Monday, 21 January 2019

Attack of the skin rippers

Seborrheic dermatitis is a superficial fungal disease of the skin, occurring in areas rich in sebaceous glands.  It presents as flaking skin on the scalp, face and sometimes elsewhere.

Disorders in Parkinson’s disease: potential biomarkers and risk factors

Seborrhea has been associated with PD, with a prevalence as high as 52%–59%. In 1927, Krestin reported seborrheic facies as a cutaneous manifestation of parkinsonism, particularly in post-encephalic parkinsonism, and described the skin as shiny, greasy, and with characteristic scarring acne. In a retrospective study on the association between seborrheic dermatitis and PD, Tanner et al proposed that seborrheic dermatitis might represent a premotor feature of PD, ascribable to autonomic nervous system dysregulation, and suggested that seborrheic dermatitis could serve as an early disease marker of PD.  (Published online 2017 Mar 9. )

I wondered why my scalp was dry and producing dandruff at an alarming rate, I just thought that the top of my head, which is now almost totally follically challenged, was just putting on a show; but, when patches of skin started forming flakes on my face,  I got concerned.  I tried getting in to see my dermatologist, but his assistant and he were both absent, so I turned to my general practitioner, a gentle and totally competent physician who usually got me in to see him very quickly.  This time, his assistant was absent and a replacement was handling his appointments and no matter how much I complained, she stood her ground at a 2 week waiting period.

I was left with the internet where I found the above research.  I was not a leper!  I got (when I say "I", I mean " my wife"), got some non-prescription creme for me.  I think it was creme meant for psoriasis, but it worked; my skin is soft as a baby's bum, except for the road map of wrinkles that decorates my face.

I don't know of any other person with Parkinson's who has fought this battle.  I am just lucky  I guess.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

PD is a frumious bad play. We believe it will disappear in the third act.

I am going to relate for you a metaphoric story and ask that you weep along with me.

A few years ago, when I was a runner, I was jogging through the forest, following a twisting path. I had run this path many times without incident; but, this time, as I cruised around one bend, I came face-to-face with a deer eating grass. He looked up, saw me, stopped eating and if a deer could smile, he did. He stood still some 75 feet away. I wasn't afraid. I have seen "Bambi". These are gentle creatures, but he was blocking my route.

 I assumed an aggressive stance, my face a mask of terror. I thought if I ran toward him, with arms flying above my head, he would recognize the danger that was about to befall him and run away.

Not bloody likely! Instead of a retreat, he started toward me. When I stopped, so did he.

"Right" I muttered aloud, "See if you can take this?" and I ran at him, screaming.

He ran toward me.

 I stopped. He stopped.

 The deer slowly trotted toward me.  He seemed to want a piece of me.  I threw machoness to the wind and, like Jubilation T. Cornpone, I accepted my defeat and bravely walked backward until I got around the bend and then made a mad dash for the highway,  turning my brave and glorious retreat into a rout.  When I looked back, the deer was gone.

Forsooth, later I ran the same path and many other forest paths with no problems.

So, what's the metaphor?  Sometimes you have to admit the obvious.  Some things at first seem quite benign but with time they can change.  Improvement I am betting.  Yes, I believe the end is nigh, but there are bound to be setbacks along the way.

I know.  I know.  Pretty weak metaphor but  I needed a story of hope, a kind of Nil Bastardi Non Carborundum tale.  The deer won that little foray, but I won the forest.

I am entering my 9th year and have encountered one or two setbacks but I can't believe my future will be as bad as medicine predicts.

Only the courageous can allow themselves a glimpse of a better future.  Be that person.  Be brave enough to conclude victory.  If you find yourself obsessed with a deer, you might as well capitulate at once.

But as I write this, I scratch an itch on my cheek and off comes a small patch of skin.  Well damn! What now?  A half an hour later, after seeing several small patches of peeling skin on my face,  I discover that Chronic seborrhea is associated with PD.

Are we having fun yet??????

Sunday, 6 January 2019

I have been spam attacked!!!


Readers should ignore comments by this person, unless you believe in witch doctors.  This  person's comments are all SPAM.
Dr Ogudugu Solution Temple

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Variations on a theme (stats)

Pageviews by Countries 

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
20                   One day  7 days to Fri Jan 4
United Kingdom
16                    & one day later  Jan 5 below
Dominican Republic
3                 TOTAL TO DATE ............101,416

Pageviews by Countries 

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom
Dominican Republic
New Zealand                                2                                          

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Rated PG

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

So wrote Shakespeare. I think the bard was in a bad mood when he wrote McBeth. Or it maybe it was just the way he dressed his characters, particularly MacBeth.

MacBeth was in full depression mode. He grieves when he hears the news of the death of Lady Macbeth and is faced with an angry army trying to rain on his parade. Let's face it, Macbeth was totally bummed out, awash as he was with pessimism (Bringing to mind Leonard Cohen's "I have seen the future. It is murder). To Shakespeare, life is a short, sad play in which we all have a role and when our time comes and we are heard no more, no matter what role we played, it was/is of no significance.

How dreary!

And yet, how many of you PWP can honestly say you have never suffered from depression?. Some depression settles in for a long stay while other forms can be short-lived. The Cleveland Clinc wrote

    Depression is also common in patients with Parkinson’s disease; an estimated 50 percent have some form of depression. Often, depression begins years before the patient has any of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (such as tremor, slowness of movement, or problems with walking and balance). This is caused by a decrease in chemicals, such as dopamine, within the brain as Parkinson’s disease begins. Depression in Parkinson’s disease affects quality of life, as much as (and sometimes more than) the movement problems themselves

    There are several types of depression:

  • Major depression is a disabling form of depression in which a person has tremendous difficulty performing simple daily tasks. People with this type of depression are often hospitalized if the symptoms are severe and affect the person’s ability to function.
  • Dysthymia is a milder and chronic (long-term) form of depression in which patients have sadness, yet are often able to continue with their daily routine.
  • Seasonal affective disorder strikes during the winter months.
  • Postpartum depression affects women after they have given birth.
  • An adjustment disorder with depressed mood is a clear emotional reaction to a negative experience or situation, such as the loss of a loved one or being diagnosed with a severe illness.
  • Pseudo-dementia is a type of thinking or mental problem that occurs when a patient is suffering from depression that may look similar to “dementia.”
  • Organic depression is caused by chemical or physiological (physical) change in the brain from another medical condition.

