The top ten research priorities for the management of Parkinson’s:
- What treatments are helpful for reducing balance problems and falls in people with Parkinson’s?
- What approaches are helpful for reducing stress and anxiety in people with Parkinson’s?
- What treatments are helpful for reducing dyskinesias (involuntary movements, which are a side effect of some medications) in people with Parkinson’s?
- Is it possible to identify different types of Parkinson’s, eg, tremor dominant? And can we develop treatments to address these different types?
- What best treats dementia in people with Parkinson’s?
- What best treats mild cognitive problems such as memory loss, lack of concentration, indecision and slowed thinking in people with Parkinson’s?
- What is the best method of monitoring a person with Parkinson’s response to treatments?
- What is helpful for improving the quality of sleep in people with Parkinson’s?
- What helps improve the dexterity (fine motor skills or coordination of small muscle movements) of people with Parkinson’s so they can do up buttons, use computers, phones, remote controls etc?
- What treatments are helpful in reducing urinary problems (urgency, irritable bladder, incontinence) in people with Parkinson’s?
Telemedicine Improves Access to Specialty Parkinson’s Care
An additional Penn study being presented at the AAN meeting examined use of telemedicine visits to increase access to specialty care for Parkinson’s patients, in an effort to help remove barriers to specialty care experienced by many patients who live far from care or have disabilities that make it difficult to travel. A Penn Medicine team led by Jayne Wilkinson, MD, and Meredith Spindler, MD, conducted a randomized controlled trial using video telemedicine in the patient’s home or at a facility near the patient (in this case, VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), connecting them to a neurologist specializing in movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease, based at the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Early results demonstrate that the process of using telemedicine for Parkinson’s specialty care is feasible, provided similar quality of life, care and communication, and significantly decreased travel. This is the largest study to evaluate telemedicine in this Parkinson’s patient population.
Dr. Wilkinson and Spindler
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine