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Parkinson’s Foundation Los Angeles

Diagnosis Of Parkinsons Disease

Dodgers Foundation Wraps Up The “Pull Up Neighbor” Tour

A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that result from other causes are sometimes said to have parkinsonism. While these disorders initially may be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, certain medical tests, as well as response to drug treatment, may help to distinguish them from Parkinson’s. Since many other diseases have similar features but require different treatments, it is important to make an exact diagnosis as soon as possible.

There are currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose nongenetic cases of Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and a neurological examination. Improvement after initiating medication is another important hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

Accurate Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis

Parkinson’s is challenging to diagnose because symptoms, such as difficulty walking, can be a sign of other movement disorders. Some people have parkinsonism. This group of diseases causes Parkinson’s-like symptoms that do not respond to Parkinson’s treatments.

At Cedars-Sinai, we consider your health history and perform a nervous system exam before confirming a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Our years of experience enable us to detect subtle symptoms that do not show up on other tests.

Tests may include:

Levodopa Testing

Testing your response to a Parkinson’s drug, levodopa, allows us to rule out some other movement disorders. Levodopa boosts dopamine levels and is not an effective treatment for other movement disorders. If your symptoms improve with levodopa, you likely have Parkinson’s.

DaTscan Test

We may use this noninvasive imaging test to help rule out Parkinsonian syndrome. This group of disorders causes movement problems similar to Parkinson’s but might not stem from the disease. Learn more about DaTscan.

Where Does My Donation Go

Moving Day proceeds help bring quality care to more people with Parkinsons, further Parkinsons research, education and outreach initiatives. Moving Day raises awareness of Parkinsons both nationally and in the local community.

For more information about our local programs funded through your support of Moving Day, please .

Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Disease And Tremors

Data Sources: Irs Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. .

Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score

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Also Check: Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms And Treatment

The Mccourt Foundation Welcomes Return Of The 2021 Los Angeles Marathon Presented By Asics

36th Running of Californias premiere 26.2-mile road race set for Sunday, November 7, 2021 Foundations vision to be the Number One Marathon that Gives Back Event weekend schedule, maps and more at

Los Angeles November 1, 2021 Brian McCourt recalls growing up alongside his six brothers with Multiple Sclerosis a part of their life. Their father, Robert, had been diagnosed before any of his sons were born, and long outlived any expectations when he was diagnosed at the young age of 25.

My father was a man who wasnt going to let Multiple Sclerosis define him, said Brian. He lived a good life. He started a business in construction safety. He ran it from his wheelchair and drove himself to work with hand controls. Where there was a will there was a way. And thats what we wanted when we started the Foundation to bring the hope that he embodied.

When Robert McCourt died in 1991 at age 67, Brian and his brothers knew they wanted to do something to give back. The McCourt Foundation was founded in 1992 with a small road race in Cape Cod, MA to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. The McCourt brothers quickly realized how impactful this small event was for awareness and fundraising potential.

Regarding research, The McCourt Foundation provides direct financial support for innovative neurology research led by world-renowned doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Womens Hospital.

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What Causes Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine. When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes the movement problems of Parkinson’s. Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die.

People with Parkinson’s also lose the nerve endings that produce norepinephrine, the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls many functions of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The loss of norepinephrine might help explain some of the non-movement features of Parkinson’s, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position.

Many brain cells of people with Parkinson’s contain Lewy bodies, unusual clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to better understand the normal and abnormal functions of alpha-synuclein and its relationship to genetic mutations that impact Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia.

Read Also: What Does It Feel Like To Have Parkinson’s Disease

Expertly Trained In Parkinson’s Disease Care

Senior Helpers Parkinsons Care Program is a specialized training program for our caregivers created in conjunction with leading experts from the Parkinsons Foundations Centers of Excellence network. This program, the first of its kind in the in-home senior care industry, is designed to provide our caregivers with the expert training and education necessary to create personalized care plans for individuals living with Parkinsons disease.

Parkinsons is a progressive condition, which means your loved ones care needs will change as the disease advances. At first, you may just need some assistance with running errands, but that might evolve to include assistance with personal care and activities of daily living. There is not a one-size fits all approach to care, which is why Senior Helpers works with each of our clients to develop a care plan unique to their specific needs.

Senior Helpers caregivers are educated and trained on:

  • How Parkinsons disease advances and changes
  • Techniques and strategies to identify and manage the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons
  • Home safety and fall prevention
  • Diet and nutrition

Our Slice Of Happy: Giving Tuesday November 30th

A Look At The LA Dodgers Foundation

Join us for #GivingTuesday. A global generosity movement that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year to ignite that generosity going into the holiday season.

