Author Archives: Dr. C

A New Year’s Resolution: Quiet the Old Tapes

In my column about time management, I mentioned a nagging inner voice saying, “You did not get enough done today.” That phrase ties to an old “tape,” inner dialogue left by the voices of parents and childhood teachers that says, “You are never going to amount to anything. You are…

The Pac-Man Cometh: Parkinson’s Disease Gobbles Up Time

I used to be able to put long hours into just about anything I tackled: research, teaching, helping others, painting, writing, and gardening. But PD gobbles up time, just like the video game character Pac-Man gobbles up dots while chasing ghosts. Although I’m retired, I have less free time to…

Taking a Careful Look at Apathy: It Could Be Motor Hesitation

Depression is often associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), as is apathy. But there may be a subtle difference between the two. At the risk of oversimplifying, let’s define depression as a state of sadness and loss of interest, and apathy as an apparent lack of motivation. Put sadness and…

Foot Problems as an Early Sign of PD: Oh, What a Drag It Is!

Search on the internet for early signs of Parkinson’s disease. Surprisingly, you will not find foot drag on most of the lists. Yet, Ali Samil, in the chapter “Cardinal Features of Early Parkinson’s Disease,” in the book “Parkinson’s Disease: Diagnosis and Clinical Management,” lists foot drag as an…

How to Use Computer Gaming as Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

The brain is a plastic organ continually reshaping itself in response to the stimuli it receives and the way those stimuli are processed. The old adage “use it or lose it” applies even in the face of a challenging disease like Parkinson’s. Computer gaming can help with brain training by…

Moderating Impulsivity: Train the Brain to Stop the Train

Brain training happens all the time. The goal of Parkinson’s disease (PD) rehabilitation is to use training to limit the effects of the condition. When training the brain, it is important to be mindful of what it is doing while implementing a practice of mental attentiveness. This specific type of…

Impulsivity and Parkinson’s: The Itch that Must Be Scratched

Impulsivity is a symptom commonly associated with both Parkinson’s disease (PD) and some of the medications used to treat it. Impulsivity involves acting on urges with little thought to the consequences — that seven-year itch that feels like it must be scratched — regardless of the problems that may…

The Grouch and T.O.O.T.S.: Dealing with Irritability

Years ago when I was first diagnosed, my partner asked the neurologist, “Is there something we can do about his irritability?” The doctor responded, “I wish I had a dollar for every time a partner made this request.” It seems this is a prevalent issue. In past columns I have addressed…

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