April 10-11, 2017. Days off – Pamplona

World Parkinson’s Day – April 11th

Parkinson’s Disease in Spain: The prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease can be estimated by household surveys, medication usage and clinical reports. For Spain, the prevalence of PD, as estimated by these methods, is similar to that of other European countries and Canada, which  translates into 300,000 persons in Spain with the condition. On writing about the social impact of Parkinson’s Disease in Spain,  Garcia-Romos (Garcia-Ramos R, Valdés EL, et al. Neurologica 2016; 41(6):401-13) states that, although there is at least one specialist PD unit in each of the autonomous communities, there are no specific rehabilitation programmes in any of these units, or in any public hospitals. According to the Spanish National Health System’s list of common services in 2006, rehabilitation, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy, is currently provided only for those patients with a reversible functional loss. The public health system does not therefore include treatment that patients with PD need, including physical, speech, and occupational therapy, and psychological support. As with Canada,  gaps are filled by patient associations. Garcia-Ramos reports that patients are not aware that these associations exist, and neither are they told about the benefits of these treatments. He also concludes that the direct costs of PD are in the order of 7,500 € per year, which does not take into account the financial burden on families as care givers.

Today (April 11) is World Parkinson’s Day. It was the birthday of James Parkinson, who, in 1817,  published  ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’. The publication established Parkinson’s as an internationally recognised medical condition. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and this year marks the bicentennial of the first description of Parkinson’s disease. Please support us in our efforts to increase awareness of PD by disseminating our blog and making a donation to PSBC (see home page). Organizations such as the Parkinson Society of BC play a vital role in filling gaps in services and providing support to families.

Days off in Pamplona –  It has been such a treat to spend time with dear friends from Yellowknife, Helen and Wayne, who did a side trip to Pamplona to meet up with us. We have walked along the murallas, visited the fascinating and very informative Centro de Interpretación de las Murallas and the Catedral de Santa María, shopped in the narrow streets (Helen discovered a wool shop!), lingered over coffee and lunches in the sunny Plaza del Castillo including at the Café Iruña, one of Ernest Hemingway’s haunts. Hemingway’s relationship with the city is well described in an article in the Independent newspaper in 2011 – The old man and the city : Hemingway’s love affair with Pamplona. We also consumed a variety of pinchos, with glasses of beer and wines of Navarre, reminisced and laughed…We will miss these two!

A super bike store down the street from the hotel, Mundoraintxe, equipped us with a new mirror and kickstand for Paul’s bike, and did maintenance on the bottom bracket of Lois’ bike. We are ready to climb over the Pyrenees tomorrow!

Cafe Iruna
Catedral de Santa Maria

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