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I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
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Saturday, May 28, 2016


By Nanticoke Health Services | May 27, 2016

Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and The Methodist Manor House, will hold a Parkinson’s education and support group on Thursday, June 16 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM at the Methodist Manor House located at 1001 Middleford Road in Seaford, Delaware. This support group is FREE and open to the public.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movement. A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis can bring out many difficult emotions—fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and more. It is a challenge to learn how to cope with these feelings along with the stress of diagnosis and treatment.
Participating in education/support groups is essential for coping with an illness such as PD or other disorders that impair bodily movement. This support group is not only helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, but also for caregivers, friends and family. Group members welcome guest speakers on a variety of subjects related to PD and provide support to each other through other small group discussions.
Each individual may experience different symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity, poor balance, and a list of others. Studies show that the information, training, and counseling that participants receive while attending support group sessions enhances the quality of life, help to alleviate stress, and may even boost the immune system.
Tara Trout, LPN at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, co-facilitates the group with Kathy Landis, Care Giver Resource Coordinator at CHEER in Sussex County, Delaware.
For more information, contact Tara Trout at 302-629-6611 x 3838.
Nanticoke Health Services includes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and the Nanticoke Physician Network. Nanticoke Health Services has been named one of the Top 150 Places to Work in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review for five years in a row. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital holds a Level III Trauma Center certification and is the only hospital on the Delmarva Peninsula to receive a 4-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Nanticoke is nationally certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and is a Gold Plus Award performer according to the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® program. Nanticoke’s Cancer Care Services holds Accreditation with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Nanticoke’s medical staff includes over 155\ active and community affiliate health care providers practicing in 40 different specialties.

Pickleball tournament to aid Parkinson's research

BY SHIRLEY MCMARLIN | Friday, May 27, 2016

Jim Troxell plays pickleball at Murrysville SportZone.

Pickleball players will flock to Pittsburgh from June 3 to 5 for the inaugural Gamma Pickleball Classic in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
The fast-growing sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, ping pong, racquetball and volleyball. Players of those sports will be familiar with terminology such as foot fault, let, lob and volley.
Tournament proceeds will benefit the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.

Using pickleball as a Parkinson's fundraiser was a cinch for event co-chairman Michael Wertz of Upper St. Clair, the CEO of Apple Box Studios. He's the chairman of the foundation's board and knew of pickleball from the tournament held on the last day of school each year at Upper St. Clair High School, which his children attended.
His late father suffered from Parkinson's disease.
“I was researching Parkinson's and I found a YouTube video of a Parkinson's patient who said he had to play all the time to feel good,” Wertz says. “It helps with coordination, and it's a sport of finesse, not power.”
To organize the classic, Wertz teamed up with Wayne Dollard, publisher of the Peters-based In Community magazines and Pickleball Magazine, the official magazine of the USA Pickleball Association.
The event will be an open competition for players who will rate their own skill levels, as well as a USAPA-sanctioned event for players with skill ratings of 4.5 and above.
The duo expects about 300 people to play in the inaugural tournament, although Wertz is setting his sights higher for the future.
“Because the sport is so new, a lot of our players will be first-timers,” he says. “My goal is to build this into a major event in the city. Eventually, I'd like to have 1,000 people with Parkinson's participating.”
The date was chosen to coincide with the opening weekend of the Three Rivers Arts Festival and a Pirates' home stand.
“The city will be really buzzing that weekend, and I want to show it off to people coming in from all over,” Wertz says. “We'll have players from Maryland, Ohio, New York and a couple of snowbirds from Florida.”
With pickleball courts available at area YMCAs, parks and community centers, no one needs to travel too far to find a game. (Click on “Places to Play” at to find them.)
Jim Troxell of Murrysville is the informal pickleball organizer at Murrysville SportZone, where a group of about 50 regulars plays year-round on five courts on Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings.
“I've had people a lot older beat the crap out of me,” says Troxell, 70. “Our age group is 62 and up, and right now we have people up to 82 playing. Younger people are welcome, but it's mostly the older ones who have time to play in the daytime.”
Pickleball has been played at the Rose E. Schneider Family YMCA since about 2010, says sports director Nathan Statzer.
“We started with three courts one or two days a week,” he says. “Now we have six courts going from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and we're looking to add more time.”
As the popularity has grown, the equipment has become more sophisticated, Statzer says.
“People started out with wooden paddles sort of like you use for ping pong. Now they have graphite composite and you can pay anywhere from $30 to $130,” he says.
Tournament sponsor Gamma Sports, a manufacturer of racquet sports equipment, carries paddles and balls for either indoor or outdoor play.
“It's one of the fastest-growing sports in the country,” Wertz says. “I think we'll all be playing pickleball at some time in our lives.”
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750 or

