PD School – 2020

Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Laurie K Mischley from Bastyr University in Seattle. She has a medical degree in Naturopathic Medicine and specializes in the nutritional requirements for neuro degenerative disorders. She has spent over 10 years working with PD patients and has a clinical trial going on regarding Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in PD where participants (I have been one since 8/2014) complete a series of surveys every 6 months to report the status and progression of their PD and we also compete a 24 hour food diary. She has presented programs at the World Parkinson’s Congress and other research meetings and she is considered an expert in the nutritional needs of PD patients.

In addition to seeing patients and conducting research, Laurie also hosts a week long Parkinson’s Summer School at Baystr and she is now offering PD School 2020, an on line course.   She describes the course as follows:

Parkinson’s School was created to be a resource for patients and their family members. Clinic visits are too few and far between and patients have questions that are going unanswered. Over the past 10 years I’ve treated over 3000 patients with Parkinson’s and these courses represent the themes I find myself repeating.

Throughout 2020, a new course will be released on the 14th and 28th of every month. Comments and course discussion will be open for the two weeks after each course to allow time for questions. After comments close, you will continue to have unlimited access to the videos and may watch them as often as you’d like.

As far as I know, online education programs to teach patients to better navigate their disease do not exist. I’m hoping this program will stimulate conversation, collaboration, and a sense of empowerment throughout the community.

You can register for the course here. The cost of the course is $10 per lesson or $150 for all 24 lessons.  Use coupon code NWPF-HOPE for a 20% discount bringing the price down to $120 for all 24 lessons. Below are the topics that will be covered during the year so you can pick and choose if you don’t want to sign up for the entire course. 

You can watch the welcome for no charge where she discusses her background and credentials and the outline of the course so you have a better idea of what will be offered before you commit to taking the courses. I have signed up for the full course and I have included my thoughts about the first course below.

Lesson One – Orientation

I think this is the video we wish we could have viewed when we were first diagnosed.  It covers what PD is and how it is more than the motor symptoms that affect us and what we can do to delay or reverse it.  If you are on the fence about taking the course I highly recommend  you purchase the first lesson for $10 just for the knowledge you will gain about Parkinson’s, how it progresses and what she has been doing to reverse or slow progression. 

She and her research team have created a PD scoring system that is easy to complete and correlates well with the UPDRS and other tests we often take at the Doctor’s office for both diagnosis and current status.  Her goal is to reduce your score by the end of the year.  The PRO PD test is available to anyone at propd.org.  There is no cost and it takes about 5 minutes to complete and get a score.  I took it and ended up with a score of 744.  I have asked for my previous scores from my participation in the CAM trial and will be interested to see if there is a change and which way, since my exercise level now is about double what  it was in 2014/15.

All of her ideas are supported by slides that contain relevant research reports along with supporting data from the CAM study. This class is interesting and provides a wealth of information for PwP’s. I will keep you posted as I progress through the remaining classes.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

PS: I just received an email from National Parkinson’s Foundation, Dr. Mischley is the featured expert on their next Expert Briefing webinar on March 17, 2020 from 1pm – 2pm ET. More information is available here If you are reading this post after 3/17/2020, all of the webinars are recorded and made available on their website.

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