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MJFF’s Dr. Rachel Dolhun Shares What to Know about Better Brain Health and Parkinson’s

Current evidence suggests what’s good for your body is also good for your brain. From diet and exercise to social connection, research is piecing together the puzzle of how-to best care for your brain, how to prevent disease and, if disease does arise, how to best treat it. (Download MJFF’s latest resource Better Brain Health: A Guide to Caring for Your Magnificent Brain at Every Age for more on this topic.

When asked about early signs or symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to look out for, Dr. Dolhun shared she understands that many people are familiar with the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s, things like shaking, slowness, stiffness and trouble walking. 

“Not as many people are familiar with the other side of Parkinson's, the non-movement symptoms that can happen,” said Dr. Dolhun. “These are things like acting out your dreams — yelling, punching, kicking, thrashing while you're sleeping. Losing your sense of smell, sometimes even constipation. For some people, these can be the earliest indicators of Parkinson's. Doesn’t necessarily mean you're going to get the disease, but it's a good opportunity to talk with your doctor and potentially get involved in research.” 

The Foundation’s landmark study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), is helping scientists better understand how the disease starts and changes. People with and without Parkinson’s can join PPMI to help doctors and scientists better diagnose, treat and even prevent Parkinson’s disease. 

Today PPMI is located around the world at 50 participating medical centers in 12 countries. Watch the full clip featuring Dr. Dolhun and then, learn more about the Foundation’s landmark study and find your starting point at

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