5 of our top Parkinson’s Life stories from 2023

Global update

Author: Verity WillcocksPublished: 3 January 2024

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2023 going into 2024

As 2024 begins, we pause to take a look back at the highlights of Parkinson’s Life 2023, from inspirational interviews to timely advice, and an in-depth look into a little-explored area for women with Parkinson’s.


A new year is full of promise, but it’s also a time to reflect on the things we’ve learned during the year that’s just ended, not to mention our favourite memories.

2023 was certainly a big year for the Parkinson’s community, from the World Parkinson Congress in Barcelona, the biggest World Parkinson’s Day yet and a research breakthrough with the discovery of a Parkinson’s biomarker.

Here are five of our favourite and most popular Parkinson’s Life stories from 2023:

1. Stay active this winter: 5 indoor sports for Parkinson’s disease

A man sitting up doing exercise on a yoga mat, with a black dog by his side

For many of us being more active is our top resolution for the coming year – and for people with Parkinson’s it’s particularly important. 

Not keen on getting sweaty? With its slow, fluid movements, Tai Chi can bring big benefits for people with Parkinson’s. A scientific study found that it had a significant beneficial impact on balance, gait and motor scores.

We’ve found five activities that you can do whatever the weather – look for a class near you or take part online.

2. Without Parkinson’s I’m not sure my pasta would have become art

A photo of Urs Bratschi holding up pasta art

Could 2024 be the year that you discover poetry, painting or even pasta art like Switzerland-based software developer Urs Bratschi? 

Whether it’s sunbathing pasta people or a plate of standing pasta ‘mushrooms’, only when Urs has created it, cooked it and photographed it is it ready to eat.

Urs believes having the condition has given him a creative spark that some people with Parkinson’s experience. 

“Without the condition, I’m not sure I would have developed the skill in my pasta to the point where it’s become an art,” Urs told us.

3. Parkinson’s disease and pregnancy: there’s still so much we don’t know

New year, new baby? For women with Parkinson’s getting pregnant comes with additional worries. In this article, women shared their experiences with us and highlighted the urgent need for more research to be done in this area. 

Dr Annelien Oosterbaan from the Netherlands said: “I already had three kids before my Parkinson’s diagnosis, but in 2021, I experienced my first pregnancy with the condition. I had already done my own research before deciding to become pregnant. Still, this didn’t really help me or reassure me, since there is so much we still don’t know. It felt risky, not knowing whether my Parkinson’s would become worse.”

To address the gap in research, Annelien has since founded Pregspark, an online registry which is collecting data from pregnant women with Parkinson’s around the world.

4. From dawn to dusk: 7 daily tools for people with Parkinson’s disease

Day and night illustration.

This year, make life with Parkinson’s a little easier with our pick of the best gadgets to help you throughout the day. From magnetic fasteners to speed up dressing to insulated dishes to keep your food warm while you take your time eating, these clever tools can take the stress out of those daily tasks. 

5. The Movers and Shakers podcast: we all have such different perspectives

Six high-flyers have come together to launch the 'Movers and Shakers' podcast.

Brighten up winter days with a Parkinson’s podcast. Last March, new podcast Movers and Shakers became an instant hit with listeners. Presented by six UK highflyers with Parkinson’s including broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, journalist Mark Mardell and The Vicar of Dibley comedy legend Paul Mayhew-Archer, it highlights the challenges – and lighter sides – of life with the condition. Topics covered so far range from sex and shopping to dietdating and new research. 

Commenting on the podcast, Mark Mardell told Parkinson’s Life: “Hearing from my clever fellows delivers a jolt of recognition, that someone else has the same weird symptoms, the same strange thoughts and fears,” he says. “Parkinson’s shouldn’t mean you’re locked in solitary. Join us and you won’t be alone.”

What was your highlight of 2023? Let us know in the comments below!


Read more:

7 of our favourite Parkinson’s Life stories from 2022

10 of our favourite Parkinson’s Life stories from 2021

 

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