Cleveland Clinic Florida teams up with Kingdor Parkinson Foundation and local neurologist to talk about Parkinson’s disease
July 12, 2022 – To help raise awareness in The Bahamas about Parkinson’s disease, a leading neurologist from Cleveland Clinic, Florida, Dr Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, recently teamed up with the Kingdor Parkinson Foundation and local neurologist, Dr Edwin Demeritte, in a Zoom interview to talk about life with the disease.
With hundreds of Bahamians suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, said one of the best therapies for the disease that has no cure is exercise.
Describing it as a “condition of the aging brain”, Galvez-Jimenez said Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that typically impacts people over the age of 50.
While there are treatments on the market to help manage the symptoms — tremors, stiffness, slower movement, among others — Galvez-Jimenez said his best patients are those who exercise regularly.
“I can tell you that I have patients with Parkinson’s disease who are in their 90s and they still go on the treadmill, they walk,” he said.
“And I have to tell you, of the exercises, the ones that have shown to be helpful is Tai Chi for balance, biking, either stationary or non-stationary, has been shown to be helpful, and boxing has also shown to be helpful.”
Galvez-Jimenez said all those exercises keep participants moving, but noted that Tai Chi, tennis and boxing are particularly good for balance and reflexes.
“So, you know, I just tell patients you need to keep active,” he said. “And whatever you do is better than nothing, because the normal tendency for someone with Parkinson’s is to just slow down and become a couch potato. Read books as well, cognitively speaking, and keep social.”
Parkinson’s is believed to impact far more Bahamians than those who seek professional help, according to Parkinson’s Foundation President Mavis Darling-Hill, who described it as a “closeted disease.”
“We imagine, looking at our population of older persons over 60 years old, there could be a couple of thousand [cases] here, because…the signs and symptoms are very difficult in the early stage, a lot of persons will try to hide the disease,” she said.
“And only when it gets to the point where they cannot hide it enough, they’d come forward or admit to it.”
Dr. Edwin Demeritte, one of just three neurologists in The Bahamas and the only Paediatric Neurologist, said the lack of uniform medical record keeping also complicates the issue.
“When we look at our record keeping systems, we’re not uniform with electronic medical records,” he said.
“So, again, one of the issues is using paper records instead of electronic medical records in coming up with the exact numbers. So, at this point in time, we probably may have maybe somewhere between 500 and 1000 people who have come forth, but a lot of those persons are not captured in our system because there’s no uniform medical record keeping.”
However, Demeritte noted that work is underway to correct the matter.
As it relates to the issue of social stigmatization, Galvez-Jimenez said better education on Parkinson’s is important.
“I can clearly understand what was said about having some sort of social stigma about some of these things because, you know, we need to educate our patients and the population,” he said.
“You know, there’s nothing wrong with Parkinson’s. It’s another condition that affects the brain. And one thing that I try to tell them is if somebody has diabetes or has high blood pressure, usually you don’t think about it. You just say I’m going to take my medication for high blood pressure or take my medication for my diabetes.
“Well, we have to start thinking about Parkinson’s disease and all the Parkinsonian syndromes the same way. You know, we have treatment options… but the idea is to make people comfortable enough to open up and speak about it.
“So, education is important.”
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
A short look at Celery
March 17, 2023 – Celery is a great food for people trying to lose weight or just put healthy meals on the table. It’s mostly made up of water and with only ten calories per stalk, you can add it into juices, salads, stir frys and more, without worrying about large amounts of sugar.
There are other health benefits as well. Healthline says it is rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation, supports digestion and it can help with heartburn from spicy foods!
TCI farmers have hopped onto the celery train and the nutritious vegetable will be available to purchase, in a debut for celery, at the Farmers Market this Saturday March 18th from 8:30 am to 1pm.
On National Teachers Day, DG Commits to Better Pay
#TurksandCaicos, March 16, 2023 – Deputy Governor Anya Williams is committing to improvements in the public service including better wages. The Head of the Civil Service made the announcement in a recent National Teacher’s Day message.
“We recognize, commend, and applaud you for your service and promise our commitment to continue to work to improve the infrastructure, pay, and benefits, not only for teachers but also the wider public service.”
The announcement comes after the DG’s office released a tender for a consultant to reassess the pay grading scale for the entirety of the public service. Recognizing Education Week, Williams thanked the country’s teachers for their service throughout the years.
“In recognition of Teacher’s Day, I would like to express our profound thanks to teachers across the Turks and Caicos Islands, specifically highlighting the over four hundred teachers in our public service that give selflessly of themselves every day to educate, mold and inspire the future generations of these islands.”
Williams celebrated Education Week along with Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education and hundreds of teachers and students who participated in debates, field trips and the science fair sponsored by FortisTCI.
It was the first time in two years that the events were held on such a large scale because of COVID-19.
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