Coach Tim Touchberry is an amazing man that has positively impacted many lives throughout his career in the school system and life in general. Coach Touchberry started teaching and coaching in August of 1972 at North Charleston High School, and moved to Stall High School a year later to coach JV Football and Varsity Basketball. After four years at Stall, Coach Touchberry moved to Summerville High School for the next 15 years where he coached JV Football, Varsity Basketball, and Track during his time as a Greenwave. When Dorchester District 2 expanded, Coach Touchberry moved to Fort Dorchester High School to be its first Athletic Director and head Track Coach. Coach Touchberry remained at Fort Dorchester until May 2006 when he retired. During his 34 years in the school system, Coach Touchberry earned numerous awards and designations (too many to name here!), but most importantly, he positively influenced and helped shape many of the lives he has come in contact with. While everyone Coach Touchberry has ever met has been like family to him, he has been surrounded by a loving family through all of this—his wife Debby, children (and their spouses)—Julie (Ron), Russ (Jamie),& Reid (Caitie), and now four grandchildren—Sage & Beckham Touchberry, Jacob Riel, and Amara Touchberry. When Coach Touchberry was not working, he enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, the luxuries of the Lowcountry—bottle hunting, shrimping, and boating—among others. In 2003, Coach Touchberry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He is admired deeply by all of his family and friends!
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain. These dying neurons affect the dopamine levels, which send messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As the disease progresses, dopamine levels decrease and leave a person unable to control movement normally. Some of the common motor side effects of Parkinson’s is tremors, slowness of movement, muscular rigidity or stiffness, and postural instability. Some may also experience pain, dementia or confusion, fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, cognitive changes, and fear or anxiety.
Parkinson's affects between one and one and a half million Americans, with 60,000 people being diagnosed in the United States each year. The average age of onset is 60, but approximately 4% of cases are diagnosed before the age of 50. Parkinson's can be diagnosed through tests and is best done by a neurologist that is experienced in and has training in assessing and treating Parkinson's. Ideally, one should visit a movement disorder specialist, which is available at The Medical University of South Carolina. Currently, there is no cure. Treatment options consists of management of symptoms through medication and surgery. Exercise can be a great way to help those with Parkinson's. (Source: Parkinson's Disease Foundation, www.pdf.org)
The Murray Center for Research on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders at the Medical University of South Carolina is playing a leading role in expanding the scope of what we now understand about Parkinson’s. The Murray Center was formally dedicated on June 27, 2003, with the generous support of noted philanthropist, Mr. William Edwards Murray and his family. They and other supporters of the Movement Disorders Program allows for progress in the fight against these disabling neurological disorders. As the research branch of the Movement Disorders Program, the mission of the Murray Center is to find the causes of Parkinson's disease and related disorders, create new treatments for this disease, and ultimately find a way to detect the illness before symptoms develop and prevent its progression. The Murray Center enjoys collaborative relationships with many other programs at MUSC, as well as outside of the institution, locally, nationally and internationally.
The scientist at The Murray Center are spearheading research efforts that will hopefully lead to better therapies and perhaps a cure. Currently, The Murray Center is working on:
they are the number one recruiter in the country for a neuroprotection study aimed at slowing or stopping the progression of Parkinson's by using a blood pressure medicine called Isradipine,
preparing to launch a new study that will look at the use of an inhaler to help when Parkinson's patients cannot move,
preparing to launch a study that will look at a new medication for dementia in Parkinson's patients,
investigating why people with Parkinson's experience freezing episodes when their feet are glued to the ground,
investigating biomarkers that could be used for early detection of Parkinson's,
launching a interdisciplinary movement disorder clinic--the first in the state--that will give movement disorder patients the opportunity to be assessed by a multidisciplinary team in one 4 hour visit.