet, slowed thinking, sleep disturbances, lessened facial expressions and low, soft voice. Those present shared what they first noticed, which included tremors, fatigue and slowness. Most all agreed that they realized after the PD diagnosis that they had the disease quite some time prior.

Martha Hicks received the door prize: a book titled God, Golf and Parkinson's by Barbara Hogg from El Dorado. Mrs. Hogg is a five year Deep Brain Stimulation surgery patient who is able to live a full, active life.

According to this month's issue of Brain & Life, DBS is like a pacemaker for the brain. Electrodes are implanted in one or both sides of the brain and connected to a pulse generator placed under the skin of the chest. The electrodes send signals to brain cells that regulate motor function. The goal is to block the abnormal nerve signals that cause PD symptoms. The surgery is performed while the patient is awake, so they can provide feedback that help surgeons position the electrodes in the optimal position.

Refreshments were served from a table covered with a multi-color cloth and decorated with an arrangement of multi-color roses. Pretzels, chocolate striped cookies, peanut butter cookies, and Mississippi Mud Cake were enjoyed by those present.

The next meeting of the support group will be July 11 at the McGee Center in Conway.

For more information, call 501-329-6282 or 501-246-1972.