yoga, parkinson’s and other adventures on!

Hey there stranger!

Don’t miss out… check out my latest post on National Parkinson Foundation’s yoga retreat for people living with Parkinson’s and their care partners HERE


And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up to stay up-t0-date on my new “summer series” … which will include weekly yoga postures! much love.




hey… exciting news!

come join me over at

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This site ( will no longer be updated, so don’t forget to head over and sign-up on to stay up-to-date with blog posts, research, presentations and events!

much love.

A blood test for Alzheimer’s disease?

In this study we sought to find a set of circulating molecules in the blood of individuals who were cognitively normal that would allow us to predict who in the next several years will develop cognitive impairement or Alzheimer’s disease, and that is exactly what we found

Dr. Federoff at Georgetown University published research in the journal Nature Medicine that identified 10 molecules in the blood that could be used to predict with at least 90% accuracy whether people went on to develop mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s. It is the first study to show differences in biomarkers in the blood between those who went on to suffer the disease, and those who remained “cognitively normal”.

If you could get a test to see if Alzheimer’s was in your future would you? This leads to ethical implications of a test that could predict a disease that currently has no cure. What do you think about this? Would you get tested? much love.


The Current (episode March 12, 2014)


parkinson bloggers: an update

I thought i’d share an update of what i’ve been reading… blogger addition.

some in this list are new, some have been mentioned HERE (parkinson blogger gals) or HERE (more parkinson blogs) but all are wonderful PERSONAL blogs about experiences living with PD.

… what have you been reading? any others to add to the list? much love.

WPC2013: a recap in photos


< after a long red-eye flight (3 planes total), arriving at my hotel with my poster in hand >


< listening to Bob Kuhn (a PWP from Vancouver) inspire the crowd to create community with his statement “Illness starts with I, wellness starts with WE”. Follow his blog, Positively Parkinson’s, HERE >


< Tim (PWP from Manitoba), winner of Canada’s inaugural amazing race, telling the crowd about finding your own inner strength and courage >


< Drs Stoessl and Fahn welcoming us to Montreal and WPC 2013! >


< stretching out those hips and glutes during yoga with Renee LeVerrier (her site HERE) and myself day 1 in the renewal room >

IMG_1974< Montreal weather was so kind to us during the week! Beautiful sunrise on day 2! >


< working through our chakra energy during Let Your Yoga Dance  in the renewal room on day 2 with Megha (check her out HERE)


< presenting my PhD research on daily muscle activation patterns in men and women with PD. The full study is published in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology HERE >


< great lecture on the final day by an all-female lineup Drs Nieuwboer, Horak and Goodwin on freezing, falls and targeted exercise >

IMG_2001< looking forward to it! see you next time on the west coast! much love >

self-portraits with alzheimer’s disease

I went to an interesting talk last week, titled “a dialogue on aging, developmental disabilities and dementia” and learned a lot about how dementia impacts older persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
… Like how older persons (>40yrs) with down-syndrome are at a high risk (25%+) for developing Alzheimer’s disease. And the implications of that on health services, aging parent caregivers and housing.
Another interesting piece I took away was about the artist William Utermohlen.
William was an American artist who died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. His work expresses his experience as a patient living with this disease.
As his disease progressed, William focused on self-portraiture, particularly his own head and strange, black, half-open doorways which started to appear in the background. His declining movement control over his movement forced him to switch from oils to watercolours and pencils. I was really taken by his work; it is a fascinating insight into the mind of a person with Alzheimer’s. much love.

Read more…

my favourite APPS: National Parkinson Foundation

Have you seen National Parkinson Foundation‘s new app?

It’s a really comprehensive app designed to provide information on symptoms, both motor and non-motor (they have a great section on depression), current research, treatments and where to go for more resources and support!

You can access the app HERE, or follow National Parkinson Foundation on twitter or facebook! Check it out, what do you think? much love

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thoughts about genetic testing

“I’ve got the gene for …”

Have you thought about genetic testing? Thought about finding out what might be in store for you? Would finding out something change the decisions you make? Change how you live your life?

Would knowing empower you or cripple you by casting a shadow over the rest of your life?


A “family decision”?

… because it’s not only about you. Testing yourself means testing your family; “Don’t you see? If your test is positive, it means I’ve got the gene, too. And I don’t want to know. I have a right not to know, don’t I?”

This genetic knowledge is also most likely to have a great impact on the choices to be made by those who are contemplating parenthood. Could decisions around fertility, and advanced in-vitro fertilization techniques, like preimplantation genetic diagnosis, “prune” genetic diseases from a family tree?

Diagnosis vs. Treatment.

These are the issues we face as scientists learn more about genetics…. the balance between knowing and not. What should be do with all this new information? Especially when genetic disease prediction continues to outpace medicine’s ability to treat or cure. For example, we have a genetic test for Huntington’s disease that can confirm a mutation, but it offers no treatment for the devastating symptoms. This leads to a therapeutic rift between what we know and what we can do.

Legal issues.

What about socially and/or legally? What if the results might become public and cause exclusion from employers or insurers. Laws to prohibit discrimination of people with a history of genetic disorders are not yet completely in place.

Margaret R. McLean, director of Biotechnology and Health Care Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, offers the following questions to clarify some of the key issues facing medical genetics in the years to come;

1. What is the purpose of taking a particular genetic test? Who is affected by the results?

2. Who has control of genetic information?

3. What does it mean to offer genetic testing and/or therapy in the absence of universal access to health care?

4. On what basis should someone undertake genetic intervention such as genetic constructive surgery if and when it becomes available?

5. For what kind of genetic future are we planning?

… or improved resources?

… or can it lead to a wealth of research resources, like the story of 23 and me’s Anne Wojcicki and her husband (google founder) Sergei Brin. “Brin, who began donating to Parkinson’s research in 2005, accelerated that giving after he learned in 2008 he has a flawed gene (LRRK2) that presents him with a 50 percent chance of getting the disease by age 70. So far Brin has donated $132 million, mostly through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, to help create a DNA database of 7,000 patients and to support work on the first targeted treatments that aim at the genetic causes of the movement disorder.” (source)

Have you had genetic testing? Have you thought about it? What is most attractive about genetic testing to you? What is the biggest barrier? Please share your thought’s in the comments below! much love.