VIDEO: People with Parkinson’s freeze for ‘mannequin challenge’
Author: Almaz OhenePublished: 5 January 2017
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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.
We spoke to the creator of ‘When Life Gives You Parkinson’s’
2 weeks ago
Acupuncture may alleviate Parkinson’s symptoms
A study conducted by researchers in South Korea has found that acupuncture may help alleviate motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. The study – published in science journal ‘Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience’ – collected data from 42 existing trials testing the effects of acupuncture on different mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. A total of 40 studies showed that acupuncture increased levels of tyrosine hydroxylase – an enzyme in the brain which is part of the dopamine-producing process. Although there was no evidence to suggest acupuncture can induce changes in dopamine levels, results suggested that acupuncture may help alleviate motor symptoms in mice. Discussing their findings, the researchers commented: “Acupuncture treatment potentially protected [dopamine] neurons through various beneficial mechanisms. “Nevertheless, resolving the low quality of studies and further research investigating the efficacy of different acupuncture treatment methods in Parkinson’s disease rodent models will be needed.”
Could insulin be used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms?
A US study has found that intranasal insulin, which is commonly used to treat diabetes, may be able to improve Parkinson’s symptoms. As part of the study, published in scientific journal ‘PLOS ONE’, 14 people with Parkinson’s were administered a daily dose of intranasal insulin for four weeks. After the four week period, researchers – made up staff from Harvard Medical School, US, and the University of Massachusetts, US – saw an improvement in both the participants motor skills and verbal fluency. Discussing the trial, the researchers said: “Our study provided preliminary data that suggested an improvement of functional skills after four weeks of daily INI [intranasal insulin] treatment. That paves the way toward a larger cohort study to evaluate long-term safety and potential efficacy of intranasal insulin administration for potential treatment and prevention of functional decline in patients with Parkinson disease”.
Can drinking milk increase the risk of Parkinson’s?
Researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, have found that drinking more than 40 millilitres of milk per day may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s. As part of the study, 81,889 participants between the ages of 45 and 83 who do not live with the condition completed a survey detailing their milk, soured milk and yoghurt consumption. After an average follow up of 14 years, a total of 1,251 participants reported a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The dietary patterns of the participants showed that individuals who drank 40 to 159 millilitres of milk per day were 30% more likely to develop the condition. The researchers – who presented their study at the 2019 International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases in Lisbon, Portugal – concluded: “Findings from this cohort study indicate that consumption of milk, but not soured milk and yogurt, is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.”