The Grass Roots Campaign Starts Today: Sign Our Petition To Focus Neurologists on Exercise, PT, Support Groups and Clinical Trials

Our mission in creating PD Gladiators was to focus the attention of people with Parkinson’s disease and the  medical community on the role of exercise in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease and to make community-based exercise programs available to people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. We hope that by demonstrating the value of vigorous exercise and community-based programs to practicing neurologists, they will spark an increase in participation in the Parkinson’s community by people  with Parkinson’s, leading to a more robust exercise/physical therapy infrastructure, a freer flow of information among Parkinson’s patients through increased social interactions, and greater participation in clinical trials.

The results of clinical trials conducted in the past decade are striking, and elite academics are calling for practicing neurologists to urge their Parkinson’s patients to exercise–and exercise at an intensity outside their normal comfort zone–to gain the best chance of slowing the progression of their disease. See the first three links on our PD Exercise Research page. Yet the American Academy of Neurology continues to affirm their guidelines on exercise and physical therapy based on a report that relies upon 10-year old research findings, and many of us can confirm that our neurologists continue to focus on drug therapy that only masks our symptoms rather than on therapies that might actually slow down the progression of the disease or at least help us develop compensatory mechanisms to fight back.

We have been blogging about ways to reach out to our neurologists for months, and we have received an outpouring of support from the PD community. Today, we launch a grass roots campaign to change the way neurologists treat newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients with a petition on Change.Org to the American Academy of Neurology and the American Medical Association. This is only the first step of several we can take to further this cause, but today we mark Parkinson’s Awareness Month by making the medical community aware that we are not satisfied with the way new PD patients are treated.

It’s time to take the research and convert it into practice.

It’s time to let new PD patients know there are things they can do to control their disease progression.

It’s time to give new patients hope that they can fight back!

It took many of us months, or even years, to find the PD community and learn about the role of exercise, physical therapy, support groups and clinical trials. Please sign this petition to urge practicing neurologists to think beyond drug therapy when adopting protocols for newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients so that no opportunity to slow the progression of this debilitating disease is ever wasted again.

Then, spread the word for others to join us: e-mail, tweet, post this petition (shortlink: to your support groups and Facebook profile! Ask your friends to go the extra yard and share the petition with their friends and family, too. Parkinson’s can strike anyone–it knows no age, socio-economic, racial, ethnic or gender boundaries–someone else they know may be the next one behind the masked face. Help them to fight back!

PD Gladiator Logo (web res white FINAL)

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