Thank You!

We would like to send a special Thank You!
to everyone who made a donation, not only for Giving Tuesday, but throughout the year as well. We also wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your kind messages of encouragement and support.

Over the past year we’ve increased our online and in-person programs to top out at 100 each month, all due to the generosity of our community. The response by attendees is encouraging, as are the stories we hear:

  • People attending our exercise programs like Dance for PD, rock climbing, and Dual Task for Parkinson’s, are feeling relief with less symptoms, while at the same time they’re becoming more fit and mobile.
  • Exercise classes and Parkinson Friends groups are helping people to feel supported and less alone, and lessen the distressing feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Through our educational programs, people are learning about new treatments, feeling less fearful about the journey ahead of them, and have hope that they can indeed live well with Parkinson’s.

These stories, and seeing so many smiling faces, motivate and inspire us to continue to continue to grow in 2024.

Your gifts of gratitude to our Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, now and throughout the year, will stay in our community to directly benefit Parkinson patients, their families and friends, through all our programs.

Please visit,
and from all of our team at IPMDC, as well as all our program partners,
thank you again for your support!

Dehydrated? Just Add Water!

We’ve been hearing from our community
that there have been quite a few visits to
the emergency room lately.
The reason? Dehydration.

While we all need to stay hydrated in the summer heat, it’s especially important for people with Parkinson’s. The signs of dehydration are subtle though, and can
often be confused as being caused by something else.

Warning Signs That You May be Dehydrated
• Fatigue or weakness
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Confusion
• Muscle cramps
• Dry mouth, nose or skin
• Upper abdominal pain or lower back pain
• Feeling thirsty.

Being dehydrated can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can also lead to a visit to the emergency room. Again, the signs can be subtle and confusing.

Symptoms that come on quickly are generally not caused by Parkinson’s, or medications not working.
If in doubt, check in with your primary care physician or depending on the severity, call 911.

And remember, drinking enough fluids can help to keep the digestive system moving which in turn helps oral medications to work better. You’ll experience less symptoms, and possibly less side effects from medications.

Tips for Staying Hydrated
Drinking lots of water is the most helpful way to stay hydrated, healthy, and out of the hospital.
Not keen on water?
• Focus on foods that have a high water content like watermelon, oranges, cucumber, tomatoes, and zucchini.
• Add some sliced fresh fruit or cucumber to your water, or even some fruit juice.
• Try caffeine-free herbal tea. Some are fruit flavored.
• Smoothies are another option.
• Get creative! We’d love to hear your suggestions so we can share them! Just email
Drink a full glass of water whenever you take your medications.
Keep a jug of water ready in the fridge with the amount you need to drink throughout the day.

How do you know when you’re drinking enough?
Feeling thirsty isn’t really the best way, but the color of your urine will tell you.
• When it’s pale, odorless and plentiful that’s often an indication that you are well hydrated.
• Darker urine is an indication that you are becoming dehydrated, and very dark urine is a warning sign to seek medical aid.

If in doubt, head to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of nice, cool, refreshing water and see how much better you’ll feel. Cheers!

Suggestions from our readers

From Sabina:
Excellent and timely. All elderly people and especially PD patients need to be vigilant about this. Just doing two hour errands in a hot car has caused me heat exhaustion. I recommend also doing errands in early morning if possible, taking water with you in car or bus, using a handheld fan like in the old days, and take siesta afternoons.

From Bella:
I fill half a glass with kombucha and the rest with water. Sometimes I add a little sweetener. The kombucha is good for digestion and its easy to drink … a bit carbonated.
I also set up my glasses in the morning. One has juice from one lemon, the other with kombucha, the third with just water. Each glass holds 16 oz so I count it as 2 glasses. Plus a full glass by the bedside.

IPMDC’s New Loudoun Location Now Open!

Good news!

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Abigail Lawler is now seeing patients, in-person, at our new Loudoun location.

44055 Riverside Parkway, Suite 242,
Leesburg, VA 20176

Dr. Abigail Lawler, Movement Disorders Specialist

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lawler please call 703-845-1500.

Dr. Lawler will still see patients by telehealth, and in-person at our Innovation Park Drive location.

Delusions, hallucinations and other misinformation from Chat GPT

Author: John M Dean MA CCC-SLP

Known for their ability to generate complete, full-text responses on a range of topics, Chat GPT, Bard and other “large language model” artificial intelligence (AI) tools have been dominating the news cycle for the past 6 months. Large language models (LLMs) are a new type of “generative AI”, capable of producing very convincing and comprehensive responses to a range of questions.

