Moving Towards the Cure: Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease - Part 3 of 4

Dr. James Paterniti discusses deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's Disease“It Works!”  Dr. James Paterniti presenting himself as a great testimonial that Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease might be an alternative to managing the disease, along with his Minds in Motion Program at Scripps Clinic.

There are many sides to Parkinson’s disease.  Deep Brain Stimulation is one of many alternatives on how to mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. 
A Parkinson’s disease patient himself for six and a half years, Dr. Paterniti is a recipient of deep brain stimulation; in his words “where an electrode is inserted in the brain and a wire is put in your chest… and it works!”
Minds in Motion is a non-clinical standard of care program for people with Parkinson’s and their care-partners created by Dr. James Paterniti and Dr. Lester Cohen through the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego, and available at Scripps Clinic.    
Minds in Motion is designed to educate about and work with the challenges that Parkinson’s patients and caregivers face.  Optimizing, and fully taking advantage of, the medical and non-medical treatments and the extensive resources available have been the foundation of the many successes of this program.
Dr. Paterniti pointed out the importance of understanding the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s – both motor and non-motor symptoms.  Depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, fatigue, and slow-thinking are among the non-motor symptoms that need to be addressed, both by the patient and the caregivers.  
Being aware of the gender differences in Parkinson’s will help in the lifestyle approach a patient needs to take:
  • Parkinson’s will most likely be diagnosed in more men than women
  • Men and women react differently to prescription drugs; for example Ambien for sleep
  • 20% of women will NOT go to a neurologist once they are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  

Minds in Motion provides a practical approach for patients and caregivers who face the challenges of Parkinson’s disease.  It encompasses physical and occupational therapies as well as counseling and support designed specifically to face the challenges of this new life, like “fall-proofing” a home.   According to Dr. Paterniti, falls are probably the main cause of death for Parkinson’s patients.  By exercising to achieve balance, the risk of a fall is minimized. In fact, exercise may be the most important physical intervention for a Parkinson’s patient.

For more information on the Minds in Motion Program, click here.  
About Dr. James Paterniti: 
Trained as a biologist and pharmacologist, Jim’s professional career spans 35 years, devoted to developing drugs for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, original research and nurturing new scientific talent. These efforts resulted in the development and marketing of two novel drugs, 60 scholarly publications, international lectureships and mentoring of more than a dozen new scientists. 
Currently, Jim provides drug R&D expertise to academic institutions, global biopharmaceutical and start-up companies, as a consultant. As community volunteers, Jim and his wife Mary Drummond, devote much of their time to the Scripps Ranch Civic Association. Jim’s other interests include yoga, ballet, powerlifting and gardening. 
He has a passion for teaching and learning from others and believes that laughter is powerful medicine. Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in July of 2008. He unofficially shattered the world’s bench press record for his weight and age in 2011. Minds in Motion, the brainchild of Lester Cohen and Jim is a free program which promotes goal directed exercise, evidence-based education and group support to enable patients and their care-partners to live well with Parkinson’s.

About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.

For more information about the Doris A. Howell Foundation, please visit 
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