How Pickleball started
Pickleball was invented in the summer of 1965 in the Bainbridge Island backyard of Joel Pritchard, then a Washington state representative, when a bored group of relatives and friends couldn't find the shuttlecock for a game of badminton and ended up playing with a wiffle ball and some hastily constructed plywood paddles.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, a popular story had the name coming from the family dog, Pickles, who would chase the balls and hide them in the bushes. Pritchard's wife Joan said the name actually referred to a “pickle boat,” the slowest vessel in a rowing race, and the dog was named after the sport.
In 1967, the first permanent pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of the Pritchards' neighbor.
During the 1970s, pickleball moved from backyards, driveways and residential streets to become a paddle court sport with formalized rules. The first pickleball association was formed in 1972, with the first known tournament held in 1976 in Tukwila, Wash.
In 1984, USAPA “was organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball on a national level” and the first rulebook was published.
A standard court is 20-by-44-feet, with a net hung at 36 inches. Points are scored by the serving side only, and the first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least two points wins. Most pickleballers play doubles, although singles can compete.

College football coach dies after Parkinson's battle Don Horton died Saturday

May 28, 2016

CNN) —After a decade of battling Parkinson's disease, beloved college football coach Don Horton died Saturday morning, according to his wife.

After a decade of battling Parkinson's disease, beloved college football coach Don Horton died Saturday morning, according to his wife.
Horton, 58, spent a decade coaching at Boston College and six years at North Carolina State University. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2006 and retired from the football field in 2013. Ten years after his diagnosis, Horton died surrounded by his two daughters and his wife.
    Don Horton was a dad to hundreds of college football players. Though he wasn't a head coach, numerous players say Horton changed their lives. It's the time he spent with them and how he got to know them that have led some of them to his side as he faced the end of his illness.
    "With Coach Horton, it was the way he made us feel outside the meeting rooms and practice fields," said former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Paul Zukauskas. "He was a guy that could be tough as a coach, but he'd ask how your family was doing. He really took the time to get to know everybody."
    When Zukauskas, now a high school football coach in Massachusetts, learned of Horton's illness, he called the coach's wife, Maura Horton, to see how he could help.
    Zukauskas, Ricky Brown and Al Washington, all former players from Boston College, set up a GoFundMe page in April to raise money for hospital expenses and an education fund for Horton's two daughters. As of Wednesday, the fund had raised more than $42,000 for the family.
    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus and former New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka are among Horton's former players who have donated to the cause.
    He would be very proud of these young men for helping take care of his girls," Maura Horton said.
    What worries Horton's wife most is whether Libby, 13, and Hadley, 8, will know who their father really was.
    Hadley only knew him with this disease. It was his diagnosis that drove the Hortons to "complete the vision" of what their family was going to be, his wife said. They sought in vitro fertilization, and Hadley was born.
    Their struggle with the disease also inspired Maura to make the lives of other Parkinson's patients better.
