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Neurological program at the U or R giving participants a new sense of hope

Click to play video 'Neurological program at the U or R giving participants a new sense of hope' Neurological program at the U or R giving participants a new sense of hope
WATCH: A new program at the University of Regina is providing rehabilitation to those with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

Twenty-seven years ago Barb Butler was involved in a car crash that left her in a coma for 21 days. She has been dealing with a traumatic brain injury ever since.

“I had to learn to walk [again], I had to learn to read,” Butler said.

In September, Butler joined the Enrich program at the University of Regina – a relatively new program providing rehabilitation to those with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

Enrich gives clients the chance to be active, through tasked-oriented movement activities. Things like reaching and grasping, handwriting, walking and stepping up and downstairs.

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“In general day-to-day activities, I would often be afraid I was going to fall and now I don’t even think about it anymore because my balance has improved that much,” Butler said.

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Cameron Mang is an assistant professor in Kinesiology and Health Studies at the U of R and the founder of Enrich.

“I definitely felt there was a need for this type of work here and I was really excited to see how interested the community was,” Mang said.

The results have been fascinating, he said.

“We’ve seen improvements in walking functions and endurance, some strength improvements and some balance improvements,” Mang explained.

“A lot of people just comment they feel the social interaction really helps them in their lives as well.”

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The Enrich program began in the fall and has 11 members.

Allan Johnson has been attending since it started. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years, but has been dealing with symptoms for about 20 years.

“My biggest accomplishment is I have been able to write or actually print legibly in block capitals for the first time in quite a few years,” Johnson said.

“I have exercises stretching to do with my hands that allow me to build dexterity and get a little more control over them.”

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Enrich runs twice a week at the U of R’s fitness centre. For more information visit their website.