At Kensington Senior Living, we believe in the power of giving to transform our community. Our mission is to improve and preserve the quality of life for every resident as well as their caregivers. To that end we have built strong relationships with medical professionals, organizations and community partners.

Join us this month on Tuesday, November 30th, as we give back to these organizations that have kept us current with the latest advances in care, management and treatment of conditions that affect seniors and their families.

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Medicines For Parkinson’s Disease

Medicines prescribed for Parkinson’s include:

  • Drugs that increase the level of dopamine in the brain
  • Drugs that affect other brain chemicals in the body
  • Drugs that help control nonmotor symptoms

The main therapy for Parkinson’s is levodopa, also called L-dopa. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine to replenish the brain’s dwindling supply. Usually, people take levodopa along with another medication called carbidopa. Carbidopa prevents or reduces some of the side effects of levodopa therapysuch as nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and restlessnessand reduces the amount of levodopa needed to improve symptoms.

People with Parkinson’s should never stop taking levodopa without telling their doctor. Suddenly stopping the drug may have serious side effects, such as being unable to move or having difficulty breathing.

Other medicines used to treat Parkinsons symptoms include:

  • Dopamine agonists to mimic the role of dopamine in the brain
  • MAO-B inhibitors to slow down an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain
  • COMT inhibitors to help break down dopamine
  • Amantadine, an old antiviral drug, to reduce involuntary movements
  • Anticholinergic drugs to reduce tremors and muscle rigidity

Webinars & Phone Conferences

THIS MONTHTue, 10/9, 10-11 am PT: from the VA’s PADRECC. Call 767-1750 and enter code 54321#. Thu, 10/18: MJFF ‘Third Thursday’ webinar More Symptom Control: Treating Parkinson’s “Off” EpisodesONGOINGWednesdays: NWPF’s Live Streamed Yoga. Free online class led by a certified yoga instructor who is also a PWP.Twice monthly, 1st & 3rd Wednesdays: PMDAlliance Online Happy Hour live, interactive social time with PMDAlliance ambassadors **For more visit the archives of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Expert Briefings, MJFF’s Third Thursday Webinars, and NWPF’s PD Education Hour.**

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Ross And Rochelle Caballero

Ross became depressed when he was diagnosed in 2015. The first people that came to his mind were his beloved children and wife, Rochelle. Specialists were not providing hopeful news, and the family braced themselves for new life. In 2018, Ross and Rochelle met Laura Karlin who introduced them to DTP. Now, you have to understand my love-hate relationship with dancing: love to watch other people doing it hate to do it myself, he says. Ross had a history of dance instructors telling him he had two left feet and didnt see dance as an avenue for him. However, at DTP our motto is There are no mistakes in dance, only solos! Soon Ross immersed himself in the dances, which provided assistance in balance, coordination, gait, and cognitive skills. He attends DTP with his wife Rochelle, who doesnt have PD but thoroughly enjoys the classes. We love having you both in class!

Caregiving For Your Loved One With Parkinsons

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Caregiving needs for people living with PD often depend on the stage of the disease and the age of the individual. In many scenarios, the ideal solution is an in-home care approach that can adapt to the individuals existing life and evolve alongside their needs. While family members can step up and provide some of that care, the progressive nature of PD makes it difficult to plan for the future or even the present.So, what can you, as a primary caregiver, do to cope with the stressful job of caring for a loved one?

Recommended Reading: What Not To Eat With Parkinson’s

Mapping The Future Of Parkinson’s Disease

PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinsons Disease is a Parkinsons Foundation initiative that offers genetic testing and genetic counseling at no cost for people with Parkinsons disease . When you participate, you can help scientists in their journey to advance understanding of PD, leading to new, more effective PD therapies.

Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s disease has four main symptoms:

  • Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls

Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking urinary problems or constipation skin problems and sleep disruptions.

Symptoms of Parkinsons and the rate of progression differ among individuals. Sometimes people dismiss early symptoms of Parkinson’s as the effects of normal aging. In most cases, there are no medical tests to definitively detect the disease, so it can be difficult to diagnose accurately.

Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are subtle and occur gradually. For example, affected people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of a chair. They may notice that they speak too softly, or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small. Friends or family members may be the first to notice changes in someone with early Parkinson’s. They may see that the person’s face lacks expression and animation, or that the person does not move an arm or leg normally.

