9 posts from April, 2013

Young professionals, students and patients gather to collaborate at 5th Parkinson’s Disease Summer School

Posted April 9th, 2013 by

The Parkinson’s Disease Summer School was founded in 2008 by Paul de Roos of the European Medical Students’ Association and Krzysztof Nesterowicz of the European Pharmacy Students’ Association. This year, the school is leaving its European roots and relocating to Montreal, Canada.

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Thirty participants from around the world will work in small teams to develop “relevant and realistic research project proposals.” While the chosen participants come from a variety of professional backgrounds, they all share a common interest in advancing Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. The ultimate goal is to get participants thinking outside the box to create future projects that can “make an impact on the lives of PD patients.”

Just like PatientsLikeMe, the summer school knows that to advance research we have to connect with people who aren’t just studying disease, but living with it. Sara Riggare, a PhD student in Sweden with early onset PD, and Jill Ames-Carson, a physiotherapist from Canada living with PD, will both be at the summer school. Their participation and contribution will help lift patient centered thinking about PD to the next level.


“This year we celebrate the 5th edition of the summer school. We are pushing the boundaries by intensifying our engagement with Parkinson’s patients in our learning and evaluation process.” –Paul de Roos, MD

Some of the experts that will be guiding the participants through their work were selected by the Movement Disorder Society. The summer school is also teaming up with The World Parkinson’s Congress so that participants can showcase their research ideas directly to Parkinson’s professionals.

If you’re living with Parkinson’s disease, find others just like you in the growing community of almost 7,000 Parkinson’s patients on PatientsLikeMe. Learn what they’re doing to manage their condition with symptom and treatment reports, and share your own experience with a personal health profile or in the Parkinson’s disease forum.

Raising awareness to lower stress

Posted April 8th, 2013 by

April is National Stress Awareness Month. According to the Mayo Clinic, our bodies release a burst of hormones when they perceive the threat of stress. It’s sometimes referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response.[1] It’s not a bad thing, but too much stress on a constant basis can negatively impact our health, relationships and overall quality of life. So what can we do about it?


To start, measure your stress level now. The Mayo Clinic has a great assessment tool to rate your stress level and understand the affect stress is having in your life. Then see what works for you. There are lots of resources with good information on stress management and relief. Your PatientsLikeMe communities are talking about their stressors in the forums. See what causes stress for others like you, and what they do to relieve it. Cheers, to a stress-free April everyone!