189 posts in the category “Parkinson’s Disease”

Fall feast: 3 ‘Parkinson’s-friendly’ recipes + cooking tips

Posted 9 months ago by

Are you living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and looking for some dishes for Thanksgiving or another fall feast? Or just to boost your appetite? Our friends at Community Servings — a Boston-area nutrition and meal delivery organization for people with health conditions — handpicked three tasty recipes with a healthy balance of nutrients for people with PD. Plus, they’re sharing some quick pointers to help you keep on cooking with your condition.

3 awesome autumn recipes

“These are all high in fiber, have healthy fat, a moderate amount of protein, and are pretty easy to prepare,” says Alison Schlisser, a registered dietician and manager of Nutrition Services at Community Servings.

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Salad – This earthy salad features a flavorful combo of beans, squash, feta cheese, lemon juice and cilantro (with a dash of pumpkin pie spice, to boot). Serve it warm or at room temperature as a side dish or main course.

Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes – The stars of this vegan dish are roasted sweet potatoes and crispy chickpeas (spiced with cumin, cinnamon and paprika), plus a creamy tahini (sesame) sauce. This could add a nice kick to your Thanksgiving menu!

Delicata Squash & Lentil Soup – Delicatas are the long, cream-colored squash with dark green stripes. Their mild and slightly sweet flavor pairs well with hearty lentils and kale, plus a host of spices that scream “fall” in this soup.

Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to check out some other Thanksgiving recipes the PD community swapped in the forum.

Just keep in mind the timing of your meals and medications (for example, avoid eating too much protein close to when you take carbidopa/levodopa or Sinemet—see chapter 2 of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Nutrition Matters booklet for more information). Talk with your doctor or a dietician to learn more.

Pointers for cooking with PD

Alison also passed along these pointers that could help you in the kitchen:

  • Buy pre-cut fresh, frozen or canned items to decrease preparation time. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as their fresh counterparts. If choosing canned items, make sure to avoid added sugar and sodium (salt)!
  • Invest in some adaptive equipment for your kitchen. Angled measuring cups with well-gripped handles can be read from above, which means not having to lift the cup or having to bend over to read the fill level. Angled knives make one-handed cutting much simpler. Non-slip mats are very useful to help secure plates, bowls, and cutting boards in place when doing food prep.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation also rounded up 5 Ways to Make Cooking Easier with PD, such as sitting on a counter-height stool for much of your meal prep and using cut-resistant gloves, and a rice cooker (or slow cooker), whenever possible.

Do you have any favorite fall recipes or cooking tips to share? Sign up for PatientsLikeMe and swap ideas here with the PD community!


A possible Parkinson’s disease/melanoma link? Time for a skin check

Posted 10 months ago by

Now that summer has passed, have you had your skin examined? Studies have shown that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may have an increased risk for melanoma, so skin screenings are extra-important. Take a look at recent research and get some tips on monitoring your moles and skin.

Studies show…

A 2017 Mayo Clinic study found that people with either PD or melanoma are four times as likely to receive a diagnosis of the other disease. The researchers say the PD drug levodopa (which some people believe may play a role in melanoma risk) is not likely a factor in the PD/melanoma connection, according to McKnight’s. They found that the majority of melanomas were diagnosed before the diagnosis or treatment of Parkinson’s disease, so taking levodopa doesn’t appear to be a risk factor.

Future research should focus on genes, immune responses and environmental exposures that could cause the relationship, the researchers say.

Know your “ABCDEs”

Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s “ABCDEs of Melanoma” (click here to see images of examples), and make an appointment right away if you spot any of these warning signs:

A = asymmetry. Malignant moles tend to have an odd shape.

B = border. The edges of an early melanoma may be uneven or “scalloped.”

C = color. Watch out for moles that are a spotty mix of colors (from tan to black, or even shades of red, white or blue).

D = diameter. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than a pencil eraser (but may be smaller early on).

E = evolving. Keep an eye out for any changes in your moles, such as size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or new symptoms such as bleeding, itching or crusting.

Also, keep in mind these other risk factors for melanoma, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure (psst: use sunscreen and protective clothing)
  • Caucasian race
  • Older age
  • Male
  • Family history of melanoma or personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers

The Fox Foundation is currently funding studies on the PD/melanoma connection, including one exploring the role of alpha-synuclein (a sticky protein) in both conditions, and others examining the genes or gene mutations involved in the two conditions. Learn more here.

On PatientsLikeMe

Some members report having both PD and melanoma. “I encourage everybody to go to a dermatologist, who has observed thousands of moles, on various skin types, and pay them to do a body scan,” says one member with PD and melanoma (fortunately, a biopsy showed his cancer had not spread). “Melanoma is not slow progressing like Parkinson’s.”

Has your doctor ever mentioned melanoma risk? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to talk about Parkinson’s and melanoma in the PD forum.