Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A neurologist with Parkinson’s disease
  1. David Blacker
  1. Neurology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Australia
  1. Correspondence to David Blacker, Neurology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia; david.blacker{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

I could feel Parkinson’s disease creeping up on me, so when I finally summoned up the courage to have a colleague assess me and make the diagnosis, it was of no surprise; in fact, it was almost a relief.

In my mid-30s, I had taken up long-distance running, mainly to shed the weight I’d stacked on during training and fellowship years. About 10 years later, I developed a gait disturbance, manifesting as an exercise-induced dystonia in my leg. Initially, it appeared only after running a significant distance, but gradually it became more problematic, eventually leading me to stop participating in competitive events. My leg would spasm, twist and generally tighten up. I knew it was dystonia but told others it was just cramp or a ‘hip problem’; that was easier than explaining what this could become.1 I was otherwise fine and made a concerted effort to keep fit and to continue exercise as best I could. I also abandoned plans to reduce my caffeine intake given the possibility of this being neuroprotective in Parkinson’s disease. Sadly, my sense of olfaction became impaired, …

View Full Text


  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Andrew Lees, London, UK.

Other content recommended for you