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Ten things I wish someone had told me when I was diagnosed

  1. Seek out a movement disorders specialist (MDS) -- a neurologist who has advanced training in treating Parkinson's disease.
  2. Learn all you can about PD so you can partner with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that best manages your symptoms with the fewest side effects.
  3. Be aware that your eligibility for clinical trials of potentially neuroprotective treatments is greatest prior to your starting on Parkinson's meds. Make the most of this small window of time by checking Fox Trial Finder and PD Trials for studies currently enrolling "de novo" or newly diagnosed patients not yet being treated for PD. Consider joining the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI).
  4. Continue your normal daily activities for as long as you can. Do not make Parkinson's the focus of your life.
  5. Make physical and mental exercise part of your daily routine to help you remain active and independent and enjoy a better quality of life for longer.
  6. Build a support network by telling family and friends what you need from them. They cannot read your mind.
  7. Live in the moment. Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
  8. Maintain a positive attitude.
  9. Keep your sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  10. Never lose hope for a cure.

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