100 episodes

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.

Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s Parkinson’s Foundation

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.1 • 94 Ratings

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.

    Using the New Parkinson’s Exercise Recommendations as Part of Your Treatment Plan

    Using the New Parkinson’s Exercise Recommendations as Part of Your Treatment Plan

    Regular exercise in its various forms is one of the most important things that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can do for themselves. It can promote aerobic conditioning, strength, balance, and flexibility and help slow the decline in mobility while improving quality of life.
    Findings from the Parkinson’s Foundation Parkinson’s Outcome Project, the largest ever clinical study of PD, suggest that people with PD engage in at least two and a half hours of exercise each week to improve quality of life. Thus, recognizing the importance of exercise, the Parkinson's Foundation, in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine, has created new Parkinson's Exercise Recommendations to ensure that people with PD receive safe and effective exercise programs and instruction.
    These guidelines were developed and reviewed by a panel of exercise and Parkinson’s experts who recommended the frequency, intensity, time, type, volume, and progression of exercises that are safe and effective for people with PD. They include four domains important for people with PD: aerobic activity; strength training; balance, agility and multitasking; and stretching. Each recommendation is paired with specific types of activity and special safety considerations for people with PD. Besides addressing people with PD, the guidelines also are a framework for exercise professionals to help develop safe and effective programs to improve quality of life for the PD community.
    In this episode, we have two exercise professionals specializing in Parkinson’s disease. Daniel Corcos, PhD, a professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, was an outside reviewer of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Exercise Competencies and Criteria Initiative, which spells out general principles for people with PD to engage in endurance exercise. He explains endurance (cardiovascular) exercise, in which one aims to raise the heart rate to specific levels. Lee Dibble, PhD, PT, ATC, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, discusses resistance training, also called strength training.

    • 35 min
    Medicare and Parkinson’s Disease

    Medicare and Parkinson’s Disease

    Medicare, the U.S. government health insurance program, covers more than 63 million people, with more than 49 million people also receiving prescription drug coverage. It provides health insurance for adults over 65 as well as people with some medical conditions or disabilities. The system has many moving parts, and beneficiaries need to understand it to derive the most benefit, know what it covers and does not cover, and what costs they will be responsible for. An important time is the initial enrollment period, when people need to decide what kind of plan they want to select, either “original” Medicare through the government or a Medicare Advantage plan with a private insurer. Receiving prescription drug coverage is another decision, one that is particularly important to someone with Parkinson’s disease. Fortunately, there are several resources to help people sort out all the options, and once enrolled, the year-to-year coverage decisions are much less burdensome. In this episode, Jane Sung, JD, a senior strategic policy advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute, explains some of the intricacies of the Medicare system and helps to sort out the kinds of decisions people need to make about Medicare coverage.

    • 28 min
    ¡EN ESPAÑOL! Éxito de estudio: Viendo el ejercicio con un sentido de comunidad

    ¡EN ESPAÑOL! Éxito de estudio: Viendo el ejercicio con un sentido de comunidad

    Sabemos que existen otras cosas aparte de la medicina como parte del tratamiento para una persona con la enfermedad de Parkinson; por ejemplo, la actividad física, que sabemos que puede ayudar a la salud del cerebro.
    En este episodio, hablamos con la doctora Giselle Petzinger, Profesora Adjunta de Neurología en la Keck School of Medicine de la University of Southern California, acerca de un estudio que llevó a cabo para comprender mejor si usar un fitbit con entrenamiento puede promover la actividad física en las mujeres hispanas con enfermedades neurológicas crónicas como el Parkinson.
    Aunque muchas participantes sabían que la actividad física es importante para la salud, no sabían que también puede ayudar a la salud del cerebro. La meta del estudio fue promover la actividad física utilizando la tecnología del fitbit, entrenamiento y educación llevado a cabo en un centro comunitario.

    • 12 min
    Aging in Place

    Aging in Place

    As many people get older, they start to think about where they want to reside for the rest of their years. For many of them, that place is the home they are already in. But it is not as simple as just staying put. One must consider mobility issues, staying safe physically, nearby services, social support, transportation issues, along with present and future medical needs.
    These are issues common to most people as they age, and Parkinson’s disease adds another level of considerations. Fortunately, many resources are available to help in planning for the future. In general, the topic goes under the term “Aging in Place,” which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as “the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.
    In this episode, Rodney Harrell, Vice President for Family, Home, and Community at the AARP Public Policy Institute describes what Aging in Place should mean, misconceptions about it, barriers to it, what to consider, and how best to prepare for Aging in Place. Then Scott Rider, a Parkinson’s Foundation Aware in Care Ambassador, National Development Committee Member and Carolinas Chapter Advisory Board Member, discusses how he has put an Aging in Place plan into practice by adapting his home for his current needs and anticipated future needs considering, specifically, his Parkinson’s disease.

    • 28 min
    Community Grant Recipient: Smile Through Art Program

    Community Grant Recipient: Smile Through Art Program

    Among the many kinds of outreach and activities that help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), art programs are popular and beneficial. They can provide social interaction, creativity, and movement, with the potential to enhance emotional and physical wellbeing. One program, Smile Through Art, benefited from a Community Grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation, allowing it to continue to reach people with PD and their care partners throughout the pandemic. Smile Through Art Workshops encourage creativity and movement, using art to address problems of fine motor control, rigidity, and tremors while providing cognitive stimulation. The goals are to foster confidence, mood, and optimism.
    In this episode, Saba Shahid, the Chief Smile Officer and President of Creative Neurology, the company that developed the Smile Through Art program, discusses what the workshops entail, the success that they have had, and how a Community Grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation allowed the program to continue to reach people with PD during the pandemic.

    • 16 min
    Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease: Lifestyle, Family, and Counseling

    Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease: Lifestyle, Family, and Counseling

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) does not exclusively affect the older population. In fact, about four percent of people with PD in the United States developed the disease before age 50. This is called Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD). While the disease in younger people resembles in many ways PD in the older age group, it presents some unique challenges, including issues with employment, sexuality, pregnancy, family life, financial planning and parenting. In this episode, the second of two on YOPD, Dr. Bart Post of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, focuses on some of the social and interpersonal issues, including work, family, and women’s issues. He also describes the Phase of Life Dependent Support Program that he has developed at his university to meet the special needs of people with YOPD.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
94 Ratings

94 Ratings

Becky from Plano ,

Grouchy PD husband

Thank you for your very informative podcast. My husband was diagnosed 5 years ago. His mother also had Parkinsons but it was a very mild case. My question is this: Are mood changes common with this disease? My sweet, loving husband has turned into a grouchy complainer. I can’t seem to do anything right in his opinion. I look forward to your answer.

Aspiehler ,


A wonderful way to get a diverse perspective and info on the many different facets of living with PD. or loving someone with PD.

BambiLashae ,


Great job keeping us informed!

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