Focus on Parkinson's Disease & Mental Health


Mental Health




Washington State

  "CLOGNITION: the result of a combination of the common, though frequently denied and rarely studied, mental and behavioral symptoms of

Parkinson's Disease that include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cognitive dysfunction."   - The PD Lexicon

"Ahhh PD cognition - they should call it clognition."  ~ Greg Wasson  ~  05/05/02 MGH Forum, "The Swearing Thread


Welcome! - and please forgive the disorder as I update this site for the first time in a couple of years ~ thank you! ~ Carey 7/20/07




Five years have passed since I wrote Why CLOGNITION? (below).  It surprises me to discover that I would not change a word today. But I can add several.


The Good News

The non motor or so-called "secondary" symptoms of Parkinson's (where problems of CLOGNITION are usually relegated), are finally getting the attention they deserve from the PD establishment including researchers, foundations, and organizations.


New research shows that exercise is neuro-protective, and other studies validate a wide variety of approaches to promote mental health and improved quality of life for PD patients.


The Bad News

Educating frontline general practitioners and neurologists to screen for psychological, behavioral, and cognitive complications - especially depression - when a PD diagnosis is made remains challenging. 


Patients still suffer unnecessarily from undiagnosed or untreated Parkinson's related mental disorders.




Click on the tabs along the top of the page to explore:

Mental Health

Information from research journals and other articles about Parkinson's and depression, anxiety, cognition, executive function, and other psychological and behavioral issues.


Information about coping and improving quality of life, including exercise, nutrition, sleeping, alternative and complimentary medicine, and stress reduction.


Books and articles written by people with Parkinson's for people with Parkinson's; information and news about the emerging importance of creativity to quality of life and examples of PWP creativity.


A myriad of sites of interest to people with Parkinson's disease.

Washington State

Services event available and of interest to those living in the Pacific Northwest, because this is where I spend my time!



CLOGNITION remains relevant as a clearinghouse for information and awareness. I hope you find CLOGNITION.ORG a good place to find links to useful information from the experts, and to learn how other People With Parkinson's are coping with CLOGNITION in particular and PD in general.  You can make your life better - if you arm yourself with knowledge and take charge of your health care. ~ 07/20/07



Drug therapies are available as long as you take the time to find the right one.  PD is an extremely individualistic disease.  Loss of motor control, mental changes, drug treatments, surgical treatments, diet, exercise – the menu is long, the choices and combinations infinite. 


Young Onset PWPs present a new public health challenge: keeping healthy, active, and productive in order to raise families, go to work, survive for many years as medical science continues to make our bodies stronger so that we live longer. But our brains have to keep up with our bodies, and  clognition remains a huge but elusive challenge to leading full and healthy lives.  Education and "brain re-train" are necessary, along with more funding for research in this area.


Access to information is essential to good health and a well balanced life.  PD is tough to live with, balance is difficult to achieve. Information enables; education gives hope; advocacy increases strength; and knowledge is power.  Take control of your life!


PD is a tough disease to live with.  My words are brave; the reality of my life is much different. The struggle is daily; hope not always evident. I am working hard to find the right path. 12/01/02


~ Carey Christensen


Almost anyone who has heard of Parkinson's Disease knows about the physical symptoms of PD, including tremors, generalized slowness of movement, stiffness of limbs, and gait or balance problems.


What is less well known about PD is that it is not the motor symptoms that tend to do the most harm to quality of life. Clognition coupled with stress is more often than not the culprit that precipitates job loss and family discord. 


There is not much information available about the effects of Clognition or strategies to cope.  Talking with other PWPs reveal the problems to be similar and ubiquitous, including unpaid bills due to lack of inattention, and habitual all night computer use.  Although the behavior is "normal" it is far from healthy.


The discovery that Clognition was normal for PD sufferers gave me the strength to take steps towards managing my life and alleviating stress.  It’s not easy, and I can’t do it alone.  Counseling sessions with a neuropsychologist plus conversations with PD compatriots give me strategies to maintain and the motivation to follow through.



Please drop me a line!

“ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead, PhD,


Mom! Get off the computer!  I'll be just one more minute.  Really.........



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