Although it’s tempting to use those resources to ask specific questions about issues related to your Parkinson’s, it’s becoming clear that the data coming from these tools cannot be relied upon. Because LLMs are trained on vast quantities of written text from all over the Internet, they frequently rely upon nonmedical and non-expert information sources such as Facebook and Reddit posts, among others.

In fact, a recent publication from the journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, identified that among the responses to 20 medical questions that were submitted to Chat GPT, reviewers uncovered 12 errors (including 5 major errors and 7 minor errors). More concerning, however, was the tendency of the responses to include fabricated citations to peer-reviewed journals. This false output is referred to as “delusions” or “hallucinations” by AI researchers. Of 59 citations reviewed, 41 were fabricated, typically by pairing factual names of authors to nonexistent articles in nonexistent journals.

While researchers and developers are working to solve what is now a known issue with false information from LLMs, it’s best to stick with reliable reference resources. That includes educational materials produced by recognized medical entities such as the Inova Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center as well as resources from national and international nonprofits. And please save specific questions about your health care needs for your doctor, nurse practitioner, or other relevant professional.

If you are not scheduled for an upcoming visit when something crops up, make sure to take advantage of My Chart to send your question directly to the team at IPMDC so your doctor or another individual on the healthcare team can provide you with a specific answer, based on your specific medical situation, privately and securely.

If you want to see the published article from Mayo Clinic proceedings yourself, you can visit their website directly.

Highlighting IPMDC Programs

This Parkinson’s Awareness Month we’ve been highlighting our established programs while adding new ones.

We currently offer over 80 online and in-person,
educational, wellness and supportive programs each month

They are a direct response to your requests for ways to keep moving, learn more about living well with Parkinson’s, and connect with each other. We are grateful to partner with experts in Parkinson’s and other specialties who can help you to live your best life. 

For example, we’re excited to announce that we have arranged for a second weekly Dance for PD® class beginning May 1 with Lucy Bowen McCauley. This class will be in partnership with BalletNova Center for Dance in Falls Church. If you’re interested in attending please contact to register.

All our programs are available at no cost to you,
and made possible due to the generosity of our friends in our community.  

THANK YOU! To all of you who have so generously expressed your gratitude through your donations, you have our deepest thanks for your support and kindness. Because of you, we’ve been able to offer this wide range of programs to meet the needs of so many people, not only here in Northern Virginia but around the world. Your gifts, and the growing number attendees, encourages us.

If you or someone you love is enjoying our programs and would like to support them, we invite you to go to All donations to IPMDC are tax-deductible as Inova is a 501(c)3 organization.

Today is World Parkinson’s Day

On this World Parkinson’s Day we’re sharing our message that until there’s a cure there is hope, and people CAN live well with Parkinson’s.
Learn more about our educational, wellness and supportive programs by exploring this website!
#WorldParkinsonsDay  🌷 #Hope4PD  🌷 #IPMDCcares

Parkinson’s Awareness Month at IPMDC

Every April there’s a worldwide effort to raise awareness about Parkinson’s.

This year, our team of Parkinson experts at IPMDC is raising awareness about our programs for people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends.

We began our virtual programming in 2020 when it was safer for people to participate from their homes. Three years on, we have people joining us throughout the U.S. and globally as well. Last year we established a network of in-person, wellness and supportive programs throughout northern Virginia.

This year we are working to expand our outreach and programs to continue to meet the needs of our community. We’ll continue to offer our programs through Zoom, to keep in touch with our friends wherever they are. We’re also expanding our in-person outreach through our Parkinson Friends groups, and by sponsoring additional wellness programs taught by local Parkinson experts. All at no cost to you.

Whether you are local to northern Virginia or you live elsewhere, you too can participate and help raise awareness by sharing info about our educational, wellness, and supportive programs.


Join in our programs, and invite family and friends to join you.
Check out our calendar at

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter for updates about our programs
Click here to sign-up.

Consider contributing to our programs at

As we are part of Inova, a 501(c)(3) organization, your donations
are tax-deductible, and directly benefit our community of
people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends.

In April, and throughout the year, we are always here for you, providing the education and support you’re looking for. The best way to connect with us is by emailing

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