    One day, after an NC State game, Horton's limited dexterity prevented him from being able to button his shirt. One of his players, Russell Wilson, now quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, quietly came over to help the coach.
    The story left Horton embarrassed, but it inspired his wife to create MagnaReady, a line of shirts with magnetic buttons for people with disabilities.
    In addition to her work as the MagnaReady CEO and fighting to raise Parkinson's awareness, Maura Horton is fighting to keep the memory of her husband alive for her girls.
    "We keep saying over and over we're going to be all right. I'm not letting in, because it'll just be me single parenting. I'm not going to give in," the 46-year-old said between tears.
    "They need to be who they are going to be but with the values that Don wanted them to have: education and perseverance."
    When Horton went into a hospice home on May 15, family friend Melanie Walker offered a way for the girls to remember their father forever. She asked friends, family and former players to write letters to Horton's daughters, sharing their favorite memories of the coach.
    A dozen or so former players sent the family letters describing what the coach meant to each of them.
    "In a football world where players are treated as numbers, you treated us as people, and stood out," wrote Ryan Utzler, former running back at Boston College.
    One of the most emotional letters came from former Boston College player DuJuan Daniels, a national scout for the New England Patriots.
    Daniels wrote about how Horton came to his high school in Indiana to meet him and how he later helped ease the player's cross-country move to North Carolina.
    "When I sat down with your dad that day at my school, I knew he was the coach that I wanted to follow," he wrote to Horton's daughters.
    Football wasn't the only thing Horton cared about, he added: "He cared about school, he cared about your family, he cared about you, the kid he was welcoming into his family.
    "I knew he would look after me, just like he promised my mom, sister and grandmother he would with me being hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the only place I had ever known," Daniels wrote.
    Daniels said he felt safe and cared for. Many of the letters noted the same thing and suggested why: Horton believed in his players, or his men, as he called them.
    When Daniels suffered a career-ending knee injury years later, Horton was there to support him, he said. The coach offered him career advice and treated him like "part of his family."
    Even after they parted ways, Daniels wrote, Horton called him twice a month in the 14 years that passed since his last game at Boston College.
    "I can assure you that your dad, Don Horton, had a heart of solid gold. You two, along with your mom, Maura, are forever entrenched in it," Daniels wrote.
    "I am happy to call you two my 'little sisters.' "
    Horton's wife hopes his legacy will be a lasting one, for their daughters and the world. 
    "People can make such a difference in such a short time in life," she said. "I feel very protective of the girls, and I want them to know how loved they were and how special he was, to be able to be those kind of human beings that will change the world, too."
    If you knew Horton or want to share a message, the family asks that you email

    NFL players write touching letters to kids of former coach battling Parkinson's

    May 28,2016

    Libby Horton, 13, and her sister, Hadley, 8, have no real memories of what their father was like before he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago.
    Luckily for them, a host of Don Horton's players from his years as an assistant football coach at Boston College and North Carolina State are happy to tell the girls just how special their father is to them.

    Current and former NFL players have written touching letters to the daughters of former Boston College and N.C. State assistant coach Don Horton, who is battling Parkinson's disease.

