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LIVING AND LEARNING WITH PARKINSON DISEASE

Speaker: Mickey Burke, MS
May 19, 2021 | 4:30 - 6:00PM

Recording and Wrap-Up Posted Below

Learning is something we are all familiar with. As children we learn in school, as adults we learn in our careers, even when retirement comes along we continue to learn. A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease does not mean learning should stop. In fact, it is as good a time as any to learn something new! Creating an environment where you are physically and mentally primed, where learning is conducive, should be taken advantage of. Understand how to create that setting where learning is enhanced, where the functional skills you learn will enhance your quality of life. Set yourself up for success and learn the tools to thrive with Parkinson's.

Wellness Series Summary – Living and Learning with Parkinson disease 

Mickey Burke, M.S., Cerebral Motion 

Bio: Mickey Burke MS (Kinesiology) owns Cerebral Motion, an exercise therapy and neurological rehabilitation company in San Diego, CA. Mickey brings with him clinical and cognitive experience from his time spent with the UC San Diego Movement Disorder Center, specifically acting as a research coordinator specializing in the cognition of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Currently, Mickey provides clients an enriching, stimulating, and multisensory environment to enhance the brain body connection. Mickey hopes this discussion will bring to light opportunities to improve brain health, educate and empower those affected with Parkinson's, and inspire people to learn something new. 

Parts of the Human Brain 

  • Frontal lobe 
  • Planning 
  • Problem solving 
  • Decision making 
  • Motor cortex 
  • Parietal lobe 
  • Language  
  • Sensation 
  • Occipital lobe 
  • Vision 
  • Temporal lobe 
  • Language 
  • Auditory  
  • Memory 

How do we know what is going on in the brain? 

  • Neuroscience 
  • Neuropsychology 
  • Cognitive Domains 
  • Attention & Working Memory – Frontal lobe 
  • Digit span: forward/backward 
  • Letter/number sequencing 
  • Naming of words/colors 
  • Processing speed 
  • Executive Function – Frontal lobe 
  • Fluency: letter, category, switching 
  • Color/word interference 
  • Inhibition 
  • Language – Temporal and parietal lobes 
  • Confrontational naming tasks 
  • Similarities 
  • Memory – Temporal lobe  
  • Word list learning 
  • Immediate recall 
  • Delayed recall 
  • Recognition recall 
  • Visuospatial – Occipital lobe 
  • Visual perception of the spatial relationships of objects 
  • Walking 
  • Driving 
  • Functional MRI (fMRI) 
  • Areas of the brain that are more active tend to receive higher levels of oxygenated blood 
  • Review 
  • The brain has different areas that have different functions.  
  • Blood flow increases to the area being used.  
  • Neuropsychological testing and brain imaging supports this.  

What’s going on in Parkinson’s disease? 

  • Dopamine 
  • Not produced as well 
  • Doesn’t communicate as well 
  • Motor component 
  • Rigidity 
  • Bradykinesia 
  • Tremor 
  • Postural instability 
  • Non-motor component 
  • Cognition 
  • Mood  
  • Sleep  
  • Constipation 

What we can do about it 

  • Medication: Dopamine replacement 
  • Exercise 
  • Aerobic exercise 
  • Cardiovascular exercise may elevate dopamine receptor binding potential in patients with early PD 
  • Moderate intensity exercise performed 3x/week may lead to improvements in executive function and language function 
  • Skill based exercise 
  • Task should be challenging and novel 
  • Motor Learning 
  • Cognitively engaging 
  • Motivational influence 
  • Feedback/prediction of errors 
  • Self-belief 
  • Generalizability   
  • Scaling up! 
  • Scale up intensity, duration, complexity, speed, agility 
  • Slow progression of symptoms such as dementia 
  • Earlier detection provides more time to plan for the future 

Everyday Life 

  • Navigating through space (ex. Supermarket) 
  • Tapping into the resilience of the brain by increasing the demands to safely move, remain upright, hold items in your working memory 
  • Multiple systems, domains, and circuits involved 

Resources 

  • Brain HQ - www.brainhq.com 
  • Clock Yourself App 
  • Cerebral Motion YouTube channel 

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