Parkinson’s Disease Research and Articles

Episode Sixteen: The Patient Will See You Now

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration, and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

The Internet has ushered in a patient empowerment revolution that’s had a tremendous impact on the doctor-patient relationship. The term “e-patient” was first coined by the late Dr. Thomas Ferguson, visionary medical editor of The Whole Earth Catalogue and author of the 1996 book, Health Online: How To Find Health Information, Support Groups, And Self Help Communities In Cyberspace. ...

Episode Fifteen: The Wagons Disperse

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration, and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

On our calendars for fall 2012, Hadley had several appointments with Dr. Youngman and I had my semi-annual checkup with Dr. Bright. Hadley was expecting more testing to confirm her MSA diagnosis while I was still stewing about how to follow up with Dr. Bright on our aborted phone conversation.

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Episode 12: To Make a Long F*cking Story Short

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration, and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

If you are having a particularly hard day, save this episode for a more optimistic one. I’m going to share a story that might wrench your insides. I share it because the timing of its arrival in my mailbox was poignant and more importantly because it is a thing of rare, intimate beauty. ...

Episode 11 – The Dopamine Dialogues

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

Make a follow-up appointment in six months,” my movement disorders specialist, Dr. Bright, told me at my first appointment with him. I walked out of his office with a life-changing diagnosis, relieved that I didn’t need tests, medication or other interventions, but in a kind of stupor, wondering how I was supposed to fold this new knowledge about myself into the fabric of my everyday life — for the next six months! ...

Episode Nine: The Dopamine Diaries

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration, and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

In recent years, the brain, with its nearly 100 billion neurons that make at least 100 trillion connections, has become hot territory, science’s final frontier. And of all the brain’s chemicals, dopamine, the chemical messenger that becomes depleted in people with Parkinson’s, is the media darling, “the Kim Kardashian of neurotransmitters,” because it’s often discussed in the context of risky behavior involving sex, drugs or gambling. ...

Episode Eight: Falling and Flying

By Catherine Armsden

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Dave Iverson, who has Parkinson’s, has described Parkinson’s Disease as a disease of subtraction. It takes things away from you one by one — your arm swing, your walk, your balance, your smile, your voice. Because of this unstoppable subtraction, he’s said, you need to keep adding things into your life.

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Episode Seven: Drugs and Other Agents

By Catherine Armsden

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

Have you been gambling or wanting sex constantly? Cleaning closets or shopping obsessively?” Dr. Bright asked me. “Sorry,” he added, smiling. “I have to ask.”

I laughed. I liked my MDS, Dr. Bright, a lot. A year and a half earlier, in January, 2010, I’d run to him from the licking flames of the it’s not the worst thing neurologist and the no self-pitiers MDS who’d diagnosed me with Parkinson’s. ...

Episode Six: Fight or Flight

By Catherine Armsden

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, introduced the hypothesis that people, when faced with a terrible diagnosis, will often pass through five emotional stages including, but not limited to, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. A scientist in our Parkinson’s Facebook group, Sara Riggare, has come up with another version of the stages of grief that describes the pro-activeness I associate with my friends with PD: shock (at hearing he news); sorrow (mourning the future you won’t have); searching (for information); sharing (supporting your patient community); and shaping (creating a new future for yourself). ...

Episode Five: Every Body Tells a Story

By Catherine Armsden

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

Anyone can dash off an account of their childhood, told in hindsight with gratitude for the opportunities and challenges that helped them grow. But to convey not only what we’ve done and where we’ve been but also who we are, we sometimes need to also tell the history that’s lodged in our bodies.

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Episode Four: A Heart is Opened

By Catherine Armsden

The story of two artists with incurable neurological disease sharing fear, frustration and friendship as they push to complete the most rewarding work of their careers.

After our fun weekend together in Portland at the Brian Grant Foundation gala, Hadley and I texted nearly every week throughout the fall of 2011. At times, when she talked about her painting commissions and plans for her nonprofit, Summit for Parkinson’s, her high energy and spirits seemed almost like euphoria, raising a small red flag inside me.

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