Welcome to DAPS!

Welcome to the Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society (DAPS)! We are glad you have found us, and hope you will find this site informative.

DAPS offers many services at no (or reduced) cost to those affected by Parkinson's disease living in the Dallas area, including the following:

  • group exercise
  • speech groups
  • care partner support groups
  • Dance for Movement Disorders classes
  • non-contact boxing and tai chi for people with Parkinson's disease
  • monthly educational/motivational meetings
  • monthly newsletter by email

See a map and full schedule of our groups and classes on our Group Schedules page.

DAPS in the News!

It’s always inspiring when today’s youth recognize a need in our society and set out to create, develop, and execute a method to help those who are suffering. Fourteen-year-old Anushka has participated in many science fairs in Plano and was a national finalist at the Computer Science Girls competition for middle school girls in the field of technology and computer science last year. This year, she contacted DAPS seeking volunteers with Parkinson's disease (PD) to consider trying her safe and non-invasive prototype to help alleviate tremors in PD patients. After presenting her project to the DAPS Hunters Glen Baptist Church exercise class, several members of the class volunteered to participate in Anushka’s experiment.

Although Anushka is a native Texan, her parents were born and raised in India, where their families still reside. Traveling regularly to India has enriched Anushka's experiences culturally while also building valuable relationships with family members, like her great aunt who has Parkinson’s disease. Recognizing the struggles that tremors created for Anushka’s aunt sparked an idea that she pursued for a school science project. 

The science fair in Plano was held on November 12. Anushka explains her project in more detail:

     For this year's science project, I've been researching possible solutions for months to see various therapies and technology used to alleviate tremors caused by Parkinson's–especially to improve dexterity. I've seen and read that vibration therapy could help, but none are available in the market. The few readily available [types of] technology that could aid in mitigating tremors are expensive and not easily portable.  

     I learned through my research that vibration therapy can help to mitigate tremors as it tricks the brain into thinking that the hand is already tremoring. My goal is to put that to the test and see if vibrations can be used to mitigate tremors enough to be at ease when writing, drawing, and performing daily activities. 

     My prototype is similar to an adjustable bracelet, built with a Velcro strap and coin motors. The coin motors of my prototype will emit a light vibration that will act as white noise in the brain, to block that feedback loop the brain has in the first place, therefore stopping the hand from tremoring as such. The bracelet is easily customizable for anyone’s wrist and coin motors will feel almost like the vibration of a ringtone. This is completely safe and non-invasive.

     My hope is to provide a low-cost, fairly affordable device that could improve the quality of life of Parkinson's patients. I am so grateful to DAPS for supporting me and encouraging me to work with their members to help gather data for my prototype.

DAPS and the Parkinson’s community are fortunate to have a generation of young people like Anushka who will be on the forefront of research and treatment in the years to come. We are so excited and grateful that Anushka contacted us with her science project proposal. A big thank you also goes to the DAPS members at Hunters Glen for volunteering and working with Anushka.

The Peak Performers are back!

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In late 2018, Tribe Wellness developed PEAK Performers (PP). The need came out of analysis of the group programs at Tribe Wellness. Tribe Wellness was determined to find a way to get people with PD to walk and work on their walking mechanics with greater consistency. The importance of specific training as a key principle of neuroplasticity, along with the difficulty PD patients have walking, led to the birth of PEAK Performers. Founder of Tribe Wellness and PEAK Performers, Mike Braitsch notes, “We ‘climb new heights’ for Parkinson's by training through a combination of structured solo practice along with regular group hikes.”

The goals of PEAK Performers are:

  1. raise awareness about PD
  2. create specific long-term goals for PP
  3. raise money for Parkinson's-related organizations
  4. show people that a diagnosis is not a death sentence
  5. practice and demonstrate the value of exercise

In just one year, PEAK Performers has completed two hikes. In the fall of 2018, PP climbed the highest peak in Texas (Guadalupe Peak) as a fundraiser for DAPS. The second was held in conjunction with the Davis Phinney Foundation's Victory Summit Austin event, which involved a hike around Ladybird Lake in downtown Austin just before the conference. Proceeds from the Austin hike were donated to keep the Every Victory Counts manual in print as it is an excellent resource for people with PD. 

Tribe Wellness logo

To read the complete story on PEAK Performers’ hike in Austin, follow this link:

This year the PEAK Performers will walk a 3.5-mile loop at Turner Falls in Oklahoma. If you would like to donate to the current PEAK performers campaign, please do so here:

Dallas: A Creative City

Dallas Arts Month is a celebration of the thriving arts community in Dallas instituted by Mayor Mike Rawlings. Misty Owens was invited to be interviewed for the project and her choreography for the Dance for PD® Crane Project Filming at Dallas Museum of Art on Friday, March 1, 2019, was included in the Mayor's video. The choreography was created for the Global PD Crane Project and was featured along with other video submissions for the World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto, Japan, in June 2019.

Dance for Movement Disorders in the news!

DAPS and Texas Health Dallas co-sponsor a twice-a-week Dance for Movement Disorders class at Finley Ewing Cardiovascular & Fitness Center. Our esteemed leader of the class, Misty Owens, was recently interviewed by WFAA. Watch the video below and see if you can recognize some other familiar faces!

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