    Starting about two months ago, a group of current and former NFL players has poured their hearts out in touching letters about Horton addressed to the two girls.
    "I know his older daughter might have an idea, but they've really never seen Coach fully healthy,'' Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus told TODAY. "The fact that they won't get to experience the same thing with Coach we got to experience, whether it was being playful or as a father figure, is heartbreaking. The world is going to lose a beautiful soul."
    Horton, 58, who retired after a 30-year coaching career in 2013, was transferred to a hospice facility near the family's home in Raleigh, N.C., on May 15 after his condition worsened.
    "It's neat to see your dad through someone else's eyes,'' Don's wife, Maura Horton, told TODAY about the letters. "Even though the kids might not have had him there all the time in their lives, they can still hear the stories about him and see how their dad made a difference in people's lives."
    Don Horton with his daughters, Libby, 13, and Hadley, 8, along with Maura, his wife of 23 years.
    "In life, God puts us in position to come into contact with special people, but often times people do not take the time to smell the roses and understand that the time we have with them is special, we take things for granted,'' former Boston College player DuJuan Daniels, now a scout with the Patriots, wrote in his letter.
    "I am happy that your dad, Don Horton, always smelled the roses. He knew what relationships and family were about and did not take any of them for granted. I personally am so grateful that he let me know I was special to him, because he is one of the most special people to ever come into my life. He changed my life."
    Horton's care didn't just extend to the star players, as detailed in the letter from former Boston College walk-on John "Elvis" Colontrelle, who played from 1996 to 1999.
    Former Boston College player John Colontrelle is one of many former players under Horton who have sent heartwarming letters to his daughters about their dad.
    "It was nice to be treated as a human being with feelings,'' he wrote. "It was nice to not be ignored. It was nice for coach to recognize you and treat you with respect even though you may never play a real minute of football. This has had a huge impact on my life."
    Former Boston College players Paul Zukauskas, Ricky Brown and Al Washington started a GoFundMe page for their old offensive line coach that has raised nearly $50,000 to help the family. Zukauskas, a retired offensive lineman who played for the Cleveland Browns, is looking to put the money from the fund toward the girls' education.
    "I think what separated him was you could tell he really cared about you outside of the football part of it,'' Zukauskas told TODAY. "He was a guy you could call and talk to when you were done playing and he wasn't your coach any more."
    Horton's 30-year coaching career included stints at Boston College (above) and N.C. State in which he coached numerous NFL players.

    Maura has also channeled her energy during a difficult time into MagnaReady, a company she founded that designs shirts with magnetic buttons for people with disabilities.
    he idea came after Don was struggling with his shirt following an N.C. State game, and current Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson quietly helped him button it. MagnaReady has licensed the technology to Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation for mass distribution in retail stores, according to Maura.

    Current NFL players like Cherilus and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan have also donated to help the family. Cherilus is so close with the Hortons that when Libby was in preschool, he showed up for a "bring your parents to school" day as a stand-in for Horton when he was out on the road recruiting for Boston College.
    "Lily is this little white tow-headed blonde and Gos is a 6-foot-8 African-American player from Haiti, and the kids were like, 'Is this your husband?!''" Maura said, laughing at the memory. "It was an awesome day.
    Courtesy of Maura Horton
    Many of Horton's former players have remained in contact since he retired in 2013 due to his battle with Parkinson's disease.
    I was blown away by the fact that he asked me to do that for him,'' Cherilus said. "It was so much fun, and it made you feel like you were family."
    During a heart-wrenching time, the letters have served as solace for the family in Don's final days.
    "It's pretty hard to explain to your children some of those forms like DNR (do not resuscitate) and others,'' Maura said tearfully. "We have done everything we could to fight the fight, but sometimes you have to know when to concede. Giving up was hard."
    When Don is gone and the girls are older, Maura will still have a job for his former players.
    "I tell the guys, 'The girls haven't started dating yet, and I'm going to need you because we're going to have to put some of these guys through the test,'' she said. "They all say, 'We'll be right here for you.' The girls will always have those guys watching out for them."
    Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

    U of W researchers use antioxidant to prevent Alzheimer's, Parkinson's in rodents

    May 27, 2016
    More from Brian Cross, Windsor Star

    University of Windsor PHD candidate, Krithika Muthukumaran and Professor Siyaram Pandey examine laboratory slides containing a brain section of a mouse with Alzheimer’s disease on May 27, 2016.

