Parkinson's Disease

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It may sound strange, but people with Parkinson’s disease are stepping into boxing rings to help combat their symptoms. They aren’t throwing uppercuts for a shot at a title, but experts say they are winning an improved quality of life, and so are their families.

Perhaps the most famous person to have the disease was former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Dr. Stanley Fischer told Up To Date host Steve Kraske that the ultimate cause of Parkinson's is probably a combination of "bad genes, bad luck and wear and tear."

Meet the young woman who runs a boxing program just for people with Parkinson's and the neurologist who explains how specific boxing movements can improve the quality of life for those with the disease.


Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

The last thing Rep. Pete DeGraaf needed last week was more stress in his life.

But only a day after a doctor confirmed what DeGraaf had long suspected — that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease — he was back at the Capitol for the final stress-filled stretch of the longest legislative session in Kansas history.

Asked why during an interview in his small Statehouse office with his wife, Karen, at his side, DeGraaf’s answer was simple.

“I enjoy being a legislator,” he said.

hahatango/Flickr--Creative Commons

This week, upwards of 1,000 medical professionals and thought leaders are converging on the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the third annual TEDMed summit. It’s a spin-off of TED - short for Technology, Entertainment, Design – which features talks and performances from the group’s biannual conferences centering around the general theme of “ideas worth spreading.”