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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Health & Wellness Podcasts

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.


United States


How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.




What to Do When the Next Medical Appointment is Months Away

Medical problems often do not follow a schedule, and it can be frustrating to get them addressed when the next doctor appointment is weeks or months away. It’s important to have a plan about what to do for support between clinic appointments. A good first step is to discuss the issue with your health care team and to arrange to have a designated person or point of contact should such a situation arise. Heather Russell, RN, Coordinator of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at the...


¡EN ESPAÑOL! Crear un plan de autocuidado y por qué es importante para los cuidadores

Ser trabajadora social en una clínica significa ser parte del equipo médico y brindar atención a las personas que viven con Parkinson y a sus familias. En este episodio, hablamos con Adriana González, trabajadora social en el Centro para el Parkinson y Otros Trastornos del Movimiento de la University of California, San Diego. Como trabajadora social, Adriana ayuda a las familias y a los cuidadores a identificar recursos comunitarios y los apoya cuando enfrentan situaciones...


Community Care Programs for Care Partners

Caregiving can be an intensive endeavor, not to mention the physical, mental, emotional, and even financial aspects of it. Just as people with Parkinson’s disease need support services, so, too, do their care partners. In this episode, Social Worker Cara Iyengar, MSW, LISW, the coordinator of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, discusses some of the Foundation’s resources that she shares with care partners, her three-pronged approach to...


Fall 2022 Moving Day at Home Program

Join community members from across the country for this virtual experience that allows you to move for Parkinson’s from wherever you are! This program will help you get motivated and kick off your 60 minute walk. Remember, you can walk, run, hike your favorite route, or simply just listen to the Moving Day at Home program! We encourage everyone to share photos of their experience by posting to your social media page with the hashtag #MovingDayatHome. Join us for the entire program by...


¡EN ESPAÑOL! Cambios cognitivos

Cuando uno piensa en la enfermedad de Parkinson (EP), es fácil asociarla más con los síntomas motores, como la rigidez o el temblor; pero también existen síntomas no motores, como los cambios de estado de ánimo, la ansiedad o la depresión. En este episodio, hablamos con la doctora Elsa Baena, neuropsicóloga clínica en el Barrow Neurological Institute, Centro de Excelencia de la Parkinson’s Foundation, acerca de estos cambios cognitivos asociados con el Parkinson. La doctora Baena...


Medication-Induced Parkinsonism - How is it Different?

This episode explores parkinsonism, a group of conditions with symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease, itself a neurological degenerative brain disorder resulting from neurons in the brain failing to make enough dopamine. It is characterized by a loss of motor control, including stiffness, slow movements, resting tremors, and postural instability. Plus, non-motor symptoms of depression, loss of the sense of smell, gastric problems, mood and cognitive changes are...


CEO John Lehr Offers Broad Insight into the Parkinson's Foundation

Past podcasts have given glimpses into the broad range of programs and initiatives that the Parkinson’s Foundation has developed and supports. But to give a better understanding of the Foundation’s mission, its operation, reach, and funding, we spoke with John Lehr, its president and CEO. He discussed the reasons for the merger of the National Parkinson Foundation and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to form today’s Parkinson’s Foundation, what the new organization has accomplished, and...


Traveling with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be an impediment to certain activities, but with proper planning, people can still pursue many of the things they have always enjoyed. One of those things is travel – to see family, visit friends, or explore new sights and cultures. One key to enjoying travel is planning. Pay special attention to issues that are known to affect how you feel and function. Packing extra medications when traveling has always been a good idea, but with today’s unpredictability of...


Feeling Nausea with Parkinson’s

People often view Parkinson’s disease (PD) in terms of its motor symptoms, including slow movements, tremors, and stiffness. Often, these symptoms can be controlled with levodopa or other dopaminergic drugs. But just as troubling or more so to the person with PD are the non-motor symptoms of nausea, constipation, low blood pressure, mood disturbances, sleep problems, and more. In this episode, we focus on feeling nausea with Parkinson’s disease in an interview with Andrew Feigin, MD,...


Meet the Researcher: Disparities in PD Care

As with many medical conditions, people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may experience disparities in access to care, in diagnosis, treatments, and ancillary care. These disparities may be based on age, gender, race, financial situation, language barriers, and geographic location, among other factors. Dr. Lynda Nwabuobi, now a movement disorders specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Institute in New York City, received her specialized...


