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Fighting Parkinson's With Exercise


By Tom Curran

Fighting Parkinson's with exercise:

TAMPA - Six days a week,  you can find Jim Patterson at the gym.

The tremor in is hands is nothing like it once was. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003, and feeling symptoms as early as the late 1990's, Jim has taken the battle with P.D. head-on.

''I was able to see myself become better a little bit. I wasn't as stiff. As I come to exercise every day, I’m able to walk more fluidly, my gait is improved and I just decided to keep it up and it's made a difference," Patterson explained.

Prior to his P.D., Jim was employed by the F.B.I., working counter-terrorism by conducting surveillance on suspected threats to the U.S.  He was even the man they wanted to be the driver while chasing down the bad guys in fast and dangerous situations.

Now, he faces a new and deadly opponent. The next phase of his fight is his advocacy for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

 "I’ve been one of 45 people or so that have become an advocate for the association. We encourage clinical trials because less than one percent of the people who have Parkinson’s in America have participated in clinical trials. So, the P.D.F. people have really pushed that and I’m glad to be a member," Patterson continued.

Yes, clinical trials. If a cure is to be found for Parkinson’s and other diseases of the brain, it will most likely come from clinical trials done at places like Sarasota’s Roskamp Institute.

"Ten years ago, 20 years ago, there was a lot of doubt we would ever have treatment. I don't think that's here any more. Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s will fall, we will find treatment," insisted Dr. Michael Mullan of the Roskamp Institute.

Patterson wants to be there when it happens.  "I’m going to continue to exercise, of course, and I’m going to continue to educate the people when I can about Parkinson’s and the need for clinical trials. And, I’m going to go on the journey and keep it up until there’s cure for Parkinson’s.

Learn More from PDF:

Jim Patterson, mentioned in the new story above, is one of PDF's research advocates, working through the PAIR (Parkinson's Advocates in Research) program. PAIR is a network of more than 100 research advocates living with Parkinson's from 36 states who work to bring educated consumer voices to important issues in Parkinson’s therapy development. Would you like to PAIR up for Parkinson's research?

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Source Date: Mar 15 2011
Source Publication: FoxNewsTampa
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