    University of Windsor researchers hope an antioxidant called CoQ10 will be shown to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in humans, now that they’ve proved it has that “amazing” effect on mice and rats.
    The research showed that CoQ10 protected the death of brain cells in rodents with those two degenerative brain disorders. The results are “very important,” given the devastating impact these degenerative brain diseases have on victims and their families, and the rapid growth in Alzheimer cases expected in the coming years as the population ages, said Krithika Muthukumaran, a PhD candidate who has worked with CoQ10 for five years under the guidance of biochemistry professor Siyaram Pandey.
    “It is not just going to affect the economy of the nations and families, it is going to affect caregivers as well,” she said. “Seeing their loved ones suffer from these diseases is not easy.”
    The researchers found that feeding CoQ10 to rodents — the mice that have been genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s cost $500 apiece — kept their nerve cells healthy, avoiding the neurodegeneration (nerve cell death in the brain) that normally happens with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
    Additionally, none of them developed plaque (lesions on brain tissue), which is a symptom of Alzheimer’s. And when psychology department researchers led by Prof. Jerome Cohen ran the rodents through behaviour and motor skill tests, there was no observed memory loss (among the Alzheimer rodents) or loss of motor skills (among the Parkinson rodents), said Muthukumaran.
     The tests were first done on Parkinson rodents, resulting in several published articles in academic journals in recent years. Based on their success with Parkinson’s, researchers mounted a similar study of CoQ10’s effect on Alzheimer’s. 
    “The result we got (in the Alzheimer study) was amazing,” almost like black and white, said Pandey. “It was very effective on preventing the plaques as well as preventing the memory loss.”
    What needs to happen next are clinical trials “to see if it can help people,” he said. “We are hoping it will provide some dramatic effect.”
    CoQ10 is a nutrient that exists naturally in the brains of young people — one of the antioxidants that help keep neurons healthy and prevent cell death, according to Muthukumaran. As people age, the levels of these antioxidants fall.
    Different oil-soluble formulations of CoQ10 have been tested before with sometimes good results, but the dosages required to help rodents were so high that an equivalent dose for humans would have been well above U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards, said Pandey.
    The formulation Muthukumaran worked with is a water-soluble version developed by a team at the National Research Council that included Pandey. It works in much lower dosages because it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream to reach the brain. So the dosage for humans would fall well within the FDA standards, Pandey said.
    But he added he doesn’t want people to think they have discovered a cure, that they can go to the store and buy CoQ10 and avoid developing Alzheimer’s. The formulation used by the U of W researchers isn’t commercially available and the effect on humans is still unproven. 
    The licence for the formulation was recently purchased by a Canadian company, Next Remedies, whose CEO Jorge Santos said he’s now raising funds to start human trials to test CoQ10’s effect on recently diagnosed Parkinson’s patients. Several trials would cost $3 million to $5 million each. He said he doesn’t see CoQ10 as a cure. 
    “I could be wrong, we haven’t done human trials yet, we have no clue where this will end up. At this point, I see it as an improvement in quality of life and an extension of life.”
    He said there have been at least 15 rodent trials done with his firm’s version of CoQ10 already. There’s strong toxicology research showing it won’t hurt you, and it recently received a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation from the FDA. He could start selling it as a supplement today, but without human trials, it would remain in a “grey zone,” where the firm couldn’t make claims about its properties.
    He wants to focus first on Parkinson’s human trials because there is already lots of research backing up the positive effect of CoQ10. The Alzheimer results from the U of W is still quite new.
    “There’s a long way between transferring it from mice to humans, but (the U of W research) is still an important piece of the puzzle in being able to understand things more,” said Rosemary Fiss, manager of education and support programs at the local branch of the Alzheimer Society.
    The society estimates 7,120 people in Windsor and Essex County are living with some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disorder that attacks the brain, affecting memory, speaking and behaviour. And because the population is aging and dementias primarily attack older people, it’s estimated that by 2031 the number of people will climb to more than 10,000 among people 65 and over. 
    There are currently four medications used in Canada to treat Alzheimer’s but they don’t cure it, said Fiss. “They don’t fix the damage that’s been done, but what they do is help the person function at an optimal level.”
    Researchers are looking for ways to stop the progress or prevent Alzheimer’s from starting, she said.
    “We’re hopeful. There’s a lot of great research being done.” 
    The U of W research was funded by: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the family of Windsor tool and die entrepreneur Joseph Szecsei and professor Cohen, who provided $25,000 for the Alzheimer’s project.