Which form do you have? I admit sticking my toe into a McBeth-type depression while the following issues were resolved:

  1. Where did the universe come from? (answer: It didn't come from anywhere, It has always existed and will always exist, just changing form now and then.)
  2. where did all the people come from? From A creator? (don't know but lets assume there is a creator. What is his game?)
  3. Why bother? Is life some form of an experiment or video game (like Sim City?)
  4. Looking back; allthough I've had a great life, I know it has no signicance in the grand scheme of things. (The universe doesn't care)
  5. and when I die, I will become omnipotent as a part of the energy of the universe.

Remember that optimism, positive thinking to the nth degree, can have an effect on the pace of PD. Frankly, there are many factors that cause your form of depression. If you can't talk your way out of the illness, see a doctor - they have drugs!

With respect to my daliance with the big"D", the water was too cold. I beached my Macbeth covered toe quickly. I still have doubts, but my pessimism hangs by a thread. I just need the right wit to cut it free.

Life is an unanswered question, but let's still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.
Tennessee Williams

Monday, 24 December 2018

A great deal of (un)certainty

And so this is Christmas - 8 years since Dr. Oz predicted a cure for our predicament within 10 years. Best wishes to the tribe for 2019, or 2020 or 2021, etc. A cure is coming but who knows when.

I told you I would describe the cause of my PD, so here goes:

  • Head trauma. I have been concussed three times that I remember.
  • My mother and father had the shaking palsy or essential tremor, or some other shaking disease, ergo, I inherited it.
  • Exposure to toxic materials. As a boy, I would run through clouds of DDT. The chemical fog kept the army base free of mosquitos but it must have wreaked havoc on my brain.
  • I am getting old and old people get PD.
  • I think my brain aged faster than my body.

I hear you. Nobody knows what causes PD; therefore my list may well be correct.

So now it is Christmas Dr. OZ et al, and what will you do?. Just keep your eye on the target and don't keep us waiting for that cure you predicted.

I am growing weary of waiting.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Running out of neuros

Update:       One loyal reader, a somewhat interesting fellow who I have met a few times, solved another conundrum; nobody ever told us army brats why every soldier with the surname "Clark" was called "Nobby" Clark.

Well, thanks to the internet, he found the answer at

Now if I could solve "Dusty" Miller, I might get to sleep at night.

On with the show:  I told you I would give you the history of my time as RSM of the substantia nigra. Here goes.  I first noticed that my sense of smell was not sensitive, even with foul odors.  Friends and family might comment on "that sewage smell" and yet I could not smell anything unless it was a sickly sweet smell.  Now I can't even smell that.  Sadly, I cannot smell the roses but, on the upside, I can't smell feces or vomit either.   I tell you it "sucks " lacking a sense of smell.  I was 64 years old and I no longer could smell.

In mid-2010, I was helping my son make study cards for his psychology course and my handwriting became smaller and tighter toward the end of a sentence.  It almost hurt to try to write  Writing was too onerous.  I quit trying to write more than a couple of words. There would be no cards but thank goodness for the computer and my skill on the keyboard,   I helped make study pages.

Early in 2011, I swam a mile in the pool's training tank and followed that up with a mile run.  I was in great shape, so it surprised me when my right hand started to shake without any input from me.  I thought to myself, 'That workout must have been much harder than usual!" and I put it out of my mind.  A few weeks later, I finished a long run in South Miami Beach.  When walking to lunch with my wife, my right hand started its jig.  My wife grabbed my hand and told me to stop it.  I did and in doing so, I surrendered to her the role of RSM.

After that, my wife took charge and made me see the GP and then, as set out in my 2011 entries, I went into the Parkie system as follows:

       *  GP refers me to a neuro who says no medication yet.  My hand has a mind of its own, but no meds ("you are not a watchmaker after all).  This doctor is at least my age so it is doubtful he can treat me through to the end.  Add to that, I was the first patient on his list that day and he shows up one hour late.  I accept his diagnosis of PD but this was not going to be a productive relationship.   No, I wasn't a watchmaker but, the tremor in my right hand was to the point that I tried to hide my hand out of embarrassment.   No drugs!  


Time to revisit the GP.

          *  I tell my GP my horror stories and ask him to refer me to a neuro whom I know slightly.  This neuro gives me gold star treatment and puts me on Amantadine, Mirapex, and L-Dopa.  Practically overnight the tremor screeches to a halt and I feel almost normal; however, this neuro says I can stay with him if I want, but, his office is just a "ham and egg "operation and I might be better off at the movement disorder clinic so he sets up an appointment with a neuro who deals exclusively with movement problems.  Neuro #3 increases my L-Dopa by 50%.

             *  An advantage of the movement disorder clinic is it runs research projects and I was chosen for one which looked into the effects of caffeine on PD.  It turns out there are none.  However, the use of amantadine was questioned by the nurse (highly competent).  You see amantadine is an anti-viral drug which, for some reason, has a positive effect on PD.  The nurse remarked "I don't know why amantadine is there.? The research doctor told her it was probably there "for the tremor".  Works for me.

My tremor is tremorless.

Tomorrow: The cause(s) of my PD.