People with Parkinson’s often develop a parkinsonian gait that includes a tendency to lean forward, small quick steps as if hurrying forward, and reduced swinging of the arms. They also may have trouble initiating or continuing movement.

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Right At Homes Trained Care Experts Can Help

If you are one of the 1 million Americans with this chronic condition, you know that symptoms generally develop slowly over the years. Our goal is to be there for you as the disease progresses, providing as much or as little care as needed. Right at Homes specialized home care teams know just how to work with the muscle stiffness and tremors to help prevent frustration and falls. We also help individuals with Parkinsons disease stand strong with these beneficial caregiving services:

What Is Parkinson’s Disease

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With assistance from a generous community of donors and volunteers, we are able to provide the following benefits for our region’s Parkinson’s community:

PARKINSONWISE® What is ParkinsonWISE®? The Parkinson Association of Northern California partnered with Kaiser Permanente Neuroscience to provide targeted wellness education for fitness and wellness professionals that have clients with Parkinson’s disease or those who want to work with this special group. To learn more about our ParkinsonWISE®trainings and to find ParkinsonWISE® certified trainers click the ParkinsonWise button.
Our newsletter, The Parkinson Path, is provided to over 3,500 recipients throughout Northern California. The quarterly publication includes pertinent information and updates on events, support groups, services, new technologies, and articles provided by local PD experts.
Drop a check in the mail PANC1024 Iron Point Rd #146 Folsom CA 95630

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Maintaining Communication And Companionship

People living with PD can sometimes feel isolated due to their symptoms no longer able to participate in their previous activities to the same extent. Caregiving for a loved one with PD is undoubtedly rewarding, and Tandems expert caregivers can help provide additional kind-hearted and thoughtful care for you or your loved one. By developing close companionship and connection, our caregivers help combat the negative effects of isolation and lack of close social support. Learn how Tandem can help with companion care.

Interested in Talking to Our Care Team About Caregiving Services?

Parkinson’s Disease Treatment At Cedars

Cedars-Sinai delivers specialized Parkinson’s care, reflecting the latest research and our decades of experience. You receive an accurate diagnosis along with the personalized service you deserve. We offer the best available Parkinson’s treatments, giving you more care options. Our team provides long-term care, so you get the right treatment even as your needs change.

Highlights of our program include:

Expert Team

Cedars-Sinai is home to world-renowned neurologists and neurosurgeons who specialize in Parkinson’s. All members of our team completed additional training in movement disorders. We offer an exceptional level of care, including effective therapies for difficult-to-treat Parkinson’s. Meet our expert team.

Advanced Therapies

If medications are not working, you may benefit from deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure. Our experts are nationally renowned for using this treatment to help patients achieve better symptom control. Learn more about deep brain stimulation.


We are advancing Parkinson’s disease care through research. Our experts have been exploring potential causes of Parkinson’s in the hopes of finding a cure. We are also evaluating new care methods through clinical trials. Find out more about neurology and neurosurgery clinical trials.

Team Approach

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Parkinson’s Treatments We Offer

There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but treatment at Cedars-Sinai can loosen the grip that symptoms have on your life. Parkinson’s is a progressive illness, meaning your needs change over time. We are here for you with a broad range of options and personalized recommendations.

Therapies that are best for you depend on your symptoms and how long Parkinson’s has been part of your life.

For Too Long People With Parkinsons Disease Have Suffered Without A Meaningful Therapy To Treat Its Underlying Cause


With rapid advances in areas like genomics, single-cell technologies, and data analytics, were at a tipping point to better understand this devastating disease but we cant do it alone.

ASAP builds on the significant strides made by the research community, funders, other experts and strategists around the world. With input across sectors and disciplines, weve developed a strategic roadmap to collectively tackle field-wide challenges together.

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Michelle Butler’s Moving Day Donations

I am participating in Moving Day Los Angeles, benefiting the Parkinson’s Foundation. Both my grandfather and father lived with and passed away from Parkinson’s, so this cause is near and dear to my heart. I have been a volunteer since 2019 and currently sit on the CA Advisory Board. I can’t wait for this event again, it’s always a blast!The day will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities like yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, boxing, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to get your friends, family and coworkers involved.Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the Parkinson’s Foundation.Why Move for Moving Day?Did you know that someone is diagnosed with Parkinsons disease every 9 minutes in the United States? No one should have to face Parkinsons alone. That is why the Parkinson’s Foundation provides a community of support to give people the resources and help they need to live well with Parkinsons.Support our mission to help every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s live their best possible life now. Your gift will help us fund better research, better treatment and better lives.

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