Parkinson's is not genetic. Only people aged above 50 years develop this disorder. These and several other myths were busted at a meet on World Parkinson's Day on April 11, at the National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). Several talks and presentations about the treatment of Parkinson's disease, and surgical options like Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) were discussed. Dr Prashanth LK, consultant neurologist and movement disorder specialist from Apollo Hospitals, gave a presentation on the support systems and information available to the caregivers and patients. He pointed out that while information on Parkinson’s disease can be sought from the internet, one should be careful as to whether the source is reliable. He added that it is always advisable to seek information from the respective doctor treating the patient. “By developing a community of patients and through sharing information and coping strategies, the patients and their caregiver can become empowered,” said Dr Prashanth.
Ameetha Patel of the Parkinson Disease Society of Karnataka, spoke about a 60-session therapy program for patients with Parkinson's disease. She said the programme, which would be spread to two sessions per month, would involve occupational therapy where the patients will be trained in dance, yoga and other physical activities. The programme, she said can be made avaialble free of cost to a large number patients.
Dr Pramod Kumar Pal, professor of neurology, NIMHANS,discussed the dos and don’ts s for patients, as well as the common myths about the disease. Dr Pal stressed on the need for patients and their caregivers to discuss the side effects of the drugs that have been administered to them so their medical practitioner can alter their course as required. He said extra care can be taken by caregivers to discuss possible side effects with the doctors, to avoid being startled if they occur.
Speaking at the session, vice-chancellor and director of NIMHANS, Dr Satish Chandra pointed to the importance of early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease for leading a good life. He suggested that caregivers and patients form support groups to share knowledge about the disease.
This day-long event was organized by the Department of Neurology, NIMHANS, in collaboration with Movement Disorders Society of India and Parkinson's Disease Society of Karnataka. The event saw the participation of Dr Uday Muthane, neurologist at Parkinson's and Ageing Research Foundation, Dr Dwarakanath, additional professor, neurosurgery, NIMHANS, and Dr Ravi Yadav, associate professor, neurology, NIMHANS, among others.