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| LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Movement Disorders Clinic will once again offer free art, cooking and music workshops for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers this year.
No experience is necessary in all classes and materials will be provided.
Art for Parkinsonism workshops began in 2022 and were so popular that participants requested additional opportunities for social interaction and emotional stimulation, leading to the addition of cooking and music classes later in the year.
The spring art class program will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the following Fridays at the Episcopal Church of St. Michael at 12415 Cantrell Road in Little Rock: February 24, March 10, May 12 and June 16.
The only art workshop offered outside of Little Rock will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on April 20 at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital at 1201 Fleming Ave. in Jonesboro.
Research shows that drawing or painting can help Parkinson’s patients improve their motor skills, and patients report that it helps them control their tremors. Art classes are offered in partnership with Arts Integration Services of Little Rock, with instructor Eli Bates guiding participants as they experiment with different media while focusing on a theme such as music or light
Meanwhile, patients and caregivers who want to learn culinary skills while avoiding the safety hazards that can arise from tremors or other Parkinson’s complications will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 16 in the Culinary Medicine Kitchen on the ground floor of the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Alyssa Frisby, a registered dietitian at UAMS, and Jasmine D. Washington, head of food preparation in the UAMS Department of Food Services, lead the cooking classes. Participants create and then enjoy a healthy meal using the induction cooktops and tools in the kitchen, then sit down together to enjoy the meal.
Music Workshops for Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases, led by Patty Oeste, are held from noon to 12:30 pm on March 1 & 15, April 5 & 19, May 3 & 17, and June 7 & 21 in room G1180-1190 at the Institute by aging.
Like the art workshops, the music workshops are run in collaboration with Arts Integration Services. They address the cognitive, physical and emotional needs of patients and are designed to teach participants how the voice works and how to exercise the voice apparatus and practice breath control.
Participants are encouraged to attend as many of the various workshops as they wish. They must first register by contacting Suzanne Dhall, DrPH, at [email protected] or by calling or texting her at 602-635-0739.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system affecting the dopamine-producing areas of the brain. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States and affects about 6,500 people in Arkansas. Other degenerative diseases include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which affects the motor neurons of the spinal cord; Huntington’s disease, an inherited condition in which nerve cells break down over time, causing movement, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms; Dementia with Lewy bodies, which is characterized by dementia, parkinsonism, and fluctuations in attention and alertness; and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD), two rare causes of parkinsonism.
In addition to the Parkinson Foundation Comprehensive Care Center, the UAMS Movement Disorders Clinic is also a Huntington’s Center of Excellence and a CurePSP Care Center.
The art classes are made possible by a donation to the UAMS Parkinson’s Disease Fund from Barbara and David Hogg of El Dorado. The music classes are funded by a UAMS Chancellor’s Grant to the Department of Neurology.
UAMS is the only state health sciences university with colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, health professions and public health; high school; hospital; main campus in Little Rock; Northwest Arkansas Regional Campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that spans the entire UAMS clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only Level 1 trauma center for adults in the state. UAMS has 3,240 students, 913 physicians and fellows, and five dentists. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 11,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who care for patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Instagram.