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Friday, July 30, 2010

Research Roundtable and "Shake It Till We Make It"

Brian Grant will be putting on another great PD fundraising event in partnership with the Michael J. Fox foundation here in the Portland area.  The inaugural Shake It Till We Make It should be a great event attended by many.

Also, in partnership with the Michael J Fox Foundation, the OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon will be hosting a research round table for patients and the general public, and will feature a panel of experts discussing cutting edge research and findings on Parkinson's disease. Special guest appearance by Brian Grant! The event free, but registration is required. Call 503 494-7231 or email to register and for more information.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Caring for the Caregiver Conference 9/29-10/1

At MCG, we are trying to focus a little more on the caregiver this year. Here is a link to an upcoming event that you might be interested in:


Info on Music Therapy

A couple of the support groups in my area (GA/SC border) are interested in learning more about music therapy. We have few therapists and resources for the discipline around here. Does anyone have any suggestions for what we can do without the direction of an experienced therapist?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Work in Washington D.C.

I haven't posted in a bit because I'm on vacation and currently in Washington D.C.  Speaking of Washington D.C., I just learned that there is a Social Work Library in Washington D.C.  I did not find much information on it but here is where it is located:

I believe that the NASW is also headquartered here in Washington D.C.  A little bit of research also revealed that Jane Addams was offered a burial plot in the National Cathedral next to President Woodrow Wilson.

Happy summer everyone!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Depression and Parkinson's disease

Depression in Parkinson's disease is a very common symptom.  The combination of PD and Depression and the associated cluster of symptoms can make it especially difficult to effectively treat Depression in PD.  Recent research is strongly suggesting that in many ways Depression can be considered a disease of the brain, meaning the depressed person with PD has 2 neurological disorders not just one!  In one study researchers measured the size of the hippocampus in patients with and without depression and found that those who suffer from depression demonstrated marked hippocampus shrinkage over time.  Further, their research indicated that early and successful treatment of depression with anti-depressant medication prevented this shrinkage from occurring and in fact in some cases could stimulate brain cell growth.  For more information about this and other studies related to mental and emotional health issues check out the great PBS series "This Emotional Life:  In Search of Ourselves.....and Happiness."

 Check out the website at:


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great short video about PD

At Parkinson's Resources of Oregon we were involved with the creation of this wonderful video. It was made for our 30 year anniversary celebration. You are more than free to share it with anyone who could use a bit of feel good empowerment. It will bring a tear to your eyes.

Watch "One Safe Place" at

Sarah Schurr, LCSW

In honor of Mr. Nathan Slewett

I did not know him, but Mr. Nathan Slewett, a tireless advocate of the PD community has passed away.  Mr Slewett was "a tireless volunteer leader and supporter of the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and has left an indelible mark on the lives he has touched through his personal philanthropy."  You can read the full article about Mr. Slewett's support of the NPF at the link below. 
The Parkinson's disease community could definitely use more Nathan Slewetts.

And here is a short video about Mr. Slewett's service to the Parkinson's disease community:


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

support for teens of parents with Parkinson's Disease

Recently I have had a number of patients diagnosed with PD who have teenage children. I am wondering if anyone has any resources (ie. books, articles) that would be written for the teens themselves to help them deal with issues that result.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New tool to assist patients and families in applying for SSDI.

Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) has created a brand new form that can be used by the person with Parkinson's (PWP) when they are getting ready to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance.  The form is set up in a simple, straight forward manner and it can (should) also be used by physicians as a guide to help ensure that important medical information makes its way into the patient's medical document. I like the form because it is not too long and does not require the patient or family to write a great deal to complete the form.  Here is a link to the PAN website and the form.