Are you or a loved one living with PD? Are you curious to know how lifestyle habits can impact your journey with the disease? Below, we share insight into two health-related topics — sleep and probiotics — and how they interact with PD.

Sleep & PD: How Are They Related?

During a recent episode of APDA’s Dr. Gilbert Hosts, we featured special guest Dr. Maria Ospina — a movement disorders specialist. Together, they answered questions regarding sleep issues and PD, a very common symptom for people living with PD. Here are a few of those questions:

Q: ​I am very tired by lunchtime and fall asleep in the afternoon. Is this normal?

A: People with PD may have fatigue at particular times during the day, occurring after a dose of medication. This can be very common. Sometimes the best solution is to take a short nap to regain energy for the rest of the day.

Q: You suggest that to help keep a person awake during the day, his/her activities should be increased, but my husband’s PD is very advanced and he needs constant supervision to do anything. What are some good activities to consider?

A: Listening to music, looking through family photos, looking through magazines, taking walks, going to the park, going grocery shopping, and participating in a seated exercise class are ways that someone with advanced PD can stay active.

This is just a small sample of what Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Ospina covered in their conversation. Click here to view the full conversation!

What the Latest Science Tells Us About Probiotics & PD

Probiotics have gained popularity in recent years when it comes to easing symptoms of PD — but what exactly are they, and can they make a real difference for people with PD?

Probiotics refer to foods or nutritional supplements that contain micro-organisms (such as bacteria or yeast) meant to support health. Probiotics include certain yogurts as well as supplements in powder and pill form. Prebiotics are defined as foods that don’t contain micro-organisms themselves, but rather promote the growth of good micro-organisms.

Research is underway to determine whether manipulating gut bacteria in those with PD using probiotics can be therapeutic. Clinical trials are open if you or someone you know would like to participate. So far, data from these trials suggests that certain probiotics may help symptoms of PD, particularly GI symptoms. However, prebiotics may be a more effective way of manipulating gut bacteria than probiotics.

If you’re interested in incorporating probiotics or prebiotics into your diet, talk to your doctor about whether this is right for you.

Click here to learn more about probiotics and PD.

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