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Davis Phinney Foundation, Parkinson’s Disease and Exercise

he Davis Phinney Foundation, located in Boulder, Colorado, USA, has just launched their “Every Victory Counts” Program designed to inform and empower people with Parkinson’s Disease to live well. The cornerstone of the program is an “interactive manual co-authored by experts in the care of people with Parkinson’s with contributions from leading movement disorder experts.”

Founder Davis Phinney is a winner of the Olympic Bronze and Tour de France stages, who from the late 1970’s until his retirement from professional cycling in 1993, achieved more wins – 328 victories in all – than any other US Cyclist. Along with Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond, Phinney is one of only three Americans to win multiple stages of the Tour de France, the world’s most prestigious bike race. In 2000, he was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s.

The focus of this small foundation’s mission emphasizes the support of exercise and speech programs that can have an immediate impact in the lives of people living with Parkinson’s.

In addition to this new initiative, the Foundation’s site offers the results of an online survey funded last summer. Keep in mind that over the last decade or so there have been more than 20 research studies suggesting the benefits of exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease. The survey results document where the Parkinson’s patients acquired most of their information about exercise and well as their views on the benefits of exercise for their condition.

For example, among Parkinson’s patients, almost 30% of the time, exercise was not mentioned at diagnosis. Another 30% reported discussing exercise with their physicians, but they initiated the discussion about exercise based on their own personal research. And to find out about exercise and its benefits on the lifestyle and health of someone with Parkinson’s, 53% of the respondents said they reliec on the Internet, books and their own research.

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