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Parkinson Grant

Parkinson Grant: Parkinson and Exercise

Parkinson Grant: Parkinson and Exercise

I am so excited and thrilled to share these incredible news with you!

After 4 years of meetings, phone calls and exhibitions with experts in Parkinson Disease I finally got my first official grant to implement my  program with Parkinson patients. The program will take place at the Capistrant Parkinson Center in Bethesda Hospital St Paul, Minnesota.

I modified my program and designed specific exercises aimed to improve in the following areas: Motor skills, balance, hand eye coordination, posture, stamina, flexibility and meditation. My program is based in strength training combined with motor skills leading to a phenomenal physical workout and numerous health benefits. I can’t wait to get started with patients in Parkinson and show how this program can be extremely beneficial.

I wanted to share part of the original grant so you can see why i am so excited!


Parkinson has become the second more common neurological disease in United States. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a brain disorder that affects about 1.5 million individuals in the United States, with over 60,000 new people diagnosed each year.  It affects both sexes in equal numbers, and while PD usually occurs after the age of 65, 14% of those diagnosed are under the age of 50.

According to the experts Neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine to control movement. With Parkinson’s, these neurons die off.

The progressive loss of dopaminergic cells located in the basal ganglia leads to  Parkinson patients be very sensitive to the loss of motor functions through a progresive loss of balance and coordination

SUPER BODY, SUPER BRAIN bases its approach in the following variables:


The powerful effects of exercise are normally understimated with Parkinson patients. Since the patient is diagnosed in the early stages it is neccesary to implement a powerful and effective physical exercise program with the goal in mind to improve motor functions, a gradual increase of balance, coordination and range of motion.


Previous research, however, has identified certain exercises that stimulate the damaged area. By subjecting patients to workouts based on that data, researchers think it may prevent further degeneration of the substantia nigra, and stimulate dopamine production, says Quincy Almeida, director of WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY ‘s fledgling Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre in Waterloo.

Other succesful treatments rconnecting physical exercise and parkinson is the Science behind de LSTV/LOUD program. Following a study of over 15 years the program has shown interesting results from the connection of physcla exercise, oral treatment and Parkinson. For more information you can visit their website at

SUPER BODY, SUPER BRAIN Program stresses the importance of two powerful concepts:

-Intense brain activity and the effects of multitasking (raising heels and arms at the same time)

-Neural Plasticity (changing constantly the program). The program will consist of over 350 exercises structured in 9 progressive levels.

-Voice combined with a coordinated movement. Following succesful studies of LSVT/LOUD, where patients improved voice quality and many other important factors such as motor movement, swallowing or limb functioning.

Goal and objectives:

The goal of the Capistrant Parkinson’s Center is to improve the health and quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease by delivering educational, therapeutic and support services in at least 3,000 patient encounters in 2011. Our objectives for this proposal include:

  • Increase variety of exercise components as part of current exercise group offerings, as documented in class description.
  • Increase variety of classes offered, as noted in Center scheduling
  • Increase participation in all classes, as documented by attendance logs
  • Improve movements and attitudes, as observed by staff and reported on evaluations through the implementation of components of the Super Body, Super Brain exercise program.

Specific activities for funding:

  • Program development: collaborative work with program creator to modify the Super Body, Super Brain progressive exercise program for the Parkinon’s/movement disorder population at various levels of physical capabilities.
  • Staff training: Michael Gonzalez-Wallace will provide education to Physical Therapy staff for integration of the concepts of Super Body, Super Brain Parkinson as part of skilled therapy intervention. In addition, those Physical Therapy staff will train other staff (e.g. Physical Therapy Assistants, Recreation Therapists) for the purposes of group exercise facilitation using the Super Body, Super Brain Parkinson program.
  • Exercise group facilitation: Trained facilitators will provide group exercise instruction in Super Body, Super Brain Parkinson program through integration as a component of current exercise classes and as a standalone class

Who will carry out activities?

Existing staff will participate in program development, training, coordination of class registrations and arrange scheduling. Amy Kieffer, Rehab Services Manager, will participate in program development and will supervise staff training and instruction of the class offerings. She will periodically attend/observe classes (as a volunteer) and assure the safety of the participants. Our recreation therapists will facilitate exercise classes. These staff have been trained in general exercise parameters and will receive specific training in regards to the Super Body, Super Brain Exercise program.

To browse my book please click here

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bernadette permalink
    January 10, 2015 5:54 pm

    I work with PD and exercise how can I get trained. I live in NH. I am getting huge results and would love to share. B

  2. Bernadette permalink
    February 9, 2015 12:48 am

    I hope to help you with implementing your exercises to my support group. You have friends in peterbrough nh. I will contact you soon. You will make a difference in this area. Exercise gives Nero protection. I will share all I have about my exercie and PD. My pool exercises are wonderful, will send video.

    • February 16, 2015 4:05 pm

      Hi Bernadette! yes please contact me at 646 251 4763 i would love to speak to you and see if we can organize something where you live. Looking forward!

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