VIDEO: People with Parkinson’s freeze for ‘mannequin challenge’
Author: Almaz OhenePublished: 5 January 2017
Prep: Cook: Serves:
Parkinson’s campaigners worldwide are taking up the ‘mannequin challenge’ – the latest social media trend to sweep the web – to show that ‘freezing’ is part of everyday life for many people with the condition
To share the reality of ‘freezing of gait’, major Parkinson’s organisations around the world have filmed their own versions of the popular social media trend, the #MannequinChallenge. Here are three of the most popular – from Parkinson’s UK, the Parkinson Voice Project in the US and Parkinson’s NSW in Australia.
It launched a campaign featuring four videos showing people unable to move in everyday scenarios such as crossing the street, making a cup of tea and answering the front door.
The emotive messaging asks viewers to “Donate. Now. So their challenge can end.”
2. Parkinson Voice Project
Patients at the Parkinson Voice Project’s clinic in Texas, US, showed viewers the interactive and dynamic nature of their regular speech therapy classes, as they pause for a minute for the camera stunt.
3. Parkinson’s NSW
The Australian organisation took a different approach and focused on people with Parkinson’s tremors among those frozen in time.
4. Vlaamse Parkinson Liga
This challenge was an initiative by a group from Ghent, Belgium who are part of the Vlaamse Parkinson Liga (VPL), the Flemish Parkinson’s disease association. They wanted to highlight the fact that although Parkinson’s patients freeze due to stability problems, it’s also difficult to freeze on demand. The organisation’s president is Yves Meersman, who is also the lead chef behind the Parki’s Kookatelier project.
First it was ‘planking’, then came the ice bucket challenge, and now ‘mannequin challenge’ videos are sweeping the web – a viral internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them.
Michael J Fox Foundation releases online resources for handling Parkinson’s in the workplace
The downloadable guides include tips on disclosing diagnoses
3 days ago
Survey highlights seven walking strategies for Parkinson’s disease
Did you know there are strategies designed to help people with Parkinson’s cope with walking difficulties? A survey from researchers at Radboud University Medical Centre, the Netherlands, suggests that many people with the condition might not be aware of seven key strategies – which include internal and external cueing, visualising movement and practising relaxation techniques. Of the 4,324 people surveyed, 17% hadn’t heard of any of the strategies listed, while 23% of participants had never tried them. The study also offered insights into how well the techniques worked in different contexts. For example, participants found visualising movement more effective when walking outdoors than when walking in a smaller space. “We found that people are rarely educated about all the different compensation strategies,” explained study author Anouk Tosserams. “When they are, people often find strategies that work better for them and their unique circumstances.”
1 week ago
Marjoram tea may reduce non-motor symptoms and depression in Parkinson’s disease
Researchers in Tunisia have found that drinking marjoram tea daily may help reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. As part of a small study, the team recruited 60 people with Parkinson’s who used antiparkinsonian medication. Half of the group were assigned to drink marjoram tea and the other half a placebo tea, every night for 30 days. During the study period, participants maintained their usual diet, physical activity and medication. The researchers used the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Beck Depression Inventory and Non-motor Symptoms Scale to assess changes in the participants’ motor and non-motor symptoms, and depression. The results showed that marjoram tea may significantly reduce non-motor symptoms and depression in Parkinson’s, while improvement of motor symptoms “may need an extended treatment period”. The study’s authors added: “More research with a large number of participants and lasting longer than one month is needed to argue these findings”.
Virtual reality: exercise therapy for Parkinson’s disease?
US researchers are developing immersive virtual reality (VR) games as exercise therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease. Designed by a team at Virginia Commonwealth University, the games aim to address motor symptoms and encourage movement. “The idea is to have something where you’re motivated and engaged, and you can put this headset on and work out anytime,” said research lead Professor James S Thomas. The team invited people with Parkinson’s to test the technology at a showcasing event. Wearing a VR headset, participants used handheld controllers to play games that called for swatting and scooping motions at different speeds. One participant reported: “I can definitely see the value in these games.” The researchers hope to create a lower-cost version of the VR system that can be used independently. “We’re trying to get you to move your body in a way that will help you maintain your quality of life,” said…