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Living well with Parkinson’s

The Neuro Challenge Foundation has a better approach to Parkinson’s  disease that includes educational and support programs.

The average onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is around 60 years of age.  Approximately 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year and 15% of those are under the age of 50, which is called “young-onset.” Nearly 1 million people in the U.S. have this chronic and progressive disorder.

Although the cause is unknown, the main effect of Parkinson’s disease is the cell death of neurons in the substantia nigra area of the brain.  Neurons are nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which send signals to the brain that controls movement and motor skills.  In the brain of a person suffering from PD, dopamine is significantly decreased as the disease progresses.

Symptoms of the Disease
This cell death that occurs in Parkinson’s patients leads to continual deficiencies in movement and mobility like the following:
• Hand tremors
• Muscle stiffness
• Limb rigidity
• Loss of memory
• Confusion
• Involuntary twitching
• Shaking
• Slowed movement
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Slouching and posture changes
• Diminished facial expressions
• Changes in handwriting (small/tight lettering)

As of yet, there is still no cure for Parkinson’s disease.  The treatments available are medications, which help to alleviate symptoms, and a high emphasis is placed on a healthy diet along with exercise and mobility training.  Because Parkinson’s patients are often struggling with small shuffling movements, rigid muscles and tremors, the specifically tailored physical therapy is highly effective for retraining the brain into making bigger movements, while incorporating stabilizing balance methods.

 The Neuro Challenge Foundation Difference
Support and empowerment for the Parkinson’s community, along with a multitude of educational classes and activities are available here locally at the Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF).  NCF has proven to be a game changer for many people with Parkinson’s and their spouses, or loved ones, which the Neuro Challenge professionals perceptively refer to as, “Care Partners.”

From St. Pete to Punta Gorda, the Neuro Challenge Foundation has educational, creative, and therapeutic programs for those with Parkinson’s disease and their Care Partners.  Some of the programs include support groups for people with PD, which focus on discussing strategies and optimal living advice, while the Care Partners meet in a separate room for education and sharing.  Dancing and yoga classes are available, which are primarily performed in a chair or standing.  These exercise classes help with mobility and provide an opportunity for socialization.  Art classes and singing groups are available to inspire the creative side of personalities and stimulate brain health.  There are also art classes for Care Partners that encourage expressive art as a therapeutic outlet.

In addition to the movement and creative classes are educational speaker programs given by medical experts that specialize in PD and its various manifestations.  Along with the aforementioned NCF services and opportunities, simply learning from others on the same journey has allowed many individuals with Parkinson’s disease to have hope and empowerment.

We are blessed to have such an organization as the Neuro Challenge Foundation in our area with an amazing team of dedicated staff and medical advisory professionals that not only understand Parkinson’s disease but also have a passion for customized support to help each person live well with PD!

All NCF programs and services are provided at no charge.

To find out more, please visit, or to schedule an appointment with a Care Advisor, please call 941-926-6413

Upcoming Events


Thursday, May 11th, 2017
1:00pm to 1:30pm: Registration
1:30pm to 3:30pm: Program
Murdock Baptist Church, 18375 Cochran Blvd. Port Charlotte, FL – RSVP to Carisa Campanella at 941-928-5886 or email:
This program is offered at no charge to our community

Paint the Town Orange
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Neuro Challenge Staff, Board Members and volunteers will deliver NCF materials to local neurology, primary care practices, and other health care organizations. Please call 941-926-6413 if you would like information delivered to your office.

Cocktails for a Cause
Thursday, May 4th, 2017
Harbor Chase
5311 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early (May 4th) with Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s! NCF will hold a fundraiser hosted by Harbor Chase of Sarasota. The cost is $10 to attend and includes festive food and beverages with a mariachi band. The event is open to the public and RSVPs are required. Please call 941-926-6413 or email

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