Channeling Creativity Throughout the Parkinson’s Journey

Many people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) continue to work, socialize, and enjoy life, making accommodations as necessary to fit the disease into their lifestyles. And while no one would choose to have PD, some people have even found or created benefits of having it. One of them is Barry Blaustein, an award-winning Hollywood writer, director, and producer, who wrote several of Eddie Murphy’s movies and developed several of his Saturday Night Live characters, writing many of Murphy’s skits...


Managing Comorbidities with Parkinson’s Disease

Just as people in the general population have to contend with various unrelated medical conditions, so may people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Such conditions are termed “comorbidities,” that is, diseases or conditions occurring along with, in this case, PD. Examples are cardiovascular disease, strokes, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, cataracts, other diseases of aging, as well as those that can occur at any stage of life. An important consideration is to determine which health...


¡EN ESPAÑOL! Definición y manejo de la distonía

La distonía es un trastorno del movimiento que causa contracciones involuntarias de los músculos. Estas contracciones llevan a posturas anormales de partes del cuerpo y a veces a movimientos repetitivos. En este episodio, hablamos con la doctora Marta San Luciano, Profesora Asociada de Neurología en la University of California San Francisco, acerca de la definición y el manejo de la distonía. La doctora San Luciano nos explica que la distonía es un síntoma común de la enfermedad de...


Addressing the Unmet Needs of Women with PD

Forty percent of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are women, but compared to men, they have a longer time to diagnosis, less access to neurologist care, and are underrepresented in research studies. Although PD presents special considerations for women, they are, overall, treated the same as men. Some of the differences are body weight, drug metabolism, symptoms, monthly hormone cycles, hormonal changes across different stages of life, pregnancy, and family and other care giving...


Meet the Researcher: Gene Silencing to Prevent and Treat Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia

Dyskinesia is a condition involving erratic, uncontrollable muscle movements such as twitches, jerks, twisting, or writhing of the face, arms, legs, or trunk. It can be a complication after long-term use of levodopa to treat Parkinson’s disease. Dyskinesias can be mild, or they may be severe enough to interfere with normal functioning. Basic laboratory research has revealed some of the changes in the brain after long-term exposure to levodopa. In this episode, Kathy Steece-Collier, PhD, a...


¡EN ESPAÑOL! Los beneficios de la fisioterapia

En los últimos años, se han publicado varios estudios que sugieren que empezar la fisioterapia en las etapas tempranas de la enfermedad de Parkinson puede tener beneficios neuro-protectores, lo que significa que ayuda a mantener el cerebro más saludable. En el caso de las personas con Parkinson, la fisioterapia puede ayudar con el equilibrio, con la marcha y para mantener buena fuerza. En este episodio, hablamos con Ana Sanchez Junkin, doctora en fisioterapia con especialidad clínica en...


Using the New Parkinson’s Exercise Recommendations as Part of Your Treatment Plan

Regular exercise in its various forms is one of the most important things that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can do for themselves. It can promote aerobic conditioning, strength, balance, and flexibility and help slow the decline in mobility while improving quality of life. Findings from the Parkinson’s Foundation Parkinson’s Outcome Project, the largest ever clinical study of PD, suggest that people with PD engage in at least two and a half hours of exercise each week to improve...


Medicare and Parkinson’s Disease

Medicare, the U.S. government health insurance program, covers more than 63 million people, with more than 49 million people also receiving prescription drug coverage. It provides health insurance for adults over 65 as well as people with some medical conditions or disabilities. The system has many moving parts, and beneficiaries need to understand it to derive the most benefit, know what it covers and does not cover, and what costs they will be responsible for. An important time is the...


¡EN ESPAÑOL! Éxito de estudio: Viendo el ejercicio con un sentido de comunidad

Sabemos que existen otras cosas aparte de la medicina como parte del tratamiento para una persona con la enfermedad de Parkinson; por ejemplo, la actividad física, que sabemos que puede ayudar a la salud del cerebro. En este episodio, hablamos con la doctora Giselle Petzinger, Profesora Adjunta de Neurología en la Keck School of Medicine de la University of Southern California, acerca de un estudio que llevó a cabo para comprender mejor si usar un fitbit con entrenamiento puede promover...


Aging in Place

As many people get older, they start to think about where they want to reside for the rest of their years. For many of them, that place is the home they are already in. But it is not as simple as just staying put. One must consider mobility issues, staying safe physically, nearby services, social support, transportation issues, along with present and future medical needs. These are issues common to most people as they age, and Parkinson’s disease adds another level of considerations....