Parkinson’s Disease gets mentioned a lot in April – it’s the month that highlights awareness of this challenging condition and its treatment. As with many neurodegenerative illnesses, there’s currently no “cure” - just ways to slow down its progress, build up compensatory strengths, alleviate symptoms, and improve quality of life.
I’ve been noticing a nice uptick in guided imagery research lately – both in terms of studies that explore its efficacy in new or renewed areas, such as smoking cessation, dialysis, and hospice care – and with the appearance of systematic reviews, a sure sign that enough trials have been published to warrant an overview.
My cousin has been dealing with Parkinson’s for many years. Do you have a tape that could possibly help him - he has a very poor attitude about his condition, I’m sure he is depressed. I have tried to help him but he does not want my help, he lives very far from me - maybe one of your CDs would help him. Thank you, Julia
Researchers from Cardiff University, Trinity College and University College London in the U.K., conducted a pilot study investigating the impact of Neurofeedback (NF) and Motor Training (MOT) on the brain networks that could improve motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease patients.
This 10-week small Phase I randomized controlled trial had 30 PD patients participating. Group One (n = 15) received real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) with motor training. Group Two received motor training alone.
Researchers from Cardiff University and Trinity College, UK, and Maastricht University, Netherlands, conducted a pilot to determine the impact of Neurofeedback, as compared with Motor Training (MOT) alone, on motor and non-motor functions in Parkinson's Disease (PD).
In this 10-week, randomized, controlled trial, 30 patients with Parkinson's Disease were randomly assigned to two groups. Group 1 (N = 15) received Real Time Functional MRI – Neurofeedback with Motor Training; Group 2 (N = 15) received Motor Training alone.
We got this email recently:
I want to praise Carol Dickman's Seated Yoga video and Belleruth's Parkinson's Disease imagery. My husband who has been disabled and depressed with his illness for several years responds well to these. He works with both each day. He is less depressed, sleeps better and we both think he has gotten somewhat better at getting himself to move when he is "stalled", which is what we call it when there is a gap between when he wants to use his muscles and when they respond.
Having something he can do for himself to improve his symptoms is therapeutic in and of itself, we have concluded. This has been quite a difficult journey for us. We are very happy to have new tools he can use to improve his sense of agency over his life. As his wife and caregiver, it is therapeutic for me as well. There is nothing worse than helplessly watching the man you love suffer.
In the future I will be looking for more tools for him, to keep this "roll" going when he tires of these two tapes. For instance, now that he has the energy for it, we may try some gentle, graded exercise. We read on the site that this can be helpful for PD too - which reminds me, thank you for posting the new research every week. And thanks to all the staff in the office. The woman who answered my phone call was notably kind and patient.
Because guided motor imagery has recently gained so much attention as a promising new rehabilitation method for patients with neurological disorders, researchers from Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium, tested whether patients with Parkinson’s Disease had the capacity for doing imagery, in spite of impaired basal ganglia function.
A total of 14 patients with early- and mid-stage PD (Hoehn and Yahr 1-3) and 14 healthy controls were evaluated by means of an extensive imagery ability assessment battery, consisting of 2 questionnaires, the Chaotic Motor Imagery Assessment battery, and a test based on mental chronometry.