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Anxiety, Marijuana and Pain in Parkinson’s: 10 Expert Answers to Your Hard Questions

Living with Parkinson’s disease can have wide-reaching effects on your body and impact on your daily life. This panel discussion features diverse perspectives from members of a Parkinson’s care team: movement disorder specialist, physical therapist and neuropsychologist. Together, they answer challenging questions that span the spectrum of Parkinson’s disease including anxiety, intimacy, pain, drooling, marijuana and more.

9 Comments on “Anxiety, Marijuana and Pain in Parkinson’s: 10 Expert Answers to Your Hard Questions


      March 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm Reply

      we are from England my husband who has parkinsons can hardly speak he is 47 both myself and our children cannot understand him for the majority of the time, this is isolating. I have bought a microphone however, his mumbles are louder it is not making what he says clearer. I am concerned that he is becoming more vulnerable by the day. Other than speech therapy which he has weekly but they say must come to an end as it is not doing anything to help, is there anything else I can do to help him be heard as well as seen.

      • Alex Reinhardt

        July 11, 2017 at 11:42 am Reply

        Michelle, thank you very much for inquiry to the Davis Phinney Foundation! In addition to using a speech therapist, I would consider looking at LSVT LOUD therapy whose website offers free resources and also has an online search tool to find a clinician in your area; it’s a global organization that has therapists in England!

        On top of LSVT, you can gain tips for conversing with confidence and also listen to a webinar by speech pathologist John Dean. John offers a series of exercises intended to help those experiencing speech and swallowing problems. I hope this helps!

    • Matt

      April 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm Reply

      Quick question. Can you have Parkinson’s and still have good balance? I surf and play basketball but have almost all the other symptoms. I’m still trying to get diagnosed

      • Alex Reinhardt

        June 9, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply

        People will experience some but not all symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. While your balance may not be affected, there are other areas of the body as well as non-motor symptoms that may be present. I would encourage you to track of all symptoms you may be experiencing prior to meeting with your doctor and neurologist. You can download our worksheets and logs at this link.

        Surfing and basketball are excellent exercises that will build your flexibility, agility, and coordination which are constantly challenged while living with Parkinson’s so stick with it!

    • Darryl Hatheway

      April 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm Reply

      I was diagnosed with PD in 2016. All the signs were obvious and discouraging – I have an incurable disease. My neurologist confirmed the PD with a DATscan. Definitely a buzz-kill, but it did not impact me too much. That is because my Rock Steady Boxing club was offering support and a vigorous exercise program. In addition, my active So Cal surfing lifestyle offered more exercise, and a change in eating habits (thanks to Weight Watchers) led to a needed weight loss. I also changed to a neurologist who specializes in PD and movement disorders. My medications seem to now be much more effective since the collective actions have apparently halted the progression of PD and perhaps put it in remission. Whatever happened here I am:
      (1) my balance on surfboard is vastly improved,
      (2) I stand taller and walk better (no falling),
      (3) I work well in office,
      (4) I have improved my posture and speak better, (5) I have no stiffness, and
      (6) feel really good.
      In summary, I’d have to say that surfing is my saving grace, it makes the world a much better place for me, and totally masks any influences of PD. I hope we can develop a PD Surf Club someday soon. Maybe this blog will help bring out other surfers with PD who want to catch waves and tell stories. Aloha! – DJH

      • Alex Reinhardt

        April 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm Reply

        Thank you so much for sharing. Speaking to a dietician, joining an exercise program and speaking to a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s are fantastic steps towards living well with Parkinson’s. It’s important to take a multi-pronged approach to your wellness and evaluate where small improvements can be made. Surfing sounds likes the perfect way to build up balance, strength and mindfulness!

    • Phil Hawkins

      July 3, 2019 at 10:11 am Reply

      Protein is really causing a problem for me. It really is affecting the absorption of my Sinimet. Any dieticians out there with suggestions on how to get protein into my system quickly and out quickly?

      • Melani Dizon

        July 3, 2019 at 10:19 am Reply

        Hi Phil,
        Thanks for reading. We addressed this question a few months ago in a post. Maybe it will help you. In addition, and most importantly, this is definitely something you should talk to your doctor(s) about. Since they know your physical situation the best, they will be able to give advice that’s more tailored to you. In the meantime, here’s a link to the post and the question and answer that addresses your concern.

        “If I take regular doses of carbidopa/levodopa, should that impact when and what I should eat?”
        Yes. The effect of levodopa may be influenced by proteins in food. Proteins can compete with levodopa uptake both from the gut and across the blood-brain barrier and may, therefore, inhibit the effect of levodopa. Therefore, if you take regular doses of carbidopa or levodopa, you should talk to your doctor about taking your medicine 30-60 minutes before eating, especially before high protein meals. Protein, however, is still important for your diet so it can be helpful to create a schedule to manage your medication and protein intake throughout the day so that you’re not eating your high protein meals simultaneously with your carbidopa/levodopa.

    • Kevin Murphy

      July 27, 2019 at 9:31 pm Reply

      These statements sometimes reminds me that living with illnesses means hardness Living with Parkinson’s disease can have wide-reaching effects on your body and impact on your daily life but i don’t lose hope no matter what happens.

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