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NER Update April 26th, 2019
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Apr

08

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April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Posted by on April 8th, 2019 Posted in: Blog, Funded Project, Patient Engagement
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The blog post that follows was written by Saba Shahid, Chief Smiling Officer of The Art Cart. In May of 2018 The Art Cart received a Community Engagement Grant Award from the NNLM NER to create an online training program to about how use art as therapy for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder impacting dopamine producing neurons in the brain. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include rigidity of limbs, tremors, gait and balance problems, micrographia, and loss of fine and gross motor control. More than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s Disease and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month! Every April organizations from around the world spread awareness about Parkinson’s Disease through advocacy, events, and special projects. The Art Cart is an organization based out of Worcester, MA that is doing just that.

As part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, The Art Cart will be releasing the second edition of the Let’s Combat Micrographiaä interactive workbook. This workbook has been developed to improve micrographia or small handwriting in people living with Parkinson’s disease. Through a special collaboration with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a branch of the National Institute of Health, there is an additional Virtual Workshop series that will be available later this month to allow those with Parkinson’s and professionals treating people with Parkinson’s to learn how to improve this symptom. UMASS Medical School’s Lamar Souttier Library will have a copy of the second edition book available later this month.

Through Facebook, The Art Cart (@smilethroughart) is promoting awareness about Parkinson’s disease through their Smile Through Artä Workshops. They’re encouraging self-reflection and remembering how to live better with symptoms instead of feeling burdened by them. Participant, Tim MacMillian says, “I am stronger than Parkinson’s as Parkinson’s has taught me to always be strong, never give up, and to face the disease head on.” His wife, Deb MacMillian, says, “To be a caregiver means to be supportive, patient, and encouraging.” Hear their stories and many others by visiting The Art Cart’s Facebook page and website.

To learn more about The Art Cart please visit www.smilethroughart.com.

Image of the author ABOUT Susan Halpin
I am a former health and wellness educator who joined the NNLM NER in August of 2016, Excited to be promoting the excellent resources developed by the NLM and to provide training for anyone who would like to access the free and trusted information the NLM offers.

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This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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