Sleep, Stress Management and Dance? Free Conference to Consider More Than Just Movement Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

Patients, families and caregivers may register now for Sept. 24 program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Los Angeles - Sept. 12, 2011 – Dance will play a prominent role in a Sept. 24 conference that will offer a nontraditional look at Parkinson’s disease, focusing not only on movement disorders but also on less visible but possibly even more debilitating problems such as depression, sleep disturbances, fatigue, pain and changes in memory and thought processes.

Michele Tagliati, MD, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology and director of the Movement Disorders Program, will lead the program at Cedars-Sinai and present a 45-minute overview of Parkinson’s nonmotor symptoms. He is an expert in deep brain stimulation and other movement disorder therapies.

“Most people are aware of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – tremor, slow movements, difficulty walking – but the nonmotor symptoms get less attention,” Tagliati said. “In fact, however, they are significant, and actually can have an even greater impact on quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers. Unfortunately, some of the therapies that can be effective in treating movement symptoms do not address mood, sleep, anxiety and cognitive impairments associated with the disease.”

Following Tagliati’s overview:

  • Laura Karlin, Andrea Hodos, Linda Berghoff and Sofia Klass will present a session, “Dancing Through Parkinson’s.” All have received training through the Dancing For PD® teacher program based in New York. Karlin founded Invertigo Dance Theater in 2007 and is artistic director. She choreographs for the company, manages operations and teaches dance for all skill levels including a class for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their family members. Hodos is a local dance artist, the director of Moving Torah, a certified Pilates instructor and owner of Moving Body Pilates. Berghoff has danced recreationally throughout her life and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago, and is a board member of Invertigo Dance Theater. Klass, a certified Pilates instructor, performs with Invertigo and teaches for their InvertED programs at Inner-City Arts.
  • Frisca Yan-Go, MD, will discuss sleep in general and the sleep disorders of Parkinson’s disease. She is professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and medical director of UCLA’s Sleep Disorders Center and Laboratory.
  • B.A. MacCormac, a registered occupational therapist at the Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Program at Cedars-Sinai, will talk about rehabilitation and its value in reducing stress, strain and pain. The former CEO of MacCormac & Associates Inc., a home health rehab and wellness education company, she has  trained in ballet and ice dancing, which helped her create a holistic treatment approach extending beyond the clinical setting.
  • Linda O’Connor, licensed clinical social worker and coordinator of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association Information and Referral Center at Cedars-Sinai, will open the program at 12:45 p.m. with an introduction and program overview.

“More Than Just a Movement Disorder: Understanding the Nonmotor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease” will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 24 in the Harvey Morse Auditorium South Tower at Cedars-Sinai. It will be presented by the medical center’s Department of Neurology in collaboration with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.Sign-in will begin at noon.

The conference is free but space is limited and registration is required by Sept. 19.Those interested in more Information and registration may call 1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771) or  go to www.cedars-sinai.edu/calendar.