Women and Parkinson's Disease

During the Parkinson's Awareness month, April 2022, Coach Pia was able to attend the Women and Parkinson's Disease webinar hosted by the Parkinson's Foundation. Read about what she learned.

Parkinson's Foundation

(Coach Pia, May 2022) - During the Parkinson's Foundation webinar Women and Parkinson's Disease, there were about 500 in attendance. This shows you how important this topic is to the community. From the title, the session focused on women's health, which is often overlooked in medical research, and its connection to Parkinson's disease. I personally have a deep interest in women's health and fitness so this topic was right in line with my curiosity for understanding more.


The webinar included the following guest presenters:

  • Dr. Indira Subramanian, MD -Movement Disorder Specialist, Veterans Affairs Southwest PADRECC

  • Dr. Adrienne M. Keener, MD - Movement Disorder Specialist, Veterans Affairs Southwest PADRECC

  • Debbie Lucchesi, CPT, Ageless Fit Foster City, CA

If you would like to watch the entire webinar on YouTube click here.


If you want to hear what I took from it and jump to those webinar sections, feel free to read on.


I want to first off say I'm not a doctor nor am I an expert on this topic. I want to provide you with the information I heard from the event and you can make your best judgment from there.


With that, I encourage you and your family/friends to watch the webinar as it has great information about women and Parkinson's that can be affirming and enlightening. You'll also be able to hear some of the personal stories of women thriving with Parkinson's as they find their community, fitness class, local support groups, and even publish their own books to share their stories.


The webinar highlighted stories from those women here.


Then it was followed by a fitness portion led by Debbie Lucchesi who is thriving with Parkinson's as she runs her own successful fitness business here.


After Debbie, we hear more about Dr. Subramanian and Dr. Keener here.


Dr. Subramanian spearheaded the publication Unmet Needs of Woman of Living with Parkinson's Disease: Gaps and Controversies published in the Movement Disorders Journal which is what I will go into below.


As they dove into some of their findings from the publication, it was interesting to hear a potential reason why women have a lower risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The evidence shows it's a mix of environmental factors such as being less likely to be exposed to pesticides or sustain a head injury and biological factors such as hormones and other differences. You can listen more about this here.


Another finding that stood out for me was how men and women experience PD differently. Just to mention a few ways:

  • Women tend to be more prone to develop tremor-dominant PD

  • Non-motor symptoms are more common in women

  • Women with PD have more pain symptoms and higher scores on depression scales

You can view this part of the webinar here


What is incredible is that there is still so much we can learn about Parkinson's, especially when it comes to women.


At the conclusion of the webinar, the Parkinson's Foundation provided a long list of resources that you can use and share. It has links to blogs of other women thriving with Parkinson's and other Parkinson's resources that may be interesting to you.


My hope is that maybe this can inspire you to share your story so that we continue to keep the dialog of women and Parkinson's disease going so medical research continues.


Be well.


-Coach Pia


About the Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience, and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $400 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care. Connect with us on Parkinson.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

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