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.
Greek-inspired courgette and aubergine vegetarian moussaka
This vegetarian moussaka uses tofu or seitan as meat replacements
7 days ago
Weight, sleep and depression linked to risk of cognitive problems in Parkinson’s
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, US, have found that people with early Parkinson’s disease are at higher risk of developing cognitive impairments if they are overweight, have disruptive sleep behaviours or experience symptoms of depression. Evaluating data from 405 people, the researchers used statistical analysis to identify relationships between certain characteristics and changes in patient cognition over time. Their findings suggest that factors such as high body mass index (BMI) or excessive sleepiness are associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease. The researchers wrote: “Despite its common and devastating occurrence, treatment of [cognitive impairments] in [Parkinson’s disease] is limited and no medications slow its onset or progression. However, identification of treatable or modifiable comorbidities that affect the rate of progression of [cognitive impairments] in [Parkinson’s disease] could provide opportunities for early intervention and improved prognosis.”
Gene screening technique could offer insights on Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, will investigate genes that could protect cells in the brain against Parkinson’s disease. An award from US non-profit G Harold and Leila Y Mathers Foundation will allow scientists to use a mouse model screening technique to find out more about the condition. Individually deleting each of the 22,000 genes present in mice neurons will help identify which genes are linked to neuron survival – and offer insights that could lead to new treatments for the condition. Dr Myriam Heiman, an Associate Professor at MIT, said: “There is currently no molecular explanation for the brain cell loss seen in Parkinson’s disease or a cure for this devastating disease. I’m extremely grateful for this generous support and recognition of our work from the Mathers Foundation, and hope that our study will elucidate new therapeutic targets for the treatment and even prevention of Parkinson’s…
Can equine-assisted therapy benefit people with Parkinson’s disease?
Researchers from Texas Woman’s University, US, are investigating how equine-assisted therapy – which involves working with horses to promote wellbeing – can benefit people with Parkinson’s disease. As part of the five-month study, funded by the non-profit Human Animal Bond Research Institute, 30 men with Parkinson’s disease will be randomly assigned to participate in equine-assisted therapy or simulated horseback riding. The participants’ motor performance, balance, gait and symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease will be assessed before, during and after the therapy. Rhett Rigby, principal investigator of the study, said: “There is currently no known study that utilises equine-assisted therapy as an intervention treatment for those with Parkinson’s disease. Our research could have a significant impact on an understudied population and help contribute to the existing literature on human-animal interaction.”