It’s summertime, you’ve got the beach chair, a trashy novel and sunscreen, but do you have your 23andMe results? While everyone should protect themselves from too much sun, some people — particularly those with light skin, fair hair and a genetic risk for skin cancer — should be particularly vigilant. read more..
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
It was an innocent mistake, one left turn instead of a right. But, perhaps for the first time on this round the world trip I experienced a distinct sense of vulnerability.Our host in Rwanda is Wellspring Foundation, an organization started by two fellow Trinity Western University alumni approximately 9 years ago. Wellspring has done a phenomenal job of modeling the best of educational practices in this land where teaching has not always been as respected a profession as it is in other countries. On returning from Butare, and thanks to our host, we settled into the guest apartment located on the Wellspring school campus in Kigali. I decided to take a short walk to buy some groceries to tide us over the next few days. Despite being in an unfamiliar town I felt confident in making the 1 km walk by myself. As soon as I was out of the gate I found myself the only white person in the steady stream of darker skin pedestrian traffic walking here and there. Problem was that I began to realize I didn't know where "here and there" was exactly.Coming to a T-intersection I turned right. I was hesitant to ask directions, perhaps fearful of looking foolish, or just fearful. After walking over two kilometers I had to admit that I had made a wrong turn. I did so by asking the first white people I met; a young man and woman who had also just arrived in town for the Peace Marathon taking place on Sunday. Curiously, they were also looking for a grocery store but were not sure exactly where one was. We retraced the steps I had just taken, assuming that the correct direction was to have turned left at the T-intersection. Two kilometers back and then a further two kilometers later we found a grocery store (although it was not the one I remember passing on the way to the Wellspring campus).Trolling repeatedly up and down the narrow aisles and trying to discern what purchases to make, I kept passing the same shoppers who must've wondered why I was having such difficulty choosing a few groceries. However, after an intimidating thirty minutes in the small store, I managed to check out and pay. The total bill was 18,900 Francs! Our host had exchanged some of my American funds for Rwandan Francs (exchange rate of some Fr.600 to one dollar), as we were unable to find any ATM that would accept either my debit card or credit card. Visa, not Mastercard seems to have dominated the African market. Oh well, Carson's Visa will be working overtime.Sweat-drenched, I arrived back at our temporary home almost 2 hours after I had left (having worried our hosts somewhat). No sooner had I begun explaining the course I had taken to find the grocery store than smiles appeared on the faces of our hosts. I had turned left out-of the front gate instead of right. At least I had a good workout.After a shower (strongly suggested by my roommate, Carson), I joined Carson and our hosts for pizza, while everyone had a good laugh at my expense. Then the lights went. While power outages are common where we live, this was a sudden confrontation with an unknown darkness. It was not fear, but a sense of vulnerability that I felt. It was like being lost in a city I did not know. The feeling was both familiar and new to me at the same time.Being lost in a strange city, experiencing a power outage or just traveling in new territory can be isolating events. In a sense, despite what may be the number of people around you, you are alone and prone to become uncertain. In fact, you sense that confidence may be your enemy, causing you to blunder ahead when caution should prevail. People with Parkinson's know what this feels like. When my tremors worsen, especially when due to increases in my adrenaline, it is as if I am the only white face in a crowd of black faces, or alone in the dark wondering what to do next.It is at times like these that realize I must step back from the feelings and relabel the circumstances. Being in a strange country with different cultural norms, services, foods and la read more..
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Scientists have developed a peptide that protects dopamine-producing neurons, freezing neurodegeneration in its tracks in preclinical trials. This peptide could be easily delivered by daily injections or absorbed through the skin from an adhesive patch as a preventative therapy for Parkinson's disease, she says. read more..
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
March 23rd is National Puppy Day! How did the Shar-Pei get his wrinkly skin? The question sounds like the beginning of one of Kipling’s “Just So” stories, but this and other questions were the subject of a recent genetics study. What gives some breeds their Lilliputian legs and others their lengthy limbs? Why do some [...] read more..
Sunday, 18 March 2012
By reprogramming skin cells from patients with mental disorders, scientists are creating brain cells that are now providing extraordinary insights into afflictions like schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. read more..
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Today kicked off the not only the 2nd World Parkinson Congress (WPC) program - e.g., presentations about the latest Parkinson’s research and care - but also the scientific and lay poster sessions.Most scientific meetings include posters by scientists, which summarize their most recent experiments. The WPC is unique because, alongside the scientific display, it features “Living with PD” posters. These posters display efforts undertaken by people with Parkinson’s disease, care partners and voluntary organizations around the world to further the cause. PDF is proud to report that two of its Clinical Research Learning Institute graduates (who also serve as WPC reporters) presented posters about their work in the community. Today, they stood by their posters discussing their work with people from all over the world. They both chatted with us briefly during this time. Here’s a synopsis:ReneeRenee LeVerrierYoga Teacher Training for Students with Parkinson’s Disease (LeVerrier, R.; Rork DeAngelis, T; Thomas, CA (United States))About Renee's Poster: As Renee says, "Yoga is becoming increasingly popular among all people, and people with Parkinson’s. For me, the focus is on making sure that yoga teachers know how to work with people with Parkinson’s, because it is different." She and her co-authors identified a need in the Parkinson's community for yoga instructors knowledgeable in disease who could tailor their teaching to its special needs. In this vein, Renee created a collaborative model for health care professionals to teach yoga instructors about Parkinson's. She has already conducted two workshops and 40 instructors have been trained.DianeDiane G. CookAddressing the Needs of Newly Diagnosed PD Patients: Development of a Model Curriculum (Cook, DG; Vierck, E (United States))About Diane's Poster: Diane's poster discusses strategies that she has used to address the needs of people newly diagnosed with PD. She has done this within her own support group, using surveys to monitor what information people are looking for and planning a formal curriculum accordingly. Several of her leading topics include nonmotor symptoms of PD. She hopes to make this curriculum a prototype that others could use. Diane says of her experience today,“My experience in presenting is that much of the value of the conference takes place in the discussions held in front of our posters and in the booths, where common experiences are shared and cards are exchanged to continue the dialogue. There is a fierce sense of collaboration!”Congratulations to Renee and Diane. We'll update you tomorrow on other CRLI presenters. read more..
As we kick off the first full day of sessions of the 2nd World Parkinson Congress, we'd like to share (a bit belatedly so) a lovely Haiku emailed to us yesterday by Renee LeVerrier, as she waited for the opening ceremonies to beginPre-Congress HaikuCloudy sky, Glasgow fogCannot dampen spirits orClarity we seekRenee is one of our WPC reporters and a graduate of PDF's Clinical Research Learning Institute. Later today, Renee is presenting a poster entitled, "Yoga Teacher Training for Students with Parkinson's Disease." Learn More:If you'd like to learn more about Renee and our other WPC reporters: Read their bios here If you're interested in other creative works by people living with Parkinson'sSee PDF's Creativity and Parkinson's site Browse the Sharing Stories project read more..