The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group met recently for their July meeting at the Conway Regional Rehabilitation Center.

Arkansas State Parkinson’s Disease Coordinator Lydia Stevens from Hot Springs, was the special guest speaker. She showed a hospital bag that is available free of charge by calling 1-800-473-4636. She also presented a DVD on Parkinson’s to the group, suggesting it might be used for a meeting program and then loaned to various members who desired to see it again. There were also pharmacy discount cards available and several informative hand-outs.

Mrs. Stevens announced that Neupro patches are back on the market. Neupro is available again in the United States and is very helpful for some Parkinson’s Disease patients.

Mrs. Stevens said she started working for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association in 1999. At that time, there were three medications commonly used for Parkinson’s Disease. There are now 15 medications available, and research continues. There are nine centers of excellence in the United States where most of the research is done. These are located at Boston University School of Medicine; Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, New Brunswick, N.J.; University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va.; UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles; University of Pittsburgh; University of Chicago; University of Alabama, Birmingham; and Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

More medications have been introduced and more research has been done in the past 10 years than in the previous 180 years.

Mrs. Stevens announced the APDA Walkathon will be held at the Hot Springs Mall, 9-11 a.m., on Sept. 15 to raise funds for PD.

She encouraged those present to connect with others, learn more about PD, exercise regularly, have a buddy check on them every day or so, move big (swinging your arms, etc.), talk loud as your voice gets weaker and be proactive.

Mrs. Willa Voyles conducted the meeting in the absence of the facilitator, Bronnie Rose, and presented Mrs. Stevens a gift of appreciation — a jar of body butter from Wax Worm at Pickles Gap. She also presented her $85.93, the change they have collected the past six months since Mrs. Stevens attended the December meeting.

Jan Gruen and Sandy Malson each received a door prize — a beach towel. Those present enjoyed cookies and drinks.

The next meeting will be held at a different location. They will meet at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the McGee Center on College Avenue. All Parkinson’s Disease patients and/or caregivers are encouraged to attend this motivational, encouraging meeting, which is free.

Any questions, call Mrs. Rose, 501-246-1972 or 501-329-6282.