Wednesday, 7 May 2014


A mirror for Conductive Education

LiteGait Education writes today to tell me about a forthcoming webinar –
Neuroplasticity in Parkinson's Disease
Epidemiological and clinical trials have suggested that exercise is beneficial for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the underlying mechanisms and potential for disease modification are currently unknown. This review presents current findings from our laboratories in patients with PD and animal models. The data indicate that alterations in both dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, induced by activity-dependent (exercise) processes, may mitigate the cortically driven hyper-excitability in the basal ganglia normally observed in the parkinsonian state. These insights have potential to identify novel therapeutic treatments capable of reversing or delaying disease progression in PD
I hold no brief for or against Litegate, or Ms Fisher, or whatever she is advocating to counter the effects of Parkinson's disease. Nor do have any specialised knowledge of her field. I have only the content of this morning's communication to go on.
  • I have to take the first sentence of this announcement on face value. It does sound plausible. After all, exercise is surely beneficial for everyone. But why, I ask myself, is there no mention a cycle of R & D (research and development), to extend what is said to have been trialled and expand the reported benefit? If there is discernible, beneficial effect, then perhaps indeed 'more research is needed', with active development of what is being demonstrated in such trials.
  • As for the second sentence in the above passage, I am well able to believe it. But, I ask myself, do I really care to consider this a priority? After all, it is the psycho-social and motoric effects of the Parkinson's and what might be done to mitigate these, that concern those directly affected and those who live with them – and it is what one might be done to lessen these effects that concern those who work with them.
  • As for the third and fourth sentences, I can only say 'Gosh', and hope that no animals were harmed... I could look it up but there is no way in which I can create the personal basis for judging it. This certainly sounds like knowledge, science even (albeit perhaps no more than medical science), but I see nothing before me to explain how it it relevant to human reality.
  • The fifth and final sentence does not do it for me. At most it suggests that if I really were to understand the fourth sentence – really, really understand it, then this information just might, either on its own or in combination with what I already know, have heuristic force. In plain English, I just might get a hunch of what to do differently.
Of course, rather that grope in the dark, trying to make a leap from the biological level up to the behavioural, the functional, the psychological, I could act scientifically and undertake appropriate R & D of an appropriate nature.

How clear it all seems when faced with the motes in the eyes of others. Conductive Education has beams of its own, not wholly dissimilar – and no way restricted to Parkinson's.

And by the way, LiteGait's webinars are effectively produced and deliver good value for money. This one will be on 28 May, and cost only US$ 25.00.


Fisher, B. (014) Neuroplasticity in Parkinsons Disease, LiteGate , webinar, 29 May

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